Sunday, April 16, 2006

Technoconstructivism and disruptive technologies

If you have been reading about Web 2.0 recently you will have come across discussions to do with disruptive technologies. Essentially, Web 2.0 use of technology allows the information to come to the user and also provides web applications that ultimately can replace desktop software. In educational terms this is providing immediate tools for constructivist use of technology in the classroom. At the same time it is labelled as disruptive in terms of what it is asking educators and administrators to think about and encourage in terms of what we teach and how we teach.

The use of Web 2.0 and "Type II" technologies for teaching and learning is catapulting schools into the 21st Century, like it or not. Students have no difficutly coping with interactive, online tools that provide access to resources and allow them to contribute and collaborate in meaningful ways. Many teachers, however, are and will continue to struggle with the perceived lack of control this may mean for them and their position in the class and continue to 'disrupt' the embrace of 'disruptive' or other new technologies.

I encourage you to read further on this topic:
  • Definition found in Wikipedia Web 2.0
  • Mike Muir provides an overview of 'Type I' and 'Type II' use of technology and draws on other authors for comparative comments: Do Something Disruptive
  • Wesley Fryer has compiled excellent workshop material to do with Web 2.0 and has invited others to use his resources. This workshop introduces participants to Web 2.0 and many of its available tools. These include WikiPedia, RSS, social bookmarks, feed aggregators, validation of online content, blogs, and creative commons. Web 2.0 Workshop
  • Wesley Fryer's blog posting Embracing Disruptive Technology Use is another conversational discussion where he also says:
    The message is very clear. Embrace disruptive technology use that can constructively promote the causes of literacy development and learning. And help others to do the same. Invite other teachers into the ongoing conversations in the blogosphere related to these issues. Don’t just talk about technology: Talk about improving teaching, learning, and assessment. Talk about providing the education students want, deserve, and desperately need for success in the 21st century.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tourist or Resident: A Perspective on Teaching

As an educator are you a tourist or a resident?

A tourist is a sightseer, a day-tripper who is there for the short-term pleasure and the novelty of new experiences.
A tourist usually chooses not to make a full committment to participating in the educational process. He may know about lifelong learning and have some understanding of educational systemic change in the 21st century but does not see the connection to him and prefers to continue with a detached approach.
A tourist is always running out of time to become too involved in change in education. He is only passing through, after all.

A resident however has already made a committment to the time and place.
A resident has bought into the situation and is willing to accept ongoing change and can adapt accordingly.
A resident knows the value of spending time on a task as he wants to be around to see the results.
He is in for the long haul, and like a marathon runner knows he must pace himself but has the energy for the occassional burst of speed.

I used to be a tourist. I started teaching to fill in the time between music gigs. I used to be one of the first out the door on the last bell each afternoon. But as a tourist I realised I was missing out. I was not seeing the bigger picture and how each smaller picture helps to fill in the collage of the larger one. As a tourist I did not make the time to traverse some of those learning curves in order to move to the next level of expertise or confidence.

As a teacher, leader and participant in the development of educational technology I am at home being a resident and hope to encourage other tourists to take residency in the wonderful
world of eLearning.

My challenge to all readers of this blog is to face your fears and become an educational technology resident.

On another note.......As usual I have been reading other wonderful blogs around the world and would like to share my favourites with you.

Who do I read almost everyday? My absolute favourite bloggers, in bloglines alphabetical order are:
There are many others......I will share more later but I encourage you to dip into the above blogs and find out what discussion is going on about the use of technology in education and how it is changing the way we think and what we do and how we do it........