Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Ponderings as a Teacher into the future

A concern that has been plaguing my thoughts over the last couple of days (apart from how useful Diigo would have been from the BEGINNING of my online study), is how, once I graduate from being a formal student and progress into the world of teaching (in whichever form that may take),  on Earth do I keep up with all the new programs, networked learning, social media hookups that seem to pop up hourly that I need to contend with?

Does Teaching - whether that be in a formal sense or informal sense (like a mum trying desperately to keep up with ICT to stay ahead and navigate the world for the four kidlets following closely on her heels) - need to be less about the 'expert' and more about the 'collaborator'. Do I need to be an 'expert' in all these different ICT capabilities in order to be a good teacher? I guess this is what I took out of the paper by Jawitz (2009). Academics are still truly a product of the industrial era of teaching, where now, in a knowledge era everyone has access to Google and can instantaneously find the information and be their own expert. To be an Academic in the knowledge era, do I remain an expert or do I evolve into something less formal?

Warner (2006, as cited in Whitby, 2007), identifies key 'knowledge era skills' for effective teaching;
  • collaboration
  • negotiation to arrive at shared expectations
  • engagement management
  • creating and managing knowledge
  • self-awareness and self-evaluation
  • self management and self directed learning 
Regardless of a traditional setting or in a networked global learning setting, I believe these still ring true for what we need to achieve as teachers in this new Web 2.0 world.

I'd be interested in others thoughts :)

Reference: Whitby, G. B. (2007). Pedagogies for the 21st century: having the courage to see freshly. Australian Council for Educational Leaders, Strawberry Hills, NSW.


  1. I touched a little on some of these concepts in a post inspired by some posts from another course. Right at the end I point to this post from George Siemens (one of the creators of connectivism - a very network-oriented learning theory) about the change from the focus being on "what you know" (the industrial age model) toward "how you know things are connected" (the knowledge/network age model).

    In being worried about how you keep up with (i.e. how you know about) all the new technology and the practices it enables, are you just showing off your origins as a learner in a knowledge-based world?

    I tend not to have the same worry. I know I don't know everything, but I also don't worry about whether or not I can learn it. I am reasonably confident that given enough time, motivation, and the ability to trawl the network I can learn just about anything. Does this mean I've more fully adopted a "knowledge age" model?

  2. I don't worry about finding the knowledge per se, with enough Google clicks, I feel confident with finding the information. It is more about the knowledge of ways/programs/apps/software, that keeps the myriad of information 'filtered' and manageable into information chunks or topics.

    Cause lets be honest - everyone is time poor.

    I have a consistent online presence, but not once have I ever heard specific programs such as Feedly and Diigo (as used in this course), discussed via any varied and different network I am part of, as easy ways to categorise all the information and make it easier to find. Actually I don't think I have ever seen the words 'Oh hey you should use ....... to manage all your information' ever discussed!

    It is the exiting of a learning institution that has me worried about being able to learn about technological aids, and therefore keep up and manage the information that comes across my path. How do you find out about new aids to help you if you have never thought to 'Google' the idea in the first place? If the possibility has ever crossed my mind?

    How do you know what to look for if you don't know what you need to find?