Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One is closing, another opens--

Four years ago when I began contracting with an Ohio state agency as an instructional designer, possibilities seemed to abound -- to contribute from home, to work in a new online environment, to deepen my understanding of online learning, to design and develop professional development that modeled constructivist learning, and to draw on all I knew and be challenged to learn more.

Unfortunately, today I lament the loss of possibilities after a design team meeting to edit an online pilot course for entry year teachers. I dutifully took notes as elements I deemed so important to good learning were put on the chopping block and began the edits with a heavy heart -- get rid of the blog, the teachers didn’t like it (gone the possibility to begin the journey of critically reflective teaching; the team work was too difficult for them, they couldn’t find the team area (it was linked from the main course menu), get ride of the teamwork (gone the possibility for sharing in the work of meaning making).

I worry as I see this happen not only here but with youngsters in classrooms across our country. Where is the nurturing and scaffolding when something is “too much for them” and “too hard”? What possibilities are lost when we don’t challenge ourselves as educators and challenge our students too? But I digress---

The door seems to be closing on this leg of my journey. The subject matter experts have become so instructive. I regret that; however, it’s time to move on. But the closing door is opening on new possibilities-- again -- to draw on all I know and be challenged to learn more, to make some small contribution that helps educators embrace and engage in 21st century learning, to deepen my understanding of the pedagogical possibilities that transform learning through the seamless integration of web 2.0 tools.

Possibilities do abound!!

Photo credit:


Gareth Long said...

I was disheartened to read this post - it's not about more work but working more intelligently and accepting the realisties of today and the unlimited possibilities of the future. The use of blogs, wikis, podcasts are the way forward for students and teachers, schools all over the place are using them, as are staff groups. Teachers, as coaches, do have to accept that they are going to have to work differently if they are really going to give their students the full opportunities to develop transferable skills required by increasingly global employers.

Your example of a blog to encourage reflective practice is quick, time saving and efficient, whilst being a really effective tool for teachers.

The old saying still counts - if you continue to do the same things you will get the same results. Sessions that ignore the "real reality" of up to date approaches to teaching and learning are actively disadvantaging students.

I am not saying that modern is always better, but today is different from ten years ago, incorporating technologies that students use daily, expect to use and are familiar with can at least contribute to their increasing engagement in learning. What justification can their be for NOT embracing the full cababilities of todays technology?

Teachers may not be so comfortable with ICT and its uses, (including blogs etc), but schools are for students, not teachers!

Kadlex said...

My dearest mentor,
would love to talk. Call or email me whenever you get a chance.

mego said...

I am looking forward to an update!
Change can be good, and if the team is not a winning team, you need to go and find one that lets every member shine!

A vision and a focus on the future is hard to find! Stick with it, I look forward to growing with you in the project!