Over the last two to three the pace of change in digital environments has been astonishing, exciting and a little bit frightful. It is
What I am seeing in my own educational work environment is an organisation trying to catch up with what young people are doing outside of school hours. Most teachers are trying to maintain a stable infrastructure that they are comfortable within a technological world that is constantly creating and responding to the changing ways that people are using digital platforms (particularly Social Media).
There are now finally conversations now in my workplace about loosening the reigns and following the young people’s lead in how they learn form each other. For example using mainstream social media instead of our own LMS and allowing students to use multiple devices (not just their school-issued laptops).
I observe daily at work forty or more students communicating in groups online whilst they play computer games. I hear them giving tips, organising network groups and sharing ideas. I have set up working spaces in the Library which naturally lead to students set up informal tutorials when they meet up in the morning before a test. These two observations remind me of the two case studies; ‘Sam’s Story’ and ‘Teaching in a Galaxy Far, Far Away’ in Thomas and Brown’s (2011) article.
What I am not seeing yet is all teachers collaborating and connecting online. I want to see teachers publishing, sharing ideas and resources, being creative, bouncing ideas off each other; connecting and taking advantage of the knowledge networks out there to be created. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to job-share at least eight different times over my teaching career and have always appreciated having a like-minded work partner to discuss ideas with.
Thomas D., & Brown, J.S. (2011). Arc-of-Life learning. In a new culture of learning: cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change (pp. 17-33). Lexington, Ky. : CreateSpace