Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Clarence and Classroom 2.0: Affirming the change we need

Clarence Fisher
"Classroom 2.0 or You Live Where?"

I really enjoyed Clarence's keynote for the Classroom 2.0 strand for the K12 Online Conference.
Clarence spent time talking about change, how the change is within us, how we have to change the way we teach. He was unassuming yet emphatic that change needs to come from many areas: society, teachers, administrators....even students in that it is not always just about the student. The picture Clarence portrays, of networking, of global acceptance and collaboration is bigger than the individual student in a classroom, but at the same time hinges on the survival and adaptation of this 'species' called a 21st century student.

He suggests there are 3 pieces of the puzzle:
  1. Pedagogy: Curriculum and our relationship to it needs to undergo constant change
  2. Tools for promoting collaboration: Rely largely now on Internet-based tools
  3. Information and our relationship to it: Engage in relationships locally and globally (how clever putting in clips from my friends Jo McLeay from Melbourne, Jeff Utecht from China (and of course Barbara Barreda from west coast USA who I met at NECC last year!)
He emphasizes that we need to redefine what happens in classrooms, how they are physically and societally structured and how the content of what is 'taught' is secondary to creating an environment of thinking, reflecting, problem-solving learners.

I particularly like the part where Clarence talks about collective teaching and learning and how education now should be global and networked.

As he states: "Technology is about connections, getting together, learn from each other, see new things....."

Education informatics is something he raises as being needed for us to be able to make more sense of what a Classroom 2.0 is and what it can do. We need to be able to know what/who a student is reading, writing, interacting with, creating with, collaborating etc.

I agree with Clarence that we need better tools to more easily keep track of online activity and to better be able to justify the development of an online learning community as an extension to the walls of the regular classroom. I know we are getting closer as new tools are exposed almost every day it seems. I gleefully tell my students I want to be able to get inside their heads and read their academic minds as I follow their online activities on their blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, social bookmarks etc. We can come towards this already and in doing so can cement better, more knowing relationships with not only our personal, confined-within-four-walls- classes, but also with other classes by reaching out and embracing global collegiality across borders, across education systems, across religions, across prejudice......Classroom 2.0 can and will make this possible.

Thank you Clarence for your inspiration and also for your affirmation that pre-meditated change is the way forward for education.

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1 comment:

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher said...

I enjoyed his keynote also. I think we can all relate to this, particularly those of us in out of the way places.