Really not asking too much!

0 views
Skip to first unread message

Leigh Blackall

unread,
Apr 23, 2006, 6:03:14 PM4/23/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
I was up last night thinking more about the difficulties we all have trying to convince others of the benefits blogs, wikis... web2 ... a networked learning is and could still have for learning in general - in particular I was thinking about the 2 most common arguments I hear from those offering resistance:

1. Our teachers don't have time to learn a new thing, especially not buz words and hype
2. Show me evidence that this will help my students learn


I see red when these 2 statements are uttered. Especially when uttered by teachers who are already practicing some form of online teaching - usually through an LMS or other sort of small fry content and communications management system.

I think it needs to be stated loud and clear that with networked learning we are not asking all that much really. We are not asking teachers to learn HTML, CSS, Flash, Dreamweaver, or any other highly complex content production skills. We are not asking teachers to understand SCORM let alone ideas of sharable learning objects. We are not asking teachers to use freaked out, unusable, cobbled together LMS, DRM - CMS, SMS, or what ever content and communication system we say goes. We're not even asking teachers to Bobby Check everything they produce! All we are asking is that teachers come out into the open, or "step into the light" to quote Stephen, and learn how to use the Internet the same way as everyone else is using it now.

By doing so we believe teachers will rediscover the relevance in their topics that their students need and crave. By doing so we believe teacher's live's, attitudes and moral will improve. By doing so we believe teachers will discover ways of integrating those "distractions" such as mobile phones, MP3 Xbox, PSP and television players and laptops, into their classroom activities. By doing so we believe teachers will learn how to communicate better in our digitally networked world.

I don't think we are asking too much really.

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution) license .





--
Posted by Leigh Blackall to Teach and Learn Online at 4/24/2006 07:29:00 AM


--
--
Would you like to buy my book? http://www.lulu.com/leighblackall
--
Leigh Blackall
+6421736539
skype - leigh_blackall
http://leighblackall.wikispaces.org/

Paterson, Anne

unread,
Apr 23, 2006, 8:07:38 PM4/23/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
Leigh,

Yes to relevance, yes to 'integrating distractions', yes to 'communicating better in a digitally networked world" An excellent post - I am heartened and encouraged by your clear statement of what we are on about



"By doing so we believe teachers will rediscover the relevance in their topics that their students need and crave. By doing so we believe teacher's live's, attitudes and moral will improve. By doing so we believe teachers will discover ways of integrating those "distractions" such as mobile phones, MP3 Xbox, PSP and television players and laptops, into their classroom activities. By doing so we believe teachers will learn how to communicate better in our digitally networked world."

I don't think we are asking too much really.


Good one Leigh!

________________________________

From: teachAndL...@googlegroups.com on behalf of Leigh Blackall
Sent: Mon 4/24/2006 8:03 AM
To: teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
Subject: :: TALO :: Really not asking too much!


<http://flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/4239651/> I was up last night thinking more about the difficulties we all have trying to convince others of the benefits blogs, wikis... web2 ... a networked learning is and could still have for learning in general - in particular I was thinking about the 2 most common arguments I hear from those offering resistance:

1. Our teachers don't have time to learn a new thing, especially not buz words and hype
2. Show me evidence that this will help my students learn

I see red when these 2 statements are uttered. Especially when uttered by teachers who are already practicing some form of online teaching - usually through an LMS or other sort of small fry content and communications management system.

I think it needs to be stated loud and clear that with networked learning we are not asking all that much really. We are not asking teachers to learn HTML, CSS, Flash, Dreamweaver, or any other highly complex content production skills. We are not asking teachers to understand SCORM let alone ideas of sharable learning objects. We are not asking teachers to use freaked out, unusable, cobbled together LMS, DRM - CMS, SMS, or what ever content and communication system we say goes. We're not even asking teachers to Bobby Check everything they produce! All we are asking is that teachers come out into the open, or "step into the light" to quote Stephen <http://downes.ca/> , and learn how to use the Internet the same way as everyone else is using it now.

By doing so we believe teachers will rediscover the relevance in their topics that their students need and crave. By doing so we believe teacher's live's, attitudes and moral will improve. By doing so we believe teachers will discover ways of integrating those "distractions" such as mobile phones, MP3 Xbox, PSP and television players and laptops, into their classroom activities. By doing so we believe teachers will learn how to communicate better in our digitally networked world.

