FOLLOWING some great discussions over retraining Australia; there seems to be some points that are standing out for me;
- Most teachers, providing tech PD in schools are not learly adopters – but long term supporters – appreciated but not officially valued enough to rise to leadership positions
- The diverse skill bases of staff are are EPIC proportions; some have never engaged; others have basic ‘Netscape 3’ like understanding – while others are able to move fluidly over virtual worlds, blogs and wikis.
- The teachers who have the conceptual intelligence to begin to address this lack the social capital to sustain and maintain the epic retraining needed
- Politicians choose front of house over investing in people; cherry picking and co-opting; but not empowering the right people
- Education policy is political, not pedagogical
- It’s morally bankrupt to lean on teachers to change; without change being present in the hierarchy demanding it.
I have this view, which may change or be corrected – that the EPIC levels of retraining needed will not be provided in public education; as those who could authorise it have not got the first clue how to access the right people though the current lines of command. And they idea of changing the complex structures of command is unrealistic. So we are lock-stepped.
Here is what we can do (if people participate).
- Get together on one space and identify what gaps we all see; and each one of us create one resource to address it online
- Online PD becomes FREE; and the participants in (1) push all requests for training to that online space.
- We teach people how to (using and online space) and not ‘do for’ in frustration.
- We start to feel okay about the future; and if people can’t do it – then perhaps leaders need to consider what they can do too
- A set of simple courses are developed by all of us to maximise the multiplier effect; which are Creative Commons Share Alike
- Curriculum and online courses are developed as part of this process – by all of us – and then offered to students FREE
- The Virtual School and Virtual Staffroom are online; open to all.
If Wikipedia can run on a handful of people; then generating contextual PD and online supported course for students is a possibility. We’re going to do it anyway right? so why not do it in one place for everyone. Then education, resources will be owned by everyone – and not a few. If in Australia we see 300 people at a conference; then perhaps at least one workshop should be about creating resources and lessons for teachers and students.
Participation is the key. Moodle’s open right now … all it takes is to push your local efforts to one online space and before you know it; there will be online courses for students; who we simply pull into the space though social media – as they will decide what is adding value and what is not (they do anyway).
If you are teaching HSC Maths; then why not put your stuff online – so maybe a kid who is stuck with chalk and talk can benefit from your lesson? Is it important that you know who they are? – Are they not trolling Bored of Studies already?
Madness? I don’t think so. Time to think more about what we can do, than what we can’t. Who’s up for some edu-shifting? … or shall we hang on bit longer too?