Make up on a train

cc licensed flickr photo by Hyougushi:

It struck me, as i was watched some woman attempt to affix make-up on the train journey this morning that almost everyone one I know involved in teacher education has arrived here rather inadvertently. I wondered, as I watched her juggle compacts and eyeliner, if indeed the classroom has become the very place not to learn about technology, or rather is it the most appropriate place to affix technology in learning.

It’s often said that conferences are great for meeting people, more than the content. I wonder if that is increasingly true of the campus – and the ‘workshop’ – given the vast amount of creative, innovative, self-directed, motivated online learners are more connected virtually than physically.

Perhaps this was the also fate of the video arcade – we simply grew tired of a physical space, which could not compete socially or technologically with virtual space and convergence. It seems true of the video store, the music store, the yard-sale and the even the car club. Why not the campus?

My online colleagues have all spent the 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell says is needed to become a virtuosos. Thousands of personal (un-accredite hours) thinking critically about ICT, though a process of trial and error in self-directed fiddling and reading. They have figured out how to teach better in some way or other and unlikely to return to aged ideologies and methods. Most importantly, they have developed a vast array of skills and schemas that allow them to learn about further technologies as connectivists – and to take risks.

At some point, in their localised teaching situation, they invariably teach colleagues, perhaps at a professional development day or simply at the desk next to them when someone appeared struggling with some application. Before you know it, they become the go to person – the psuedo ICT integrator (a job that I think in part creates adoption-lag and dependencies as much as enlightenment).

It doesn’t take long before this builds up a head of steam and they start actively thinking about how to add some structure to this – and start dabbling in adult-education. Generally this is approached though information and proposition.

What I thought, as I watched the woman leave the train in new livery, is that we should approach this, not from information, but from concern. I have no idea about make-up, but curious to see if she could apply it as the train rumbled on – and what the result might be. When I got on the train I wasn’t in the slightest concerned that some women don’t put make on at home. I don’t deny that I’m odd in that respect.

This started thoughts about what messages I see flowing though the various social-pipeworks. No one’s tweeting about make-up concerns on trains at 7am (or not that I’ve seen), so what are the dominant concern-messages emitting from my tiny part of the metaverse?

The loudest, most visible people – actually create concerns in verbose statements tugging on the moral sensibilities of our inadvertent teacher educators. However in most cases, they rarely to let us know – how to get past their concerns though a workable strategy, that shows at least some evidence of success. It’s like living with your own personal fire-alarm – seasoned campaigners get used to the noise and ignore it – however it’s the same damn clanging noise. It would be nice if they at least changed the ring tone, but if you’re in the business of creating fire alarms – then it’s easier to sell to someone who is worried about fire and hasn’t got one, rather than someone who know’s it’s another drill I guess.

Maybe I should look out the window more.