If you’re reading this and don’t know what RSS is you likely also don’t recall the term “Web 2.0“. Really Simple Syndication for me was the poster child technology for the era where the early internet began to shift from a place where only certain folks with technical skill and software could contribute to the web to a place where user-generated content was now dominant and more importantly, anyone could easily interact with that content. RSS allowed you to subscribe to specific content and people.
One of my early blog posts tried to articulate the power of this technology by using the metaphor of a “research team” Other educators curating, thinking and sharing ideas that were useful to me. All I had to do was click a subscribe button and whenever I had a moment could go to my aggregator Bloglines, Google Reader (which was still the best) and currently Feedly and see any updated or added content. While those of you who have never used RSS in this way, I can’t describe how magical and amazing this technology was. Suddenly I was being introduced to really smart folks doing really interesting work and they were … Read the rest
As much as I love the ability to connect with current practitioners and other smart folks around innovative and interesting ideas in education, we have a wealth of knowledge that lives in the recent and more distant past that is often overlooked. The bombardment of “new” through current media offerings tends to overshadow the truths that have been shared, considered and proven over decades and centuries.
When it comes to understanding media and communications, there are no better thinkers out there than Neil Postman and Marshall McLuhan. If you’re reading this and have never heard of these men, I would highly encourage you to seek out their writings.
I just finished re-reading Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman’s critique of the impact of television on our world.
‘What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.‘
I suppose some might not be able to see the connection between television and the Internet and while there certainly are differences, I found the parallels to be glaring. Without doing a full review here, I simply … Read the rest
Pro tip: If you want to make a group of teachers laugh, show them this image:
You can even change “staff meeting” to “PD session” and get the same results. Professional Development/Learning is to teachers what school is for many students. Ask a random group of students what they think of school and you’re sure to get answers related to boring or worse. it’s almost cliche. It’s also kinda cool to say school sucks.
While it may be cool to suggest that PD sucks and yes, it sometimes does, I think the difference between how students experience school and how teachers experience PD is different at least in 2 ways. First, as teachers, we chose our profession. Secondly, it is our job to model and be good learners.
Maryellen Weimer offers 7 characteristics of what makes someone a good learner. Along with being curious, and open-minded, I’d add they are willing to embrace some dissonance. The best learners can learn something from almost any experience. That’s partly what makes them a good learner.
There has certainly been an awakening in teaching that suggests teachers ought to be master learners, learners first and other statements which shifts education from … Read the rest
Speaking in generalities and platitudes is easy. But living out the hard things in life is rare. Believe me, I’m guilty as the next person and am working on my own ignorance and faults.
An ever-growing passion of mine is to seek out people that I disagree with and yet can have productive conversations. Even if a conversation is not possible, at least reading/watching/listening to those ideas and beliefs can be fruitful. My premise is that the many of the people I see online would like to believe they are open-minded and yet are so easily offended that they rarely if ever seek opinions and ideas that would contradict their own. We know the echo chamber exists and it’s not always a bad thing, in fact, it’s important to surround yourself with those who support and encourage you. At the same time finding a few folks who will push you, challenge you and straight up disagree with you is the sign of a mature, healthy learner; the kind of learner that educators ought to ascribe to.
As I said, I’m sceptical. Easy to talk about being open to new ideas, harder to seek them out. As I scan … Read the rest
I’m always curious about what people do with their photos either personally or professionally. Abundance doesn’t always translate to usefulness. Which is what prompted my question and specifically to go beyond posting to Twitter, which is great but had me wondering about other ideas.
I had a number of great responses. While folks could find them by searching my feed, I like being able to collect them and share them better. Storify used to be a great tool but it died. Twitter moments is a nice option but recently found out about Wakelet which does tweets but like Storify allows you to add content from other sources. At any rate, here are the ideas shared.
… Read the rest