Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cn EdubloggerCon Chat

Cn EdubloggerCon Chat

It's simple. You check what's going on via Twitter and if you feel like learning you join the conversation. That's how I joined this one tonight. It started in a
UStream channel by Jeff Utecht inspiring a lively conversation among some 20 followers, which ended up in a wiki that was read aloud to the the attendees. Full circle.

It's strange to think that so much learning and engagement goes on among people I've never met face to face. Of this online meet-up
I've just met Chrissy last summer in Buenos Aires. Yet, we are all happy learning buddies. Somebody will have to explain to me someday why these conversations are not so probable in your own workplace staff room. There is something magic and attractive about talking to people far away in distance; however, very much synced with our minds. We are close.

I wanted to jot down some ideas that well deserve future posts. For
this is the kind of conversation I really enjoy being a part of.

Chrissy Hellier and Julie Lindsay summarised the starting point in their tweets:

nzchrissynzchrissy Focus on the learning not the technology
Julie Lindsayjulielindsay Don't confuse the learning experience with the tool set...blogs, wikis, Moodle...what do these mean in terms of learning? Communication?

I've read many similar tweets lately. I guess that at this moment in the edubloggers conversations I overhear on Twitter, we get a bit confused sometimes. We voice a need to underline the basics frequently.

Tech is the enabler; not the learning.
This line seems a cliché seen outside the context of the chat, but as we were discussing we realised how messy it all really is. The learning and the explaining what we have learnt is not that simple.

I think there is a value in publishing and exposing ourselves as people struggling to learn. We are not experts; we are curious learners. Not everything is a success in what we do, the old ways find their way into our classrooms. Yet, we keep motivated to go on because we understand the value of our efforts. And this is an important model to show our students. The bumpy road in which we all learn.

Other topics followed in the chat:
-Meanings of literacy
-How differently we learn today; being the protagonist of your learning.
-Modelling how we get caught up in the learning and try again.
-Students coaching teachers.

Fascinating conversation tonight with Bud, Jen, Steve and Patrick. I met (wish Ustream provided hyperlinked names!) mmkrill, kstevens, laurenogrady and many more passionate voices.

Thank you all. Look forward to a next time.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Brave New Tech

These are my thoughts after seeing a video shared by David Truss on Facebook.

My notes
Just underlining from your vid:
A student says,
"I learnt more by sharing than searching"
So true. I would add: once you are connected, be alert to your network when they share content. It will probably be tuned to what you are doing, searching, discovering. It may lead to new thinking avenues.

David says,
"See the opportunities rather than the obstacles"
Hard not to get discouraged by the obstacles. Harder to see obstacles *
as* opportunities. I'm struggling to learn that at the moment.

I like to think that
technology is a game changer. Now in your vid, David, you play a competition game. Laptop versus pencil and paper. That makes me feel rather distant. Perhaps because the idea of the old way and the new way competing is not altogether right for me. I am thinking of pencils and computers as metaphors of a culture of teaching rather than tools. This is another point I need to reflect more on.

Among the members of the edublogosphere there is little to question: who would teach without technology? I can see you nod. Yet, when we talk outside the community, the hard question to answer is:

To what extent does technology change the way we learn?
Is there more beyond,
-soaring motivation levels;
-empowering, faster, more of you name it;
-audience pushing back at your content:
-back to motivation from real feedback that keeps the learning ball rolling.

What we call 21st century skills, aren't they somewhere deep inside the same old skills that have made any brilliant discoverer, researcher, learner succeed?

It might seem obvious, but after spending a short while inside a community, a kind of perspective is lost. A bit of the basics for us could still sound so foreign and complicated to others who have never read a blog.

Here my mind is not thinking of just the video, but of the audience of newbies I will face in my next presentation.

Now that is another post.

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