A few weeks ago Jan Smith invited me to participate in Dr. Alec Couros‘ presentation to British Columbia School District #71’s pro-d session. Figuring a trip up island would be a long shot on the first weekend of a new semester, I told her I would surely join the proceedings however I might be able, either through Twitter, uStream, Moodle, Elluminate, or whatever means Alec chose to share his dialogue with our colleagues. I have ‘sat in’ quite a few different sessions and conversations of Alec’s before, and knew such things were possible, but with the access offered today, I feel compelled to share the experience (even though I was teaching class during its original airing).
A proponent of open, networked learning, Alec is a prominent Tweeter and maven for all things technologically educational who makes a great many excellent points during his hour long keynote, posted below, and shares a myriad resources on both his wiki and his blog.
Here are the two sessions presented via Alec’s uStream channel. The first hour covers the benefits of open and networked learning, and the second delves into how to make such a classroom possible.
At one point during the Q & A, Alec is asked how he has time to do all of the things he is describing alongside a full teaching load, and his answer proved a revelation for me, as well as an affirmation that there may be more power in a learning environment created, managed, and facilitated by many participants than one in which the teacher is constantly the main supplier of information, motivation and inspiration.
“How do you find time to blog \ tweet \ email \ uStream \ comment on blogs \ connect educators to students to educators to…?” Alec is asked.
“I stop doing the things I don’t need to do anymore,” he answers.
And I am beginning to see what he means, as our class blogging community constantly becomes a more supportive, interdependent, powerful cohort than I could ever supply in (exclusively) hand-marked essays and one-to-one feedback. Our time as teachers is incredibly valuable, and if we are to be stepping into the new world opening up to education, we need to be constantly evaluating how we spend our time.
What are you doing more of, in the New School? What are you doing less?