A bit dated maybe, but I ran across this post by Will Richardson the other day. It wasn’t as much his shameless plug 🙂 for the workshop I was interested in, but rather this somewhat off-handed comment: about a shift of focus from
classroom practice using these tools, which, by and large, I think has been relatively unimpressive, to personal learning practice. (Don’t get me wrong, there are some great examples out there, but they are few and far between.) I think had I written the workshop description today, it would have had even more to say not just about the how to but about the why and the process of building networks of practice. To me, that’s what really will translate into effective, ethical classroom use.
Why this comment, especially coming from somebody like Will?
1. Learning is changing, and yes it is becoming more personal.
2. Technology is playing a huge role in this process (no need to explain this one).
3. Consequently, learning should no longer be seen as something that is just done from 8:30 to 3:30 in a place called school. This blurring of boundaries has been written and talked about quite a bit, recently, for example, by Susan Patrick in her eTech Ohio keynote.
4. In general, formal educational systems (at least in the US), are still very resistant to the changes that are needed to truly prepare kids for the world they live in today, which, I think, is where Will’s frustration is coming from.
These ideas are nothing new or earth shattering in the current discussions in the blogosphere, but for some reason Will’s comment jumped out at me when I read his post. I guess I was a little surprised for it to be coming from him, but this may be yet another indication of how difficult it is to make changes in education.
BTW, make sure to read the comments on the post as well…
Image Credit: “color magnifyer”, Hughes500’s photostream: