Monday, August 18, 2008

Baby Steps Are Not Enough

"If we continue to take 'baby steps', we'll one day have to take a giant leap!" George Siemens

Earlier today, on the first day of the ABEL Summer Institute at York University, I had the opportunity to duck into an intimate conversation/workshop with George Siemens and 8 other educators. Although I was only able to be present for 20 minutes or so, I found myself nodding in agreement at a number of realizations:

Current read/write tools for publishing student work provide opportunities for an expanded audience, but opportunities to expand the conversation are yet to be fully realized.

'One computer per individual' programs don't necessarily provide the interactivity that can be leveraged in 'one computer per group' classrooms.

In order to understand the importance of collaborative learning, educators should tap into personal learning networks beyond their classrooms/schools/districts.

Every day that we take 'baby steps' we continue to fall behind. What will it take for education to become relevant to the futures of our students?

Upon my return home, my feed-reader led me to this video from Candid Camera that illustrates for me how difficult it is for new teachers to avoid falling into the stale teaching methods of their staff room peers.

Taking even 'baby steps' among colleagues who are resistant to change, can be a major challenge! Even though babies learning to walk are allowed to fail and grow with support nearby, our 'baby steps' in developing teaching strategies and learning skills for the 21st century are often done without such backing.

Thank goodness, we've found one another!

Photo Credit: B. Baltimore Brown


edublog said...

What is interesting is the idea (if I am not mistaken) is that one computer per child may not be as producting for student learning as say one computer for a group of 5. That way, there would be more collabrative learning.

Unless, someone was not valued or interested in participating. Tat being said, I like that idea. At the end of the day however, I think everyone needs time to work alone and muck about with the technology and make the mistakes and discoveries.

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