I don't think we are asking too much really.

Creative Commons Licence <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.1/au/>

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution) license <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.1/au/> .


--
Posted by Leigh Blackall to Teach and Learn Online <http://teachandlearnonline.blogspot.com/2006/04/really-not-asking-too-much.html> at 4/24/2006 07:29:00 AM


--
--
Would you like to buy my book? http://www.lulu.com/leighblackall
--
Leigh Blackall
+6421736539
skype - leigh_blackall
http://leighblackall.wikispaces.org/


**********************************************************************
This message is intended for the addressee named and may contain
privileged information or confidential information or both. If you
are not the intended recipient please delete it and notify the sender.
**********************************************************************

Sean FitzGerald

unread,
Apr 23, 2006, 8:20:23 PM4/23/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
"All we are asking is that teachers... learn how to use the Internet the same way as everyone else is using it now. "

I think that is the nub of your argument, Leigh, and a very quotable quote.

Sean
-- 

Sean FitzGerald
Tel: +61 (0)2 9360 3291
Mob: +61 (0)404 130 342
Skype: seamusy
Email: se...@tig.com.au
Website: http://seanfitz.wikispaces.com/
Blog: http://elgg.net/seanfitz/weblog/

The life of man is like a game with dice; if you
don’t get the throw you want, you must show your
skill in making the best of the throw you get.
-- Terence

Bronwyn Hegarty

unread,
Apr 23, 2006, 8:32:57 PM4/23/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
right on Leigh
I reckon if teachers really care about learning for their students they have no right to say " Idon't have time to learn a new thing, especially not buz words and hype" so really when they ask for
"2. Show me evidence that this will help my students learn" its just a red herring to get them off the hook!
 
if they have got to the point where they think they have learned it all themselves.....in this day and age of rapid change...then they need to get out of teaching - harsh words but I think they are living 'back in the day' when a person had one career and that career didn't change much. Those days are long gone.
 
Possibly the best way to change their minds about the new technologies is to hook their students. when the learners start asking for new ways of learning, then the teachers who really care, seem to do one of two things
1. continue moaning..poor me poor me..
2. resign themselves to getting down and with it...then they find out its actually fun and interesting and makes the job a whole lot more satisfying than trotting out the same ole crap every year.
Bron

Leigh Blackall

unread,
Apr 23, 2006, 9:57:28 PM4/23/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
Thanks Bron, Sean.
I have thought for a while that the key is the students... so perhaps we in educational development need to find ways to offer services directly to students. To save them from the MySpaces, MSN, IE, and Yahoo - and at least help them see the vast options available, and how they might self organise their own learning communities... slow going without teachers though.
I invited our local student association to the Networked Learning workshops and no takers... I think I have to rethink the marketing of it. I originally wrote the discriptions of the workshops to a teacher audience,,, rewriting it for students, friends, parents and broader community - now there's a welcome challenge...
Leigh

Nick Noakes

unread,
Apr 23, 2006, 10:18:21 PM4/23/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
At 09:57 AM 4/24/2006, you wrote:
>Thanks Bron, Sean.
>I have thought for a while that the key is the students... so
>perhaps we in educational development need to find ways to offer
>services directly to students. To save them from the MySpaces, MSN,
>IE, and Yahoo - and at least help them see the vast options
>available, and how they might self organise their own learning
>communities... slow going without teachers though.
>I invited our local student association to the Networked Learning
>workshops and no takers... I think I have to rethink the marketing
>of it. I originally wrote the discriptions of the workshops to a
>teacher audience,,, rewriting it for students, friends, parents and
>broader community - now there's a welcome challenge...
>Leigh

Leigh

Why don't you post (here and the wiki) the descrip / blurb for the
teacher audience? All of us could have a collaborative go at
rewriting it. Like you, I've done some workshops for teaching staff
but am planning to do something for incoming students in August, so I
for one would benefit from doing this jointly and I'm sure others in
TALO would too.

Here was the email blurb for the last session I did with a Librarian
colleague on RSS:


Lunchtime Learnshops
**************************

HOW TO SAVE TIME IN STAYING AHEAD OF THE KNOWLEDGE EXPLOSION IN YOUR FIELD

Fed up wasting time with repeated searches of the web! Fed up with
email overload!

