An education is…

I agree with D’Arcy entirely when he says:

I don’t know what the future of education is, or will be, but I do know that it’s not “web 2.0?

But I’m sorry ol’ boy, but you’re being as naive as the people who claim it is web 2.0 when you suggest that its in fact it’s:

storytelling…  valuing and respecting the work of all participants (students, teachers, and others)… working together to teach our children, and ourselves… extending the activity outside of some industrialized classroom and into the community

Because, like it or not, the conceptual model of education that 98% of us (myself included) subscribe to and happily plod along with in the developed world is about learning stuff to achieve an aim – whether that’s to please your parents, to not struggle in elementary school, become a whole and rounded person, to go to a good uni, get a good job or have some nice letters around your name. And heaps more other stuff besides.

And how we get there reflects the society that we live in – you don’t get community without ‘community’, respect without ‘respect’, storytelling without ‘storytelling’, a non-industrialized classroom in a completely industrialized context.

So, what can we, as educators (or, ahem, sometime educators, turned business people ;) do to achieve our lofty, but entirely desirable, pedagogical aims in a classroom, online or mixed up context?

We sure as hell can’t change what’s around us alongside what drives pretty much everything, change the ‘World’ if you will.

But we can change the way in which we experience the World in that classroom context, by the way we teach, the outlook we take, the tools we use and the environment in which we work.

And hang it all, when you’re in an online context, that means you get to choose between transmissive and constructive tools an environments – and let’s not worry too much about the future, ‘cos that impacts what we live with today… more than most people realise.

6 replies on “An education is…”

  1. I realize I’m being overly simplistic here, and that there is still a role for both didactic and generative teaching practices – they are not mutually exclusive. All I was trying to say is that the hype around “learning 2.0” and “education 2.0” and “classroom 2.0” is nothing more than meaningless, shallow babbling about buzzwords.

    I think I was a little unclear, but the post was triggered by yet another flurry of activity around 2.0. It seems as though 2.0 is used as a shortcut to mean so many things, when really it is nothing more than a marketing veneer. Real teaching and learning can occur with or without technology, and saying that shiny new technology is the future of education does a great disservice to the real, in-the-trenches learning activities.

  2. I think I’m just becoming more cynical – both about the buzzwords and the ‘holistic’ side of things.

    Of course real teaching can occur without tech, and sadly more often than not it can actually get in the way, but real teaching can be pretty shit too ;)

    I guess what I’m trying to say, in a nutshell, is that it’s not about the technology, but it is about the technology… if that makes any sense.

  3. Yeah. I get the about/notabout technology angle. The technology is important in that it can enable some pretty cool new interactions that would be difficult or impossible (or expensive) otherwise. But what frustrates me is that some people don’t seem to be looking forward, or deeply, at what these interactions are (or what they mean), and are just spouting buzzwords about shiny things.

  4. Now that’s a legitimate criticism… I reckon ‘shut up you w%&%kers’ might have been a better title :D

  5. The technology is an enabler – instead of many pupils per teacher, there are instead many teachers per pupil, all accessible instantly through ‘search’.

    Generalising horribly, but whenever I see the word educator in books, there tends to follow unnecessarily long words – a proof of cleverness, a method of exclusion. I’m not sure which.

    Conversational tone is more accessible by more people, another enabler – and both things mean education is open to more people, hence the excitement I’d imagine.

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