The Uber of Education Is a Horrible Idea

Recently I read about MealSurfers. Essentially it’s a service where you can order meals from anyone, not just restaurants but people in their home who want to dabble in the food industry. Currently, the start up is working out legal issues around selling food created in non-commercial kitchens but they feel they will be able to overcome this barrier.

Like Uber, AirBnb, every industry is looking to find the next big thing that will transform and disrupt the status quo. The idea that the world’s biggest taxi company and accommodation company own no cars or real estate is something that 10 years ago would have seemed absurd. At its core, Uber, AirBnB, and others have capitalised on the idea of surplus and digitised it for huge profit. Anyone with a car or spare room can replace traditional services often for less money and perhaps even a better experience.

It’s been a few years since I read Disrupting Class. The essence of the book talked about how technology was primely positioned to disrupt education. The book is now 8 years old and I’m not sure how much of the predictions or possibilities shared in the book are actually … Read the rest

The Good Old Days

It’s not my birthday. More on the photo in a bit.

Today I was introduced by Jennifer Cronk as someone who has been around the world of edtech for a while. She’s right. I started blogging 10 years ago, opened my twitter account 9 years ago. That’s like a 100 in normal people years. It’s odd to look back at the changes but today’s post by George Couros has me reminiscing.

I also liked this quote and have used it often.

People seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren’t so crazy about the first time around. ~Author Unknown

In 2005 the world of blogging was a bit like being a pioneer. Few people were doing it and most people didn’t even know what it was. I was able to connect with people around the world, have people comment and interact on topics most people I knew weren’t that interested in discussing. In those days, spending time online made you a nerd. I blogged a lot because I was finding new things all the time. It was my way of documenting and sharing that really. As I become more confident, I tackled more challenging topics. In many … Read the rest

The Teachers We Need

When I look back at my teacher education, I would say that 80% of what I was taught was essentially how to be a good instructor. As Phil Schlecty says, we used to see teacher and instructor as synonymous.  Being a good instructor today is much less important than it was in 1988. It’s still a part of a teacher’s role but to a much lesser degree. Not only is our role shifting to designer and guide but the need to address emotional and personal needs have increased as well.

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Public education used to have an unwritten agreement: Parents take care of emotional and social needs, schools look after academics. Occasionally these roles overlapped and when they did, parties often felt like they were going above and beyond the call of duty. In 2015 this is not the case.

Schools have not only taken on a broader role in educating children not only out of necessity and perhaps lack of support from home but also because we realize that social and emotional well-being is deeply intertwined with academic success. In addition, schools are beginning to see that student success and well-being is much more than grades. (Although, in many cases, … Read the rest

Revolutions and Encouragement, Can they Co-Exist?

After recording a good old fashioned podcast a couple weeks ago, I felt inclined to post a blog post in response to another post. Just like old days.

So Will Richardson references a tweet by George Couros questioning the dichotomy between acknowledging the good work of teachers and fighting for a revolutionary change in education. As someone who has argued both sides I thought I’d share how I deal with this.
People like myself and Will and George speak to a lot of teachers and I’m continually surprised at how many have not fully realized the impact and potential of technology for learning and, in particular, its disruptive nature. Then again, I sometimes forget that I have had the privilege of thinking and learning about this almost exclusively for 15 or so years. Will is a master at laying out the potential of modern learning and the problems with our current system. I’ve learned a great deal from him over the years and he continues to push my thinking and others. He’s a <insert adjective> disturber.  He’s also very respectful to teachers. But he’s been challenging people to wake up.
motivator8378dd33735335cf95c57f67343d2989d415a054Of late, I’ve taken a slightly different approach with … Read the rest