We are all too aware that in all fields knowledge is being created at
an exponential rate in an expanding variety of formats. As a
consequence, there are increasing demands on our attention and
keeping current within our field is becoming an increasingly
insurmountable challenge. This short workshop will help you to meet
this challenge by showing you how to bring tailored information to
your desktop.

Outcomes
By the end of this 90 minute session, you should be able to:
- locate more relevant information, more quickly
- expand your professional network more efficiently

Outline
1. Participants' current approaches to gathering information in order
to keep up-to-date with their field
2. Basic overview of recently developed, time-saving methods for
tailoring the delivery of relevant content (text, audio, video) to your desktop
3. Information - what's currently out there that you can connect to
4. Tools for getting tailored information to your desktop in a way
that fits your working style

This will be an interactive presentation and demonstration with Q&A
throughout, focusing on RSS-related technologies and opportunities.

FOLLOW-UP HANDS ON SESSION ON SAVING TIME IN STAYING AHEAD OF THE
KNOWLEDGE EXPLOSION IN YOUR FIELD

This is a hands on session at the request of participants from the
information session.

Outcomes
By the end of this 60 minute session, you will have:
- created an online account where you can subscribe to information
from various sources
- searched and found information related to your discipline or
research area that you can subscribe to
- subscribed to a few new sources of information for these areas.

This will be a hands-on practice session focusing on the automated
delivery of relevant, new information to your desktop. The hands on
session will be repeated.

Nick

Leigh Blackall

unread,
Apr 23, 2006, 10:27:11 PM4/23/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
Nice idea! Here are the workshops written up in a wiki...

Keeping in mind that I want to rewrite this so that it speaks to students and teachers... speaks to everyone as much as someone... quite a challenge... perhaps if written in a broadbanded information structure of 3 levels. 1st line, punchy, comprehendable to ALL. 2nd line, a little more detail inviting interest. 3rd line, more expert information and links...

sparker

unread,
Apr 23, 2006, 10:38:38 PM4/23/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com

Hi Leigh


My first particpation in TALO, Have got so much out of posts. Thanks.

Nices post (I noticed the Kevin Kelly book, ) Have been thinking about same issues in how to engaging more teachers  in using the internet so have pasted a bit! from blog rather than rewrite (it turned into an essay)

____

There is no doubt that for many, after holding down a teaching job, family & life...once home, the time to look at a computer let alone explore Web2.0 technologies or engage with all the networking 'stuff' of an evening... is probably not a high priority!

We all have different connections to each other (tribe), as we do to technology, what tribe you are in drives what connection you have to change and technology. We all have an 'emotional response' to technology whether it be positive/negative, excited/uninspired, engaged/closed minded politisicised/don't give a damm.
At work, the way technology is affecting us emotionally (in some cases), may account for the slowness to change, whereas others have drive & enthusiasm for new ways of thinking to utilise (Veronica's kids)
Web2.0 technology, others may see it as a threat to the status quo (Corporate), others may simply be unaware (Teacher, parents, students).

____

I like the idea of self organising learning communities...

'I invited our local student association to the Networked Learning workshops and no takers... I think I have to rethink the marketing of it. I originally wrote the discriptions of the workshops to a teacher audience,,, rewriting it for students, friends, parents and broader community - now there's a welcome challenge... '

Web2.0 and networked learning needs to be marketed in a variety of ways to make the emotional connection and encourage uptake with students friends, parents and especially with teachers, to resonate with on the personal/ emotional level, more relevant to their lives.

Provide an incentive to stick at it, to put the necessary time in at home, network, build an online identity, gain confidence then apply to teaching and learning. For example; Gently (no innovation overload) encourage colleagues to set up photosharing accounts

One 'non-techie' colleague was recently shown how to use flickr, from this she quickly worked out how to put up pictures of what mattered to her and then link to friends. When recently asked to show the rest of the team, she said 'I'd love to' with a new welcome confidence. Initiate a number of people (catalysts) in how to photo share what matters to them, pictures of family, cats, the recent Rolling Stones concert ;-)... with their mobile phone, then maybe a bit of video of kids/ grandkids. They can show their friends and colleagues how to follow their lead, the collective gaining an inkling of how it can used for teaching their classroom tribe, the curiousity, confidence, desire... to ask themselves :-) how difficult can it be? Something I'm still figuring out...time to play with podcasting with delicious to teach, fun for me, unfamiliar for some. Happy to support and share with others what I learn...
--
Steven Parker

www.networklearning.blogspot.com

Skype: stevenraymondparker

"Half of what you know today will be obsolete in five years. That prospect
should fill you with excitement."  -Vimala Blavatsky

