Quarter of a year blogging! Hooray!!
OK, time for a personal whinge :-(
The last week has been a frustrating week in many ways, but the most frustrating of all has been the ‘negotiations’ I have had in discussion about my academic study program.
Supposedly in a Doctor of Science Education Program with a technology focus through Curtin University, I have come to the conclusion that unless I can find an academic environment that reflects the changing learning landscape of kids today I am totally wasting my time seeking to learn more about learning landscapes via an academic study program.
Really nice folks at the uni – don’t get me wrong – but just NOT giving me the learning extension that I need.
Here is an example – the reader for Learning Environements, which I must read (ok, I can do that) but which I also have to demonstrate that I understand (!) contains 16 papers, all from the 90s, and one only from 2001. Now you and I know that this represents Web 1.0 generation of thinkers. Even if they are ‘cool constructivist thinkers’, they are talking about a learning environment and learning landscape that is rapidly becoming irrelevant. While it is important to ground current research and learning in past knowledge and research – I do not have this option.
“You can add a bit on about Web 2.0 if you like, but do not make it the main thrust of your paper. You must demonstrate that you understand our philosophy”
Despite the fact that a previous module run by Peter Taylor extended my thinking on constructivism in marvelous ways, this time around I feel that being forced to operate in the constraints of the concepts presented in our Reader is really a great example of ‘enculturation’ and not at all about border crossing into Web 2.0 in theory and practice.
I suggest that practitioners in the field who are blogging and sharing their experiences through books, presentations, seminars, podcasts etc are teaching much more about what is possible than this academic approach to readers and stale research processes allows.
Practitioners such as Stephen Downes, Will Richardson, Doug Johnson, Stephen Abram, Michael Stephens, John Connell, Leigh Blackall, Ewen McIntosh, and Alan November are engaging with the learning needed in new environements, gathering me up in the learning as they go – something my current academic program does not do.
I suggest that attending events like The Global Summit will also help me along in my learning. I suggest that opportunities to interact with global colleagues like the event at TeachMeet06 will give me learning opportunities that no analysis of a “reader” would ever manage. How sad that I have to ‘regurgitate’ to prove that I understand.
What I have learned and continue to learn through social networking, Web 2.0 and peer to peer discussions is far superior to my current academic offerings.
My students and my schools are the priority. It is vital to innovate, have fun, and learn all at the same time…..so unless I can actively research SecondLife, or an aspect of Web 2.0 in 2007 …… that’s it to my current academic institution.
I want to thank all the wonderful people who have contributed to my professional learning – fantastic stuff for this teacher as learner.