I was listening to a recent episode of RN Future Tense talkÂ about developing a digital construct of ourselves that would exist long after we die. The idea of this virtual self is so that people could ask our opinion long after we die. This is something captured in a few ways in the Black Mirrors series. However, what I was left wondering is whether such virtual selves, based on understanding of the way we think, could sit a standardised tests, such as NAPLAN etc, for us?
It seems that from a number examples shared on online that it is a lot easier to bring about change and transformation in a new school without the supposed baggage of embedded behaviours. This makes me wonder though whether a new school with the ‘best’ teachers as the answer for change is akin to those diets which provide initial success, but are more often than not sustainable in the long term? Those sorts of diets that people follow to loose 10kg for a wedding and then put on 20kg after all the gloss has worn off? Not sure, but I think that we need a more nuanced approach to change. One that celebrates, builds and supports what is in place, rather than looks for solutions on the outside. What about you?
Many make the argument for collaboration, for the development of social capital, for communities of practice, what if this is all in vein because we continue to come back to the same system in place, same purpose for showing up. What if changed started with why, started with not only knowing that there is another way, but being clear about what that might be?
I was browsing a bookstore yesterday when I came upon an ‘Essential’ pile of books. One about Economics, another about Physics. Then there was one about remembering all the things that you learned in Geography at school, but have forgotten. This got me wondering about what would and would not be in these books and all of the ones that I had bought over time on philosophy, psychoanalysis, literary theory, religion etc … What if all these books were feeding our desire to be in control and own something that simply cannot be owned? I wonder if NAPLAN preparation books fit this mould as well?
There have been a lot of companies of late that offer fast and efficient delivery of a wide range of things. People seem to be carrying parcels on their back, on bikes, however possible. The problem with this is that such disruption seems to only occur in high-populated inner city spaces? What if such change and disruption was only afforded to a particular class of people? What if innovation was in fact inequitable?
A dominant model for online learning too often is focused on applications and transactional processes. For example, how to use Google Drawings or manage Google Drive. This is useful in knowing what to do and how to go about it, but it does not necessarily capture why. A different approach to structuring online learning would be through the use of Open Badges.
As I have explained elsewhere:
Open Badges are online representation of a skill you have earnt. … They allow you to verify different information, such as a description, issuer, criteria of achievement and standards met.
One of the challenges is that Open Badges need to be managed as they require a certain level of authentication.
Doug Belshaw outlines this in a postÂ on some work with a school in implementing G Suite, in which he states:
My aim in any badge system is to encourage particular types of knowledge, skills, and behaviours. Whatever system I come up with will be co-designed and go beyond just the use of G-Suite for Education. As the TPACK model emphasises, the system will have a more holistic focus: integrating the technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge required for purposeful educational technology integration.
What such an approach offers is a focus on the pedagogies and behaviours, such as analysing data, identifying trend growth and collaborating in the classroom. This allows technology to be properly integrated. It also allows you to add on any additional badges as they may arise.
In response to Donald Trumpâ€™s recent accession to president of USA, danah boyd saidÂ that social media is responsible for the creation of this spectacle and it is time for a reality check. This made me wonder, maybe we are all each in our own way responsible for this situation? I am not saying that we are all fueling the fire, but we all make choices about what it is we choose to pay attention to. Sometimes the choice to get involvedÂ can in fact be the most profound choice we can make.
What if we had binge learning 100 years ago? In Holly Clarkâ€™s keynote she shared the idea of binge learning, that type of instantaneous learning made possible by applications like Periscope and Snapchat. The example shared was of a crowd of Syrian refugees cramming onto a train seemingly escaping. Watching it is a bit different than reading about it in a newspaper or several years later in a text book. The question was posed as to what would have happened in 1936 if the atrocities in Nazi Germany was telecast?
In his keynote for Leading a Digital School, Derek Wenmoth warned that if anyone says that they have the answer to be suspicious. I wonder if â€˜the answerâ€™ is in each of us as learners? Explorers of our own practice? In our own context? Working collaboratively and critically with others? I often share the Modern Learning CanvasÂ and wondering if I do soÂ as an â€˜answerâ€™. I think that answers are those which support us, provide tools and scaffolds, to find our own answers. Not sure if that makes sense, thoughts?
So today is Friday, I decided to send out a #FF (Follow Friday). My intent was to celebrate some of the voices whose voices (both physical and virtual) have impacted my thinking this week. As I do, I recognised the power of the village. In response I got some feedback that maybe it is really about empire building? I don’t think that it is, but then if others do what does it matter what I think? So what if all my actions are about empire building? What impact does this have on networks and community? Just wondering …Â