Bill Kerr

unread,
Apr 23, 2006, 10:39:32 PM4/23/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
hi leigh,

good post for discussion, thanks

my short reply:
* in so far as you are  not asking too much (blogs and wikis are not hard) then you will not achieve too much - to integrate any new things into learning successfully does require real knowledge, insight, effort, belief, passion - if it is done mechanically then it won't work very well
* in reality you are asking for a lot, that schools adapt to integrate modern youth culture, such as mobile phones, into their curriculum - for schools that is a big change (huge) wrt their established power relationships - that change is highly desirable IMO but it's not right to suggest that it is not asking for a lot

you have started by saying that this technology is relatively simple (true to an extent only) and then allowed that to slide into the suggestion that systemic change of power relationships in schools could be simple (not true)

the danger of the oversimplification is to invite the sort of comments that Bronwyn has made about teachers, suggesting stridently that in general teachers who don't adopt these technologies don't care for their kids (which is far from the truth)

- Bill
--
Bill Kerr
http://billkerr.blogspot.com/
http://beam.to/billkerr
skype: billkerr2006



On 4/24/06, Leigh Blackall <leighb...@gmail.com> wrote:

Leigh Blackall

unread,
Apr 23, 2006, 11:05:28 PM4/23/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
Hmm, interesting come back Bill... I don't think anyone was implying that teachers who don't take up this challenge don't care about kids... matching my emotive stiring with more emotive stiring there Bill. The main thrust of my arguement is that we have invested so much in eLearning - LMS, DRM, and ICT unit style - and those investments are causing enormouse pressures on teachers, when what we propose is relatively simple... the tools we promote could be (and have been in my experiences) a pressure release from all that.

Suddenly it is easy for a teacher to create a voice online. I think it IS as easy as its ever gunna get - hell my mum and her dad blog - where as before it had to be quality assured through a bottle necked CMS, or outsourced to web design magicians..

Teachers don't need to learn (insert unique LMS here), Flash, Photoshop, Premier and DreamWeaver, now they can publish content much more easily and quickly (the networked learning bit comes later), everything else should fall into place I think, the working better with kids, the intergration of other technologies, all of it, we just have to get teachers appreciating how easy it really is. Suddenly what their 14 year old son is doing is less of a mystery to them. Surely that's one good motivation at least?

mobology

unread,
Apr 23, 2006, 11:06:30 PM4/23/06
to Teach and Learn Online

Leigh Blackall wrote:
> <http://flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/4239651/>I was up last night thinking

> more about the difficulties we all have trying to convince others of the
> benefits blogs, wikis... web2 ... a networked learning is and could still
> have for learning in general - in particular I was thinking about the 2 most
> common arguments I hear from those offering resistance:
>
> 1. Our teachers don't have time to learn a new thing, especially not buz
> words and hype
> 2. Show me evidence that this will help my students learn

Alex Hayes took the above and expanded. Live links and comics
associated at http://www.alexanderhayes.com;

I'm back at the keyboard poring over Leigh Blackall's post which teases
apart what he considers to be the underlying attitude shift that would
need to occur for educators to embrace the use of the global network to
truly grow the online learning eco-sphere. Man o' man am i getting
tired of hearing that my colleagues are still fighting on the front of
awareness.

However, that said, I cast my mind back to five years ago and I must
admit my own use of social networks which interlink by manner of
association and interest were not lacking in interest rather in making
the shift from LMS fishtraps bobbing in the waters of the knowledge
world.

I do think Leigh's right.

It's all about "....the difficulties we all have trying to convince
others of the benefits blogs, wikis... web2 ... what networked learning
is and could still have for learning in general." Great comment and
concurring with my working role, that of my discussion with friends and
family and that of my professional integrity and beliefs for education
ethos in general. I get more blank looks than any affirmative nods
lately and get sick of dumbing down everything in an attempt to solicit
some recognition of what I'm on about.

