Chasing Cars – A model for Leadership

Its widely held that games and virtual worlds are related but different – and that kids are working and playing in the digital age (Brown, 1999). Oblinger and Oblinger (2005) point out schemas underlie their ability to sustain physical, virtual and hybrid networks. Marie Sontag (2007) calls this the “Social and Cognitive-Connectedness Schemata” or SCCS. Her dissertation on Instructional Designs that Reflect How the Net Generation Learns is a great read. This is related to Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction. So to be a good teacher, you need to be at least know something of instructional design if you’re using technology. That’s not the same as ‘using’ it – I mean designing for it.

Sontag calls this the Link, Lurk, Lunge model. Students use their social connectedness schemas to locate networks and information to select, organise and integrate technology from simple to complex scaffolding. They link these to new experiences and situations, creating opportunities for discovery based learning – as they lurk, watch, discuss and observe new situations, making comparisons to cognitive knowledge functions and this gives them reason to lunge forward making reasoned judgements (even more game design).

Watch a group of 5 year olds playing a video game, then it starts to make perfect sense. They don’t do it on Twitter or Facebook, in fact the teen movements in the last decade from MySpace to Bebo and to Facebook has been a slow crawl.

They dont’t care about Web2.0 ‘tools’ the way teachers do. They care about games and friend-networks.

A Personal Learning Network is no match for World of Warcraft or Xbox live. It’s a ten pound hammer verses a A10 tank buster in terms of design. However – it’s the best chance teachers have in remaining someway relevant. It’s not ideal, but better than the alternative, which right now is one point up from nothing. Unless we start designing (which is not the same as lesson planning) using models such as SCCD – it’s almost guaranteed that teachers will remain unable to relate to those they serve and unlikely to be ‘unlocking education’ as Jude discussed last week – and the iPad2 isn’t going to change a damn thing.

There are clear signals  the ‘chasing cars’ leadership mentality isn’t helping anyone as teachers leave the job after a few years, literacy rates fall and we’re left with pie-charts and data on websites as all the power of change lies with the Kings of Power Point (a small number of people in Australia that wouldn’t fill a minibus).


Bednar, A., D. Cunningham, T. Duffy, and J. Perry. 1992. Theory in practice: How do we link? In Constructivism and the technology of instruction: A conversation, eds. T. Duffy and D. Jonassen, 17-35. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Brown, J. S. 1999. Working and playing in the digital age. Talk presented at the 1999 Conference on Higher Education, American Association for Higher Education, February

Oblinger, D., and J. Oblinger. 2005. Is it age or IT: First steps toward understanding the net generation. In Educating the net generation, eds. D. Oblinger and J. Oblinger, 2.1-2.20. EDUCAUSE.