Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An Amazing Time



I had the good fortune of attending a panel discussion last night in New York City. The discussion, Disrupting Education Through Social Media and Technology, focused on how social media and new technologies are impacting the way we learn and shaking up traditional education as we know it. The event was held as part Social Media Week. Panelists shared their views regarding the transformative powers of social media as well as expressed opinions about how technology forces a change in educational paradigms.

At a point during the two hour conversation, one of the panel members, Will Richardson, said that it is an amazing time to be a learner. I have heard Mr. Richardson say this before. However, having heard it in person and in the context a session about shifting paradigms, the point resonated to where I have been reflecting upon its meaning since the discussion ended. Not to sound simple, but it is an amazing time to be a learner.

I am moved to compare what is was like when I went to school to the potential that exists in our schools and classrooms today. There really is no comparison. What students have access to and the various pathways in which understanding can be presented far surpasses the industrial model of education that governed schooling for my generation. Was there such a thing as a global classroom in a world where access and connectivity was compromised or nonexistent? Consider how free tools such as Skype can change the dyanmic of a learning engagement by directly streaming expertise into the classroom. The same holds true for students who can access streams of information through following or developing consistent exchanges with someone on Facebook or Twitter. What is true for students is also true for teachers. In the digital age we are all learners.

I just wonder why some may not see this as an amazing time to be a learner. As opposed to embracing possibility, there is apprehension towards rethinking about education in this country. To a certain extent, it is funny. There are pockets of progressive education. Some schools have successfully transformed the culture and climate to support new models of instruction. Within schools there are pockets of educators who are re-envisioning the classroom dynamic and what should be privileged. However, extending these ideas across a school, district or nationally becomes problematic.

I just wonder what it will take for people to see that this is an amazing time for learners?


I had the good fortune of attending a panel discussion last night in New York City. The discussion, Disrupting Education Through Social Media and Technology, focused on how social media and new technologies are impacting the way we learn and shaking up traditional education as we know it. The event was held as part Social Media Week. Panelists shared their views regarding the transformative powers of social media as well as expressed opinions about how technology forces a change in educational paradigms.

At a point during the two hour conversation, one of the panel members, Will Richardson, said that it is an amazing time to be a learner. I have heard Mr. Richardson say this before. However, having heard it in person and in the context a session about shifting paradigms, the point resonated to where I have been reflecting upon its meaning since the discussion ended. Not to sound simple, but it is an amazing time to be a learner.

I am moved to compare what is was like when I went to school to the potential that exists in our schools and classrooms today. There really is no comparison. What students have access to and the various pathways in which understanding can be presented far surpasses the industrial model of education that governed schooling for my generation. Was there such a thing as a global classroom in a world where access and connectivity was compromised or nonexistent? Consider how free tools such as Skype can change the dyanmic of a learning engagement by directly streaming expertise into the classroom. The same holds true for students who can access streams of information through following or developing consistent exchanges with someone on Facebook or Twitter. What is true for students is also true for teachers. In the digital age we are all learners.

I just wonder why some may not see this as an amazing time to be a learner. As opposed to embracing possibility, there is apprehension towards rethinking about education in this country. To a certain extent, it is funny. There are pockets of progressive education. Some schools have successfully transformed the culture and climate to support new models of instruction. Within schools there are pockets of educators who are re-envisioning the classroom dynamic and what should be privileged. However, extending these ideas across a school, district or nationally becomes problematic.

I just wonder what it will take for people to see that this is an amazing time for learners?

I had the good fortune of attending a panel discussion last night in New York City. The discussion, Disrupting Education Through Social Media and Technology, focused on how social media and new technologies are impacting the way we learn and shaking up traditional education as we know it. The event was held as part Social Media Week. Panelists shared their views regarding the transformative powers of social media as well as expressed opinions about how technology forces a change in educational paradigms.

At a point during the two hour conversation, one of the panel members, Will Richardson, said that it is an amazing time to be a learner. I have heard Mr. Richardson say this before. However, having heard it in person and in the context a session about shifting paradigms, the point resonated to where I have been reflecting upon its meaning since the discussion ended. Not to sound simple, but it is an amazing time to be a learner.

I am moved to compare what is was like when I went to school to the potential that exists in our schools and classrooms today. There really is no comparison. What students have access to and the various pathways in which understanding can be presented far surpasses the industrial model of education that governed schooling for my generation. Was there such a thing as a global classroom in a world where access and connectivity was compromised or nonexistent? Consider how free tools such as Skype can change the dyanmic of a learning engagement by directly streaming expertise into the classroom. The same holds true for students who can access streams of information through following or developing consistent exchanges with someone on Facebook or Twitter. What is true for students is also true for teachers. In the digital age we are all learners.

I just wonder why some may not see this as an amazing time to be a learner. As opposed to embracing possibility, there is apprehension towards rethinking about education in this country. To a certain extent, it is funny. There are pockets of progressive education. Some schools have successfully transformed the culture and climate to support new models of instruction. Within schools there are pockets of educators who are re-envisioning the classroom dynamic and what should be privileged. However, extending these ideas across a school, district or nationally becomes problematic.

I just wonder what it will take for people to see that this is an amazing time for learners?