Graham Wegner puts his points forward as part of his immersion into
what an LMS may look like in the future and the current state of play
for those contemplating how such a concept of an always acessible
e-portfolio could look like. It appears Graham also struggles with
dispelling the myth that blog = poo amongst his colleagues ....i dont
envy his position as he grows his own in a primary education context.
Phew !

Nick Noakes [Wednesday, February 15, 2006v ] on the other hand gives us
this gem for considering what the web mash of a global e-portfolio
might look like ;

".....Now with our online identities being spread all over the net, in
comments in various blogs, flickr, del.icio.us, etc., and at various
events, we need a way to bring these together simply and quickly. And
we need to visually show (semantically, socially and genealogically)
our journey, trajectory and identities all in one ... something that
aggregates and connects our learning into one visual interface for our
lifelong personal portal (side track: I think this means we would need
to be able to tag our own comments, not just our posts)....."

If we take Leigh's perspective on resistance and disenchantment and
that of Graham's and Nick's whilst mixing it with that of say Iverson
you'll see that ( at least i do ) a correlation in the taxonomy of
retrieval, the manner by which the links and semantics make sense for
the future.

Users on any open online learning environment could have a multi-view
ever-evolving e-portfolio simply by hitting the global e-portfolio
portal search function for the term 'mobology' and have presented for
them a chronologically ordered entry for every aspect of my online
presence right back to 2005 when i first started using that 'tag'. This
gives me the view that our repsonsibilities as educators is maybe that
of ensuring ( as Graham Wegner suggests ) that students find cool and
memorable ciphers and signs to 'recall' their learning from where-ever
they were at whatever time it was in the past. The portals for
displaying such waress are ever increasingly hand held .

If Google WAS doing it's job wouldnt we have everything we'd ever done
digitally available through their search facility ? Damn that would be
fine if it was able to be in secure mode.

I replied to Graham's comment in my blog with reference to
e-portfolio's stating that ".....I liken the formative and academic
pursuit of collating, uploading and aggregating my blog posts,
interactive writing and mobile blog data as none other than fornicating
with naive catalytic elements in a reactive soup of electronica.
E-portfolio for me is the conversation we are already having."

I stand by that.

Softwares for e-portfolio's SHOULD NOT be developed rather the
taxonomies for retrieval enabled in each and every learning environment
that we enrol our students / learners in. It's obvious that the
operational / pedagogical / philosophical shift would be immense.

Get it ? How hard would that be to achieve ?

Learners need open courseware and protected windows through which we
can view their learning and they access it all anytime. Learning
management sytems need not be anything more than those needed for
adminstration and enrolment procedural formailities - not for learning
ware.

I'm of the firm opinion that all the above is possible if this
discussion amps up a notch and that the e-portfolio's discussion come
to grips with ;

the always on and interoperable stability of the www
the needs of learners and not that of software / hardware developers
the apolitical stance ( and conservative ) that educators adopt when
faced with students who seek interoperability not sustainability
users wants verses operational needs
the sensitivities of those who live building closed systems to
'protect' their users from unwanted communication

I'm intrigued ......Have we escaped the behaviourists yet or will the
connectivists have their day ?

Can an e-portfolio be invisible and weigh nothing other than a memory
for a key term ?

Chris

unread,
Apr 24, 2006, 12:20:14 AM4/24/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
Well said Bronwyn.

Some teachers are empowering themselves.

C

Bill Kerr

unread,
Apr 25, 2006, 3:58:49 AM4/25/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
another brief response to leigh for I repeat what I think is a good discussion post

two points -
* you don't distinguish between teachers and School (capital S, systemic school)
* you don't distinguish between "common arguments" and prevailing generalised beliefs in School cultures

In both cases it is easier to persuade and change the former than the latter

I think similar discussions have already been had 20 years ago wrt the promises and disappointments that grew up around the programming language logo

Papert eventually was forced to respond to the critique that logo was not delivering the goods because they could not be measured clearly and he accused his critics of being "technocentric"
http://www.papert.org/articles/ComputerCriticismVsTechnocentric.html

"Consider for a moment some questions that are "obviously" absurd. Does wood produce good houses? If I built a house out of wood and it fell down, would this show that wood does not produce good houses? Do hammers and saws produce good furniture? These betray themselves as technocentric questions by ignoring people and the elements only people can introduce: skill, design, aesthetics. Of course these examples are caricatures. In practice, hardly anyone carries technocentrism that far. Everyone realizes that it is carpenters who use wood, hammers, and saws to produce houses and furniture, and the quality of the product depends on the quality of their work. But when it comes to computers and LOGO, critics (and some practitioners as well) seem to move into abstractions and ask "Is the computer good for the cognitive development of the child?" and even "Does the computer (or LOGO or whatever) produce thinking skills?"

