Rethink Collective Practice or Rethink Schooling?

Early on in Module 3 #INF530 students are asked ….. Can we simply “update” things as we go, or is it time for rethinking of our collective practice?

Well, the answer is a resounding “YES! We need to rethink practice.” In the Video – Connected Learning: Everyone, Everywhere, Anytime Mimi Ito, informs us that expertise is widely distributed and “anybody can help somebody else get better at something.” This means anybody and everybody can play a part to play in the of education of a student. Now that everybody has a part to play, classrooms cannot deliver teacher centred lessons.

In Antero Garcia’s paper we read that learning is centered around youth interests in many out-of-school contexts and whilst this may not be new, what is new, are the ways youth expertise can be networked, accessed and even published globally with new digital media tools. Therefore, as part of our rethinking around practice, it needs to be acknowledged that each student has access to expertise and assistance way beyond what a teacher can offer within a one classroom.

With exponential increase of, and accessibility to information via mobile technologies comes the need to educate students to develop information literacy skills. Increasingly students need to become discerning about the sources of information and then appropriately use digital tools to gather, evaluate and use information. Thankfully, digital information literacy processes have been offered to teachers as early as 2007 via the ISTE standards (ISTE 2007). Recently, in Australia as part of the implementation of the Australian Curriculum General Capability for Creative and Critical Thinking (ACARA 2010) students are required to explore and organise information to generate ideas and actions. Furthermore, they are required to reflect by analysing, synthesising and evaluating learning processes.

The Guided Inquiry learning process (Kuhlthau and Maniotes 2012) is one that lends itself to promoting information literacy skills and offers a new way of practice which acknowledges the student as a co-creator of knowledge by framing their own questions. It is a process which has assisted teachers @materdeiwagga to engage in pedagogy which acknowledges the changed paradigm of learning offered by this new digital age. I can firmly recommend it.Guided-Inquiry-Poster-ymb3r2.jpg

According to aitsl’s 21st Century Education video (AITSL 2012) there is change to collective practice taking place around the world. For example in South Korea, digital textbooks are being mass produced to support anywhere anytime learning. In Denmark, students are able to use the Internet when taking exams; could you imagine that for the HSC? In the USA some schools are adopting personalised learning approaches which allows students to develop their own timetables with teacher time freed up to mentor and advise students. Is it time then to rethink schools? If students can learn anywhere, anytime, why can’t we afford them, in senior years at least, more time at home where online hours are registered as school attendance? Why can’t we give them the choice to use school travel hours as learning time at home? Whilst the students are at home, teachers could be at schools, working in teams, to design learning experiences that increasingly acknowledge the possibilities of a digital age.

Is it time to just rethink collective practice or is it also about rethinking schooling?

I would appreciate your thoughts.




Garcia, Antero, ed., (2014). Teaching in the connected Learning Classroom. Irvine, CA: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub.

ACARA (2010). “Australian Curriculum.” Retrieved 24 April 2014, from

AITSL (2012). 21st Century Education. Australia, YouTube.

ISTE (2007). “ISTE Website.” Retrieved 22 April 2014, from

Kuhlthau, C. C. and L. K. Maniotes (2012). Guided inquiry design: a framework for inquiry in your school, ABC-CLIO.