Opening up thinking about education today for tomorrow - Imagining possibilities and solutions

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

If teaching and learning are relational how come I can’t use social networks at work?

We are coming towards the end of the first decade of the 21st Century.

What has changed in schooling over the last decade?

I’m not sure if that much has really changed.

I work at the educational authority/system level. My own experience is that I can’t even get a button added to my desktop because it is a social networking site.

The fact is that, along with twitter, facebook and LinkedIn have become tools that I have used in my work. They allow me to connect with other professionals.

Unfortunately, the bulk of my professional social networking occurs outside of my work place and official work hours. Yet it is a powerful professional tool and reflects new ways of working and learning.

In school education the practice of erring on the side of caution is very strong. I feel at times that we are still tinkering around the edges.

For me it reinforces that education authorities, school systems and schools continue to be at risk of being obsolete - a point I blogged about over 2 years ago.

Ewan McIntosh recently blogged about Why backward social network banning education authorities are wrong. It is an interesting read and highlights the frequently overlooked professional benefits of social networking.

At the recent World Innovation Summit for Education, Lord David Putnam, the Chairman of FutureLab talks about possibilities for education in the next decade. I love his story of the teacher directing the class to copy the set homework from the blackboard (or perhaps an interactive whiteboard) and the student who used a mobile phone to take a photo of the board.

Is it a case of "the more things change the more things stay the same in schooling?" I hope not.


Interactive whiteboard:



Mark Walker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andrew said...

From Mark Walker (I accidently deleted the comment):

Loved the story about the chalkboard also - we have been selected as a lead school in Victoria to implement the Ultranet - an online learning community for teachers, students and parents which amongst other aims helps to personalize learning using technology for students. Exciting times

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