Tim Holt has an America-centric – but nevertheless useful – go at educational technology leaders in a recent post entitled Dear Ed Tech Leaders. You should read Tim’s post, but to summarise giving it my own unique twist:
1. Conferences should be free
I’m off to a conference during my half-term on Tuesday/Wednesday this week. I’m really looking forward to it, but it’s costing my school over £500 (including train/hotel) to send me, which is scandalous. Granted, it’s run by companies rather than the government, but I see it as fairly essential for my professional development.
2. Regional conventions
There are some meet-ups, but no real ‘conventions’ in the true sense. Yes, the SSAT do some work in this area, but it’s all very formal. Where’s the grassroots? Where’s the structures within which teachers can collaborate and innovate?
3. Free information
This is something I suspect governments and organisations around the world are guilty of: trying to shackle knowledge. That’s a very 20th century way of doing things. Why would you want to pay to get into the ‘inner sanctum’ (i.e. join organisations, societies, etc.) when there’s better information on the Internet for free?
4. Change your message and your audience
Instead of talking to nodding dogs who already do what you’re suggesting, why not get in educators who may not even have heard of what you’re talking about? It’s not the safe option, but it will drive education forward a lot more quickly. That’s what edte.ch’s all about – delivering pedagogically-sound educational technology solutions to those who haven’t heard. To put it another way, we’re spreading the word rather than keeping it as a ‘secret’ amongst a select few. 😀
5. You have to show us how to actually use all this stuff
This is where pedagogy comes in. It’s not good enough just to show teachers how blogs work: you need to show how they can work with students. I try and do this by reflecting on my practice over at teaching.mrbelshaw.co.uk. If you’d like help with anything I’ve done or seen that may be of relevance, then please get in touch!
(via Stephen Downes)