I’ve been involved recently in an online ‘think tank’ on teaching in a web 2.0 world. The discussion has been very far ranging and interesting to say the least and centred around the ‘digital revolution’ and its impact on learning and teaching. It is widely agreed among educators that hardware on its own is not the revolution. The revolution is how Web 2.0 is being used, adapted, moulded and applied to learning by creative and innovative teachers. But there are far too few such teachers!
One suggestion for the slow uptake of ICT in schools is that many teachers are asking ‘what’s in it for me?’ We can no longer support learning environments that cater to the whims and demands of adults. In a contemporary learning environment, the question should be ‘what’s in it for students?’.
A major part of the problem, is that many teachers have not been exposed to the ‘wow’ factor of Web 2.0. The reality is that the innovation and application of Web 2.0 is not being controlled by tech companies but by users – teachers and students.
The more we find ways of sharing the ‘wow’ factor across the profession, the more likely teachers will adopt, experiment, adapt, share and lead other teachers in this journey.
John Connell has a post on a new project called Social Media Classroom, which has been co-created by Howard Rheingold – author, virtual sociologist and lecturer in collaborative media/digital journalism at UC Berkeley. It is well worth spending eight minutes listening to Howard talk about a new toolset for teachers and the potential of cooperative (online) classrooms. He shows just what inquisitive teachers are capable of!
How can we expose more teachers to the ‘wow’ factor?