Defining “Teacher”

We hear a lot about the changing role of teachers (I’m tiring of the phrases “sage on the stage” and “guide on the side”) but in reality students are still looking at the teachers as authorities. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but unquestionably it’s not all that sustainable considering the possibilities of disruptive education.

Content is Everywhere

So when sites like this emerge it simply highlights the reality that students should never have to settle for  second rate educational content.  If I were teaching Physics, I would be crazy not to invite Walter Lewin into my classroom at some point.  An economics or political science class could utilze the works of Alan Blight.  And while it might be easy to say, textbooks also provide a level of expertise, a well-crafted lecture or better yet a live Q and A with the author is a game changer.

So as I ponder what this should and could l00k like, I think about how that changes my role as a teacher. Again, this is not a new conversation but when you have to live it, it truly changes how you feel about education.   I still love to teach, which can … Read the rest

K12 Online Keynotes

Sheryl, Darren, Wes and I are pleased to announce the keynotes for this fall’s K12 Online Conference.

Stephen Heppell, Alice Barr, Cheryl Oakes, Bob Sprankle, Gardner Campbell, Chris Lehmann, Vicki Davis, and Julie Lindsay will all be keynoting this year. What a fantastic lineup of presenters! If you’re not familar with these folks, you’ll be in for quite a treat. Each one has a unique perspective and voice that will challenge and inspire you.

For more information on these speakers and the conference in general please visit the K12 Online site.

You’ve got about 2 weeks until proposals are due. Also, do us a favour, if you’ve been a presenter, participator or volunteer in the past 2 years, how about posting a little plug for the conference on your website?  If you like, add this little badge to your sidebar as well.

Here’s the page with html code you’ll need.… Read the rest

I need more videos

As someone that has the opportunity and mandate to help others understand the changing classroom, I scour my network for new videos that can capture beyond words, what good teaching and learning can be.
I’ve created a number on my own and undoubtedly, these have had at least as much impact if not more than than any book or blog post has done in terms of igniting conversation and action. Getting people to start thinking and pushing them in new directions is challenging. When you only have 40 minutes or less and you want to really make an impact, most of us aren’t gifted enough to do this in a finely crafted talk. I’m not anyway. A well produced video can do this better.
Chris’ recent rant on the Pearson Learning to Change video had me thinking on many levels. I’ve used that video and while it may not be perfect, it creates a conversation. It was disappointing to see them pull it from youtube. Why? Did Chris’ post scare them? Come on Pearson, tell us why?

But here’s the thing. We really only have a handful of videos. We’ve got oodles of books, a gazillion blogs but few quality … Read the rest