Last week many Australian teachers & tech educators travelled to Melbourne to participate in the ACEC 2010 Conference Digital Diversity, an Australian biennial national ICT education conference. Much has been written since then about the challenges we encountered, the message of the keynote presentations, and the interesting experiences and conversations we all enjoyed.
What struck me was the continued conversation about the same things – even the Keynote sessions offered no new insights into the future directions of learning, though there were some challenging messages thrown out to the participants as ‘take-aways’. For me the absolute highlight was the Keynote by Oscar award-winning Australian Adam Elliot. So refreshing to hear something beyond the usual Gary Stager message of gloom and doom which offered little in constructive strategies for the listeners. Thanks to Chris Betcher for his Keynote and reflections on Gary’s presentation too. I liked Chris’ presentation much more than I liked Gary’s – despite Gary’s apparent claim to fame.
BUT where were the discussions about the future directions of the web? No keynotes that explored the synergy between virtual worlds, augmented reality, or the Semantic Web. Nothing that offered hands -on grass-roots understanding about information fluency and knowledge work in a globally connected semantic web.
We have to stop working/thinking in silos!! It was the same at the Apple ITSC2010 conference, held over the last two days in Sydney. Nice stuff covered for sure, and fun hands-on workshops. But nothing that points the way forward. Nothing that deals with reading and literacy (our inescapable way of cognitive engagement with multimodal texts) on a variety of devices from paper to e-devices. Nothing that acknowledges the virtual, augmented, semantic mashup of connection with the world.
You know, the journey is just become interesting – don’t stop now:-
•1980s – Desktop is the platform
•1990s – Browser/server is the platform
•2000s – Web services are the platform
•2010s – Semantic web is the platform
Humanity is being connected by technology – oh not just in a Web 2.0, connected/conversation way, but in the way that Tim Berner’s Lee actually envisioned.
Web 3.0 – the Semantic Web – will revolutionise knowledge discovery. And here we are still talking about the same old stuff without so much as a’ doff of the hat’ towards the real future of the web.
Do not for a minute think that you have prepared you students to understand how to learn well if you are integrating a bit of fun technology- whatever the platform you use! What are the thinking strategies that are underpinning your work? What are the information fluency
tactics that your are deploying in your classrooms?
I presented a preliminary conversation starter about Web 3.0 and the Semantic web at ACEC2010
– just because I know that too many teachers are not even now looking at the different search engines, and the strategies that can be applied in the current web. How on earth will we expect our students to query the value of the information flood of knowledge that will be more readily available once the Semantic web takes a hold?
Time to roll your sleeves up my friends, and go beyond current thinking to understand learning and teaching when the web is our personalised federated search engine! Will our students know more? or will they become more easily swayed through biased popular opinion?
Get beyond your 21st century learning bubble of Web 2.0 tools and technology integration, and start planning for the actual future of learning.