TOP 10 – #1: Good Intentions are NOT Enough

TOP 10 COUNTDOWN – Summary of ECI831 Learnings

 It is with this post, I conclude my TOP 10 Countdown as a summary of learnings in our ECI831 class.  This Top 10 inspired the creation of my “Future of education?” video for our final reflection project.  The final countdown… 

AT #1:  Good Intentions are NOT Enough

Will Richardson joined us for a casual evening of informal discussion for our November 23rd.  We talked about the importance of being critical thinkers and literate consumers of information.  Interestingly, Will Richardson referenced a statement made by Steven Downes’ article in a Huffington Post article.  Richardson referenced Steven Downes’ comments in A World To Change in which Downes states, “We need to move beyond the idea that an education is something that is provided for us, and toward the idea that an education is something that we create for ourselves.”  Will Richardson summarized this idea by suggesting the role of schools is going to change whether we are ready for it or not.  In this world of personalization and customization of learning, there will continue to be a need for a classroom teacher as the teacher must guide the learnings and interactions of children.  As educators, we must try to determine how we might build networks and create interactions to adapt to this change. 

This discussion continued with dialogue in which participants discussed various questions.  During our discuss, Jamie Forest mentioned, “I think that it is my job to give my kids the fundamentals so that in middle years and beyond they have the skills to do those inquiry-type personalized learning.”  Her statement was directly linked to the idea that it is important for educators to help build skills in students in order to assist them with critical thinking and inquiry learning as they grow.  Shawna Stangel, who works as a Consultant, mentioned that a “learner of content is someone who is not familiar with inquiry learning” as he/she is not not learning in context.  In reflecting on these statements, it really is learning in context and the focus on the process of learning that leads to deeper understanding.  It is important for us, as educators, to help students discover their own route to achieving outcomes. Due to the rapid rate of technological change, it is not possible for educators to be experts on everything. That being said, I think the key to successfully using new technologies is for educators not to be afraid to learn alongside students. In a constructivist classroom, learning is active, real, collaborative and inquiry-based.  Together, educators and students can learn how to learn while interacting with one another and technology in order to build life-long learning skills which will help them succeed in the 21st century.  Will Richardson mentioned our own process of learning is key and that it is important for us, as educators, to model our own learning in very transparent ways.  This modelling is very powerful for students AND teachers.

We are all professionals and I would argue we all have good intentions.  But, challenges with concepts like time and change (as I have discussed in earlier posts) sometimes lead to inaction.   As Will Richardson stated during our presentation, “It is in deeds, not words, that get us moving.”  Now is the time to find ways to shift away from ‘traditional’ teaching and learning and embrace change.  Particularly, change made possible by integrating technology and education in ways that enhance student learning.  We truly must take action, intention is simply not enough.

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~ by lewisv on November 29, 2010.

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