Substitute the word LOGO in the above with "blog", "wiki" (but better to read the whole Papert thing)

My criticism leigh, is not that your position is wrong (I believe it is right) but that you have over simplified something that is quite complex. Your argument sounds like a technocentric magic bullet.

- Bill
--
Bill Kerr
http://billkerr.blogspot.com/
http://beam.to/billkerr
skype: billkerr2006



On 4/24/06, Leigh Blackall <leighb...@gmail.com> wrote:

Craig Bottomley

unread,
Apr 25, 2006, 6:17:00 AM4/25/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
and in ignoring the people we also ignore the root cause behind the slow
take up of networked learning, that being, IMHO, fear.

fear of the unknown; fear of looking stupid; fear of new technology;
fear of loss of power; fear of loss of control; fear of not knowing as
much as the students; fear of change; fear of getting it wrong; fear of
peers; fear of the speed of change; fear of losing all the work we do;
fear of others stealing our work; fear of students cheating because they
can do hacker stuff; fear of the expectations that may be created by
taking up this new way; fear of not being good enough; fear of those who
are "experts"; and so the list goes on and on and on and on ...

so, i spend my time working to allay the fears of those around me who
are soooooo resistant. they are mostly good people who love their jobs
and the kids they work with but the shift away from their comfort zones
is often perceived as a bigger risk than they are prepared to take. i
can't blame them for not wanting to change, but i think the very
stability they crave will soon be eroded away by the overwhelming
pressure from the "system" for them to be a part of the uptake of all
things "online".

so lets teach them how to use email first, get them comfortable with
that: then introduce them to the web and search engines, get them
finding resources (notes etc) online and get them used to going to the
internet first when they need an answer to a question: and then, once
they are convinced of the power of this new medium, once they have
become used to the words and phrases that make up some of our
technocentric language, once they have become comfortable with keyboards
and mice, then and perhaps only then, introduce them to the magic that
is the new read/write web.

this is going to take time and patience, its going to involve long and
seemingly fruitless sessions beating our heads against some welding
lecturer's door, its going to involve a whole lot of love and care on
our part as the "experts", but eventually we will help them see that
this networked way is not something that needs to be feared.

and finally, may i be so bold as to remind you all that at some point in
your lives some very kind and patient person came alongside you and
taught you to read and write and add and subtract, and that at the time
the learning of these things was perhaps a very scary thing, perhaps it
was a struggle for you, perhaps you needed "extra" help, but for most
you (i hope) today that same scary reading and writing and adding and
subtracting is something which is second nature to you. so it will be
for the technologically resistant if we show that same passion to them.

have a great day

botts

bottsplace.vcf

Leigh Blackall

unread,
Apr 25, 2006, 4:44:44 PM4/25/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
Thanks Bill, Craig, I agree with both of you, and Bill, the Papert quote and reminder of the Logo experience is very thought provoking. I posted something a while back that I think round about said why I think logo type ideas faltered... essentially it is that we fail to see how these new tools completely change the way we build.

I'm still not sure if attempting to address the complexity of the issue would be any more useful though. We could attempt to describe it, but along the way, even if we did get people to read our 5000 words describing it, what ever it is would still be causing the same things - the fear Craig talks about. I think what I am trying to do (as always) is sloganeer a way into breaking through that fear. In other words, simplify it down so that more people can relate.

In my experience I have witnessed more productivity in all this when teachers feel as though they are successfully subverting the system that causes them so much grief. So when Craig suggests that we start with using email better, I'll jump in and say, Yep! Lets look at free web mail accounts, IM services and group mail as alternatives to the crappy @ det.edu.au you have, and see how easy it could be to use those free, real world tools and completely forget about that LMS, virus and spam hungry email your boss is telling you to use.

