Tomorrow I deliver a workshop on using a certain Learning Management System. To prepare I spent two hours deciphering the in's and outs of how a teacher simply communicates with the student, not much to say apart from arghhh!! It's a mess of intricacy, unnecessary clicks and deciphering of links just to work out how to tell the student 'Good work on your paper'! If you can find the paper!!
Speaking to the teachers about what they want from the workshop I got the sense that they where traumatised! and put off by the experience and frustration of a LMS. Now, 3 years later, they want to try again (the word nightmare was used) I'll show them how it works (what they asked for) but really... it was a big ask to get them to use this thing to manage their class 3 years ago. I don't think they'll find the technology anymore inspiring.
I like alot of others have been inspired of late by the 'idea' of networked learning; the Web2.0 technology that enables the networks to form, blogs, RSS great!! there is alot of talk, if you want to know more I recommend Stephen Downes recent podcast.
Networked learning, networked connections with people, networked relationships with people, networking to inspire and learn from each other, the idea is great!! Its easily said and conceptualised, easy in the real world, shooting the breeze around the training room. Working virtually it takes a sustained effort.
After the LMS training tomorrow I'll show the group how to pull together their own personal learning environment, pulling together a variety of Web2.0 technologies.
My job as a web developer for the past 5 years has been all about producing educational stuff with technology, stuff to be consumed. Thats changing- rapidly I now have to start to think how I can show teachers how relationships networking and participate with others in professional dialogue is off benefit in day to day. A tough call?
I have created the wiki teacherconnect.wikispaces.com to present networked learning examples and resources. I invite others to contribute.