As I progressively go through and archive a plethora of student blogs I am let wondering if we have gotten it right? Many of these spaces have been abandoned. Hours spent building them up, only for them to be left to silent. It makes me think about why we do it.Â This led me to wonder what if students and parents were responsible for the online presence? We ask students to do a lot already, why would managing a blog be any different? Also, this seems to be the fix for many schools in regards to iPads in that it puts the control in the hands of the students. This is an idea that Audrey Watters talks about in her book Claim Your Domain.
Steve Brophy sent the above image to me today with the challenge to identify the biggest problem in my classroom. I was intrigued by who was attached to the message and left thinking that the biggest problem in the classroom is the lack of student action. Too often the conversations that really mater a devoid of those who the decisions actually apply. Therefore I wonder, what if students had a central role in deciding what works in the classroom and what doesn’t? Maybe that itself would be the real learning?
I have been doing a bit of reading into different blogging platforms lately, especially as an answer to sharing in schools. I stumbled upon the notion of ‘respectful software‘ today from Ben Werdmuller. It left me thinking, how respectful is the software we use in schools and what if it was more so?
In a recent interview between Graham Martin-Brown and George WernerÂ regards to Liberia’s new script-based education policy, Werner made the comment that “BridgeÂ doesnâ€™t tolerate teachers unions in the schools it operates.” This got me thinking, what if there were no education unions? How would education be different? Would it allow for more innovation and disruption? Would this always be positive? This is such an interesting question and really makes me think about the world that we maybe moving into in the future.
I recently started reading Audrey Watter’s book Claim Your Domain. One of the things that she touches upon again and again is the question of data. We talk about the idea of a domain of one’s own as a means of reclaiming our presence and identity, collecting together the little bits that are scattered everywhere. It got me thinking, what if schools had a domain of their own? Rather than being dictated by templated self that NAPLAN and other such measurements impose or counting the ‘death rate‘ as John Hattie suggests, schools can take control of their presenceÂ and manage their own story of success?Â
Whether it be setting goals, fostering innovation or working with student data, so often the focus is on the individual. I wonder if this is in part a product of the mantra around ‘personalisation’. I am not again ‘personalisation’, but I am again a single person being responsible for this. What about if we work together, spread the load and work as a team. I wonder if such a culture of collaboration would not only reduce the stress, but also increase the possibilities imaginable.
I provided a short reflection on listening to TIDE Podcast.
In his book Smarter Than You Think, Clive Thompson discusses those who through the use of various applications and devices capture every aspect of their lives. He highlights the impact that such practises have on our social life, as well as the supposed over reliance in technology that this creates, taking over what we would have done for ourselves in the past. However, what really stood out was what was uncovered in regards to memory. Through these various examples of life journals, Thompson is able to show that the way we remember things isn’t necessarily the way things actually were. Clearly, this is a Pandora’s box and in many respects is nothing new, but what it got me wondering was whether the education that we feel we grew up with really was the way we remember it. For example, was Mr Tracey really as harsh as I remember and were lessons really as cumbersome and chaotic as I thought they were. how much of this representation of the past is merely a construct of the present?
A link was shared with me today to a new course around a course in clinical teaching. There is something that does not sit right about the idea of being clinical. I reckon that it represents an emotional detachment. To me, a marksman is clinical. A surgeon is clinical. I am not sure if a teacher should necessarily be ‘clinical’? This got me thinking then what a teacher should be?
In my thinking, I was surfing Youtube and came across an interview with Mark Ronson unpacking his record collection. He provided a breadth, appreciation and understanding that really blew me away. In one story, he shared a time when Prince came into a club where he was performing. After racking his mind as to how to get his attention, he dropped an obscure 70’s beat into the middle of his set. Low and behold, Prince made his way up to the stage to find out more about the track.
ThisÂ made me wonder what it might mean for every teacher to be a DJ. That is, to have a knowledge and connection with their audience (staff and students)Â to go far beyond progression points. This as a metaphor might better capture the science and art of teaching.Â