October 10, 2016

Being Inspired to Inspire: Paying it Forward


pay-it-forwardImage by Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon under CC BY 2.0 licence


I have felt some frustration in having to take a few backward steps in my practice this year.  I have moved from a small, innovative primary school where I worked collaboratively with colleagues to embed contemporary learning practices into our practice, to a very large K-12 school where I see pockets  of innovation.  I am finding it challenging working with a much larger staff, many of whom feel pressured to view learning as getting-through-the-syllabus-in-my-subject-area-so-students-can-get-good-marks.  I want to make a difference to the learning culture in my new workplace.

Continue reading

August 28, 2016

Institutional and Outstitutional Digital Scholarship

Breaking Down Walls by tamaraR on DeviantArt  

I am in the process of reading through and editing an assignment that is due for my Master of Education course about issues in digital scholarship, while my son signs off on a chat that he has just had with a person in Korea he has connected with via conversation exchange, with the aim of improving his conversational Korean.  It is a perfect scenario to use as a context for a description of  the possibilities that digital technologies are offering to learning and scholarship.

Continue reading

August 11, 2016

Being open to digital scholarship

Realize what traditions you will need to carry forward but also question what is out there that will help make a difference and achieve new things.   (Aida Batlle)

scholarship image

Martin Weller (Wales DTC, 2015) maintains that if he tried to sell the current protocols around academic publishing to a new audience today, people would not buy into it.  However, conservative, traditional, risk-averse academia stand by those protocols, as humorously noted by Emily Willingham in her post “Yes, Serious Academics Should Absolutely Use Social Media”.  Unfortunately, this seems to be an attitude that is shared by the education system as a whole, as it continues to cling to the brink of change, judging the value of a child’s education based on their achievements in statewide tests.

Continue reading

August 5, 2016

Stop! But go too…

I think the manic energy of Mem Fox’s Magic Hat and the Wizard’s call for a halt can help inform our digital future:

magic hat

I really resonated with Selwyn’s (2010) article about critical study in educational technology, and our need to stop and focus and learn from the “state of the actual” instead of always looking for the “state of the art”.  At a recent Education Nation conference, Dr Simon Breakspear called for a slowing down too, when he suggested a halt to education research for the next 10 years, so that we don’t have to take on more new ideas without having time to try out what we already know.  Tongue in cheek perhaps, but heartfelt nevertheless.  It’s a challenging notion, given that we are living in a time when change is occurring at a phenomenal rate.

Continue reading