Virtual campfire

Stories define who we are and help shape both how we act and what we do. As teachers in Catholic schools, the education we provide has to be about the creation of life-giving narratives.

It is interesting that Daniel Pink cites ‘story’ as one of the six aptitudes for the conceptual age in A Whole New Mind.

Pink writes that ‘stories help sharpen our understanding of something by showing it in context to something else.’  Isn’t this what good learning does?

I believe our educational narrative needs to reflect human experience today not 100 years ago and we can only bridge that gap when we share our learning stories.

The education tribe has great wisdom and we must find ways of hearing and sharing those voices.

What astonishes me is that there is still great resistance to Web 2.0 as a ‘virtual campfire’ for sharing the learning stories.  How do we get the tribes to see the potential and to ensure those stories continue to give life?


4 thoughts on “Virtual campfire

  1. Greg, you’re spot on with this post – the virtual campfire has the tendency to become a smouldering puff of smoke if our educational narrative continues to reflect systems of old.

    Having returned from a recent visit to the University of Auckland, it was fascinating to witness the higher ed sector across the Tasman placing emphasis on helping students learn the skills of digital literacy – much of which was not taught as part of secondary or primary schooling.

    The interesting experiencing was the opportunity to meet with Deans and Professors who placed extraordinary value on an education system that helps students find their voice by learning to decide when it is better to use traditional forms of literacy engagement and when digital expression is ideal.

    During my observations, it appeared 90% of the time was digital literacy – where students were engaged in sharing their “story”, developing their “story” and validating their “story”.

    100 years ago we were coming to the end of our first decade as a Federation. How has our education system fundamentally changed since that time? Thankfully there appears to be a greater sharing of wisdom, even if it is not universally applied.

  2. Greg,

    Nice post. Dan Pink is on the money when it comes to what is needed to navigate the 21st century. John comments above about how his grandmother could tell great stories. Sadly this oral skill has faded. We forget though that many teachers are expert story-tellers. For instance, History teachers are masters at it. What though is the story that teachers are telling about teaching & learning in 2009?

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