Home > Shifting schooling > Tales from the blogosphere (part 1)

Tales from the blogosphere (part 1)

March 6th, 2009

One of the great things about the internet is how easy it is to find other people  who share your interests and passions. Of course, depending on how obscure your interests are, those people may be a little hard to find. But in most cases I’m pretty sure they’re out there somewhere, blogging away,  and just waiting and hoping that someone with shared interests wants to connect with them….

(“Hey Bob, Mike here. I’ve been reading your blog – you love Bulgarian films about the circus? Wow!  I like Bulgarian films about the circus too! Didn’t you just love Svirachat? Let’s be Facebook friends!”)

In the case of “shifting to 21st century thinking about education and learning”, it’s not at all difficult to find other people out there in the blogosphere who  are asking the kinds of questions that we’re asking, pondering the same kinds of challenges we’re pondering, and providing stimulating examples of the kinds of practices that can help us reshape teaching and schooling for the 21st century.  Over the last few days I’ve been perusing the web in search of some of these people. Here’s a quick sampling of who, and what, I’ve been reading:

  • I’ve enjoyed reading postings on The 21st Century Schoolhouse, written by Miller, a teacher from Conneticut. He describes himself (and his blog) as “A high school English teacher still trying to wrap his brain around teaching 21st century skills, digital literacy, the web 2.0, and anything else that sounds new”.  It’s fascinating to read some of Millers’ insights and struggles with questions about what it means to be a 21st century teacher, not to mention seeing how he’s been putting his ideas and working theories into practice. I recommend following some of the links related to the  21st century Journalism class he teaches.
  • Fans of Vygotsky have to love Konrad Glogowski’s blog of proximal development. There are just so many interesting ideas and stories here, such as the posting “how to avoid school talk part 1″ and The Virtual Classroom Project
  • Finally, a little gem from my own hometown of Hamilton New Zealand, Woodmonsta’s Blog, a blog created by an Intermediate (Middle School) teacher for, and with, his class.

I plan to continue scanning the Internet to see what else (and who else) I can find that I think is worth checking out…. in between writing a massive Final Report and two AERA conference papers, that is!

Shifting schooling , , , ,

  1. | #1

    Thank you for the mention in your interesting blog :-) It’s great to receive support for what we are doing.
    MrWoody of the “Woodmonstas”

  2. | #2

    One of the big changes from 20th to 21st century education could well be a transition from text books to universally accessible and unlimited digital data. Having access to limited information (20th century) to access of all information (21st century), could create profound changes in the way we learn.

    Using the Internet today, we often start with a search and from there we are given millions of results, but after a sort we end up with a few web pages/sites that we consider to be the most relevant. We can take our search further and contact the author of the writing/web page for further discussion, whether that be by email, instant message, a forum, comment, or phone call. Even if the author speaks a different language, this barrier will be removed one day by automatic language translators which are in a constant state of advancement.

    The biggest name on the Internet today is Google and part of Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. In their quest for transparency of all information, they are in the process of digitising books and making other older media available via the Internet (not without controversy). They are also looking forward to the day when most people in the world will carry cell phones with sophisticated video recorders built in, so the public can tell their story or film potential news footage and post it effortlessly and instantly to YouTube. Of course Google is not the Internet, but if one company can do all this, then add all other efforts from other people and organisations, and it may well come to pass that we will indeed have access to all information, or nearly all information from all languages, cultures, persuasions, and opinions.

    With the ability to find and translate anything, as well as contact anyone (if they allow), this will surely change the way we learn and how we find answers.

    Will learning in the 21st century be more about how to search and find information when we need it as opposed to trying to commit as much as we can to memory from teachers and textbooks then recalling it when needed? Time will tell. It is not hard to imagine a future where technology is also used to extend ourselves. Where we can save data to external memory chips and access it when we need it, perhaps almost as fast as accessing it from our own memory.

    One thing is sure. We will and have access to too much information and how we deal with that and find what is relevant may be a big part of 21st century learning.

  1. | #1
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