To be honest though, I think I get about a 50% success rate doing this. Those who do come with me on that ride, almost always end up being very independent teachers, and change agents themselves. But the other 50% turn away from that idea straight away. But to excuse myself on that, in this day and age, I can't imagine myself in the same career for much longer anyway, so patience is not a virtue I think about all that much. I enjoy the rewarding experience of meeting the few that do "get it" and hold hope that they will spread it from there in the style and patience that I lack.

I appreciate what you are asking me to do Bill, and I think I'd like to focus on it and work it out in more detail as you suggest... if you're up to a collaborative paper, I have an audience at the Global Summit to present to. I was thinking to expand on my post about Early Film, mix it with this post on how Teaching has Nothing to do with Technology, and use the lyrics of Pink Flloyd's Another Brick in The Wall Part 2, to try and pick apart what is wrong with education today and what it needs for tomorrow. Drawing on past experiences such as Papert's would be very valuable, and cross referencing into your work Bill could be fruitful... what posts of your own do you think I should read to help me expand on these 3 starting points I have? Anyone else interested in this is welcome too of course...

mobology

unread,
Apr 25, 2006, 7:47:07 PM4/25/06
to Teach and Learn Online
No flames here. Just letting my Wednesdayitis do it's thing.

> and in ignoring the people we also ignore the root cause behind the slow
> take up of networked learning, that being, IMHO, fear.

too right.

> so, i spend my time working to allay the fears of those around me who
> are soooooo resistant. they are mostly good people who love their jobs
> and the kids they work with but the shift away from their comfort zones
> is often perceived as a bigger risk than they are prepared to take. i
> can't blame them for not wanting to change, but i think the very
> stability they crave will soon be eroded away by the overwhelming
> pressure from the "system" for them to be a part of the uptake of all
> things "online".

bring it on.

> so lets teach them how to use email first

OMG no ! what happened to the organisational wiki space idea ?

> that: then introduce them to the web and search engines, get them
> finding resources (notes etc) online and get them used to going to the
> internet first when they need an answer to a question

lost me on that one....I'm more inclined to contact others first then
the www

: and then, once
> they are convinced of the power of this new medium, once they have
> become used to the words and phrases that make up some of our
> technocentric language, once they have become comfortable with keyboards
> and mice, then and perhaps only then, introduce them to the magic that
> is the new read/write web.

phew......so I'll be employed facilitating intro. sessions for the next
decade? * hopes not *


>
> this is going to take time and patience, its going to involve long and
> seemingly fruitless sessions beating our heads against some welding
> lecturer's door

love it. great metaphor and visual dynamic. would make a great comic
too !

> its going to involve a whole lot of love and care on
> our part as the "experts", but eventually we will help them see that
> this networked way is not something that needs to be feared.

phreek ! I remember being called an expert and being introduced at
conferences as such 'working with disengaged kids'. no such disengaged
- they were bored shiteless with the gumf was all.

> and finally, may i be so bold as to remind you all that at some point in
> your lives some very kind and patient person came alongside you and
> taught you to read and write and add and subtract, and that at the time
> the learning of these things was perhaps a very scary thing, perhaps it
> was a struggle for you, perhaps you needed "extra" help, but for most
> you (i hope) today that same scary reading and writing and adding and
> subtracting is something which is second nature to you.

bolf indeed Botts ! TALO serves as my next dictionary.

Regards,

Alex Hayes

Craig Bottomley

unread,
Apr 26, 2006, 11:12:15 AM4/26/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
hey there

mobology wrote:
No flames here. Just letting my Wednesdayitis do it's thing.
  
long live wednesdayitis - no offence taken - but do read on as i have continued the discussion within.

  
and in ignoring the people we also ignore the root cause behind the slow
take up of networked learning, that being, IMHO, fear.
    
too right.

  
so, i spend my time working to allay the fears of those around me who
are soooooo resistant.  they are mostly good people who love their jobs
and the kids they work with but the shift away from their comfort zones
is often perceived as a bigger risk than they are prepared to take.  i
can't blame them for not wanting to change, but i think the very
stability they crave will soon be eroded away by the overwhelming
pressure from the "system" for them to be a part of the uptake of all
things "online".
    
bring it on.

  
so lets teach them how to use email first
    
OMG no ! what happened to the organisational wiki space idea ?
  
