A lovely Tuesday afternoon to all, October continues to confound here in PEI, acting more like summer than our summer did. Itâ€™s good for the tan if not for the sanity. I like a tricky October i think, one day cold and blustery, so that i wonder about the wisdom of not putting stakes around the new trees planted outback, and then warm and still, so that people wearing t-shirts can give you that look of half pity/half disgust at your wearing a thick turtle-neck sweater. And in the midst of this confusion, we come to the idea of modelling your ed-tech.
I was reading my sort-of daily dose of George Siemens and connected to the Tim Oâ€™reilley post in his blog. I felt kinda funny reading it. Not haha funny, more of a Iâ€™m wondering why my seat feels wet kinda funny. Itâ€™s a fantastic explanation of all the subtleties of Web 2.0. Well layed out, researched, nice charts and graphsâ€¦ all and all the very model of a static, web 1.0 webpage. Now to be fair, the article says it was first published somewhere else where it could very well have been a super bloggish-wiki-flickerific folksonotastic of interactivity, but this one wasnâ€™t. It left me wondering about the viability of web 2.0 once it hits the mainstream and also, more importantly for my practice (which involves teaching, teacher training and ed-tech consulting) that one of the things thatâ€™s going to make it difficult for people to â€˜buy inâ€™ is this sense of unreality. One is left wondering, if web 2.0 was so darned good, why isnâ€™t he using it now?
But on to practice. Blogging as lecture is something that weâ€™ve covered here already, in terms of feedbooks, and wikis are great for project management. But what about the course itself. I know people right now that are teaching courses that guide themselves, like certain business courses, that have the freedom of having to cover general ideas, developing literacies that can be learned in almost any context. The students sort of take off with different ideas and develop plans along with things they are finding in the news or in their local context. Like, to flog a word for the 4th time in two days, project management. Wether youâ€™re planning the irrigation of your playground in the springtime through the clever use of dams and streams, or following a rigid project management curriculum in business 305 youâ€™re developing the same skill-set. But what about the kind of definition/description made by Mr. Oâ€™reilly? Is there room here for a wiki? If we give up on this kind of static page, what happens to our experts, both teacher and consultant? But at the same time, how can we try to convert people to a new process by using the old one?
Aside from the â€˜there are different tools for different jobsâ€™ response, which i hear so often (and agree with) Iâ€™m not sure how to answer these questionsâ€¦ I do think that when introducing these ideas, web 2.0 etcâ€¦ there needs to be an honesty to the way we deliver it. We need to be risking ourselves, professionally and emotionally, in that way, that only way, that the â€˜wisdom of crowdsâ€™ works. We need to give our introducees the room to criticize and comment and even take over the direction of our introductionâ€¦