These are my notes and reflection based on the K12 Online Pre-Conference Keynote by Stephen Heppell, released Monday October 13, 2008.
I saw Stephen present at NECC a few years ago and was impressed then with his expertise and ability to see the way forward based on the path we have just trodden. I can't help thinking Stephen is the UK version of David Warlick....except I don't think David uses the word 'churlish' very often.
Stephen takes us on a walk down memory lane and relates, in narrative style the telecommunication projects and developments he was involved with, and in fact instigated, during the 80s and 90s and into this new century. His story telling style is calming. I enjoyed the low-tech approach to the keynote and found it easy to focus on what was really being said.
here are some notes as I listened:
In the 1980s -
Challenge: What can we make the technology do that is useful?
compelling, seductive and engaging
NOW - processor power in a mobile device....wow!
The technology can do anything we want, therefore what do we want??
Reflection, Retraction, Research, Representation - important words in the 80s as well
Distance between the NOW and the US - distributed asynchronous learning
In the 90's -
Schools online - the power of getting people to work together at a distance
The sense of 'Usness', throwing communities together
Learning in the new millennium started in 93 - connected students to experts
Teachers are learning professionals....the catalysts, didn't have to provide the learning but provoke it and be catalytic in making it begin
Tesco SchoolNet 2000 - in the Guinness Book of Records
- learned the magnitude of connecting
- showed the power of citizen journalism in its essential form eg children interviewing celebrities
- a sense of audience - audience matters, sense of usness
- me, we and see!
- community a powerful word
"Watching people is so important if you are going to understand the 21st century"
Building portals became popular - but it's not absolutely about 'stuff'
Not a fan of wikipedia (Stephen).....Encyclopedia Britannica online has a more thorough approach, collecting experts
Ability to critique, content is not king
The Internet is all about sharing and caring...Web 2.0 has always existed.
Knowledge is a free good
Sharing and exchanging with others, that sense of other, that sense of us turned out to be hugely important
The 'elephant in the room of identity' on the Internet.....who is who?
Technology allows us to do things we haven't been able to keep up with our understanding
The connectedness....within a mouse click shares bought and sold etc, the immediacy of all that
In the next decade schools will just be one of many educational options.....
The financial crisis has been the beginning of the death of 'they'. That sense that there is a 'they' and that 'they' can do anything about this....it is really 'us', the beginning of 'us' is important.
In terms of school, how can we organise our pedagogy in terms of 'us'
Democracy of learning is all about 'us'
School designs stress the 'us-ness', future of learning depends on the strength of gregarious bond...a two-way conduit
Some Final points
1. Learning is going global with vengeance
2. Assumptions we made about factory-schools is gone, the factory school is dead, long live the learning institution that is emerging....eg no corridors
3. A new era of schools, agile schools full of mutuality
4. Socially we are rediscovering some of the things that really mattered...connecting with extended family etc via online resources
5. Sense of community being reborn
6. Schools built around mutuality and usness and sharing and democracy deliver extraordinary gains in learning
New model of learning...
the death of education but the dawn of learning, exciting prospect........
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