nothing happened to the wiki, its still there and some of us use it.  but my welding mates (and their mates) still aren't convinced that "the internet" isn't some evil plot devised by the axis of evil and are convinced that a wiki is what witches do in satanic rituals.  and anyways most tafe campuses still use their email systems for the delivery of important messages and equally important messages about poets day, so it makes sense to start with a tool that is vaguely understood and that may in fact prove useful.

  
that: then introduce them to the web and search engines, get them
finding resources (notes etc) online and get them used to going to the
internet first when they need an answer to a question
    
lost me on that one....I'm more inclined to contact others first then
the www
  
yes, but again, my welding mates don't "get" a conversation that doesn't involve standing around a bbq with a beer in your hand.  so rather than trying to get them to understand a whole new way of reading and writing (think the leet speak idea), i want to introduce them to the more static and more easily understood www.  its safe and slow and pretty forgiving and if all else fails they can go look for pictures of girlies not wearing much... :-) :-) :-)
: and then, once
  
they are convinced of the power of this new medium, once they have
become used to the words and phrases that make up some of our
technocentric language, once they have become comfortable with keyboards
and mice, then and perhaps only then, introduce them to the magic that
is the new read/write web.
    
phew......so I'll be employed facilitating intro. sessions for the next
decade? * hopes not *
  
not at all... i'll do it... nah not really...i wanna work on the domino effect, or whatever its called. i'll show a couple of guys and get them on track, and then hopefully they'll show a few more each and so on, exponentially converting the heathen until there are no technophobic welders left anywhere on the planet.

this is going to take time and patience, its going to involve long and
seemingly fruitless sessions beating our heads against some welding
lecturer's door
    
love it. great metaphor and visual dynamic. would make a great comic
too !

  
its going to involve a whole lot of love and care on
our part as the "experts", but eventually we will help them see that
this networked way is not something that needs to be feared.
    
phreek ! I remember being called an expert and being introduced at
conferences as such 'working with disengaged kids'. no such disengaged
- they were bored shiteless with the gumf was all.
  
i wasn't suggesting that you be called an expert (ex is a has been, spert is a drip under pressure.... :-) ) but rather that you accept the fact that those around you perceive in you a level of expertise with technological things that they don't think they have.  and that you use that position of privilege to enthuse and encourage the welders of the world.  people listen to us because they respect in us the knowledge that we have, and i truly believe that that respect grows exponentially if we use it to bring others up to our level...share the love.

  
and finally, may i be so bold as to remind you all that at some point in
your lives some very kind and patient person came alongside you and
taught you to read and write and add and subtract, and that at the time
the learning of these things was perhaps a very scary thing, perhaps it
was a struggle for you, perhaps you needed "extra" help, but for most
you (i hope) today that same scary reading and writing and adding and
subtracting is something which is second nature to you.
    
bolf indeed Botts !  TALO serves as my next dictionary.
  
and still i say, we all need to start somewhere and nobody will start the journey to visit the places we inhabit without us coming down from our mountain occasionally and letting them know that a) we even exist, b) we are prepared to show them the way to get to our place and c) we will welcome them as prodigals when they arrive and visit, even if the visit is only fleeting and they are not perhaps "dressed" appropriately.
Regards,

Alex Hayes




  

bottsplace.vcf

rgrozdanic

unread,
Apr 27, 2006, 12:10:00 AM4/27/06
to teachAndL...@googlegroups.com
sorry to be a wet blanket but i really do get nervous when i sense evangelism or a sort of certainty about things in any group
 
students aren't always "yoof" - increasingly the demographic covers all ages - cradle to grave, and not all students will thank you for what you're trying to get them to adopt
 
and in any case yoof don't necessarily love technology or desire the sorts of scenarios we envision for them
 
the answer to any question can only ever be "it depends" - surely?
 
i reckon that being student centred means accepting that wherever they are is an ok place to start, maybe even an ok place to stay depending on the context etc.  i also totally understand teachers who get sick of being pushed in directions that just don't suit them or appeal to them. why wouldn't they? that's like another group writing about us saying "those ignorami can't see the benefit of our shiny LMS - poor buggars - let's help them"
 
if we see web 2 as the only way then we're being as rigid as someone who only sees chalk and talk. IMO.
 
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages