(all the presentations - George Siemens, Will Richardson, Diana Oblinger, Bill Kerr, Stephen Downes, Terry Anderson - are available from the Manitoba moodle site, here)
I structured my presentation so that there were breaks and time for questions and passing the microphone around and some of this did happen
Here's an after the event elaboration on one slide from my talk:
I'd like to look at the notion of radical discontinuity, that there is radical discontinuity happening in some domains but possible not in others:
1. New tools, web apps. YES, there are hundreds / thousands of new web apps coming on line all of the time
2. New learning environments – augmented conversation, communication and collaboration. YES, you can obtain a lot of excellent advice about how to integrate a new web app into your teaching situation by searching around blogs of educators.
3. New curriculum. NOT YET? I give the example of Greg Whitby's new school in Sydney
where, to quote from the linked article:
"I get the feeling that curriculum reform - and getting that to work in a more or less traditional curriculum framework - hasn't been addressed as deeply as the other aspects of the project (space, time, built environment, "web2.0"). You can't change everything else and keep an old curriculum"Probably need to talk about this one more. Tony Forster I think would argue that VELS is a new curriculum framework which emphasises more about process skills and less about specific content. One big problem I see with this argument is that we don't currently have either the infrastructure (eg. one laptop per child) or sufficient teachers with the required skills to deliver such a curriculum to everyone. Nothing like it. Until this happens this new curriculum is really just a piece of paper.
4. New epistemology, a new nature of knowledge. What I argued in my presentation was a few of things.
First, most of what we need (not all) has already been brilliantly provided by past learning theories. I tried to summarise this with two big ideas from the past, which cover a lot of ground:
- Papert's idea of "objects to think with", such as the logo programming language for starters
- Vygotsky's idea that we use language to author our own self development
I've started a new page on the wiki about What is knowledge? It was very encouraging that educators wanted to grapple with this fundamental question in the chat room
5. New political awareness. I think that's needed, that a lot of the blockage is at that level. I like this slogan:
"The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet" - William GibsonI see distribution as mainly a political issue, who is stopping the future from being distributed?