I really think that one of the reasons these tools are going to fundamentally change the way we educators do our business is because they are fundamentally changing the way all sorts of other people do their work. Nowhere is that more true than journalism and media which in many ways are being turned on their heads by the ability of any of us (with access) to now contribute to the news and meme making streams. Jeff Jarvis has a great post that looks at how one media organization, Reuters, is really getting the shift, and so much of what they are experiencing can apply to us as well. Substitute the word “student” for “consumer” in the following statement by CEO Tom Glocer and you’ll see what I mean:
They’re consuming, they’re creating, they’re sharing, and they’re publishing themselves. So the consumer wants to not only run the printing preess, the consumer wants to set the Linotype as well…
Our industry is facing a profound challenge from home-created content… If we create the right crossroads, provide the consumers with the appropriate tools…we can harnass what otherwise from the outside would look like a punk revolution…
We do need to harness all of the creative energy that is now at the hands of our students (with access.) I say this in my presentations all the time, but how cool would it be for us to remind our kids to “publish your homework” instead of simply hand it in? We can do that now.
Glocer also says that “what we are seeing today is an almost continuing talent show,” and I really like that image. It reminds me of a quote from a book by Marc Rosenberg, Beyond E-Learning I’ve been working through where he says “don’t call them learners:”
Thinking about e-learning in new ways has to start with existing paradigms that might be holding you back. Calling people what they really are is a good beginning, but if you must use a generic term, a better one might be performer (23).
Anyone who as ever taught knows what a difference performance can make when it comes to learning. We teach through performance, not in the getting up on stage sense but in the delivering the content in meaningful, relevant ways sense. It’s not enough to “know” it, which is what standardized test require. We have to be able to make meaning of it as well.
The whole post and ensuing comments are worth the read…
Daniel Quigley says
In your post, you state:
“but how cool would it be for us to remind our kids to “publish your homework” instead of simply hand it in? We can do that now.”
The implication of this comment, as well as many others I have read on this blog, is that teachers can “require” students to “publish” their homework. Doesn’t the right to free speech include the right not to speak publically? In fact, at least at my college, we are constantly being reminded of the restrictions that FERPA places on us about student work. What do you do with a student who does not wish to have what he has to say in response to an assignment published to the world at large?
This is a different matter from requiring students to share work in a controlled classroom setting. There is an implicit expectation of sharing and collaborative work in a classroom. But in this case, the sharing is limited to others in the class. Do we really want to insist that students “publish” their content on a blog?
Will Richardson says
That is a great question, and I would say that, yes, I would want every student to publish his or her work in some way, but I wouldn’t want every piece of work to be published. I understand the privacy and safety issues that go along with this, and I’m not saying that we try to circumvent them in any way. Especially on the K-12 level, we identify only what parents allow or or are comfortable with. And I do think that if a student just simply does not want to publish that we should respect that (but work hard to show how publishing can expand his/her learning experience.) But I do think that in general, publishing repurposes what we ask our students to do, asking them to potentially teach and engage others with what they know instead of just reporting back to the teacher or class.
I would be interested in hearing more about how FERPA impacts this. Is your school saying that student work is akin to student records?
Gordon Brune says
This piece on our local NPR station made me think of your posting.
Law professor, Glenn Reynolds decided to brew his own beer when he was unhappy with the major companies’ offerings. He applied that sense of individualism to journalism and started his own blog, Instapundit. Now he’s one of the most well-known “citizen journalists.” He says this David versus Goliath model is having a lasting impact on society.
When Big Is Bad
Glenn Reynolds, writes the blog, Instapundit and is a law professor at the University of Tennessee and author of the forthcoming book, An Army of Davids : How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths (Nelson Current March 7, 2006)
– how individuals can bring about change in a world of a behemoths
5th Grade Teacher