Thursday, November 28, 2013

Learning "From" Versus Learning "With"

Photo from
In his video "Self-driven and Classroom-based: Professional Development in the 21st Century," Konrad Glogowski makes a very important distinction between "learning from" and "learning with."

He points out that he does not learn with people in his Twitter feed, but learns from them, since connections in many social media spaces involve observations through reading or watching. Usually the material or people we interact with online would have little thought or consideration about our own particular teaching environment.

Additionally, Glogowski is critical of much of the professional development that can simply become trends or buzzwords since it is delivered in an approach that views educators as "implementors" of certain tasks or strategies. So while a teaching strategy or the integration of technology may have worked in one class, we have to ask ourselves, will it work for my students in my class?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Providers of Insight?

Marshall McLuhan
From Wikipedia
When considering Marshall McLuhan's 1959 lecture "Electronic Revolution: Revolutionary Effects of New Media," the notion of "fast-moving and flexible media" has indeed as much, if not more, significance in the 21st century. The evolution of technology in our society can be seen as both breathtaking and disconcerting. Inventor and Futurist Ray Kurzweil discusses the rapid advancement of technology which he argues will "blur the line between human and machine."

I think the role of "the teacher" in the learning environments of the 21st century is best illustrated when we consider McLuhan's observations about the electronic revolution of television: "The electronic revolution of television has made the teacher the provider no longer of information but of insight, and the student not the consumer but the co-teacher, since he has already amassed so much information outside the classroom."

Monday, November 11, 2013

Initiatives, Isolation and Mr. D

Photo from
A few years ago I was heavily involved in a cross-curricular literacy initiative in our school. The initiative was in conjunction with the District, and at one point I received a call from a representative from the Department of Education with a very interesting proposal. They wanted to see if any of our teachers would allow the Department to capture some of their best practices on video as they taught students in their classes. The answer? It was a resounding no.

None of the teachers, including myself, were overly excited with the idea of being captured on video. Assurances were made that only the best practices would be used and any other material would be edited. Yet we could not be sold on the idea and once one teacher declined, everyone else fell like dominoes.