Monday, April 24, 2006

Making the human connection

Kids love technology!
Originally uploaded by Steven Parker.
No doubt The Veronicas crowd was into the music! For me the concert was about a ‘collective tribal experience', a refreshing real life exercise & example of a ‘tribes’ positive collective emotional reaction to a shared experience (ie: the concert, the mention of mobiles & mySpace), & that lots of kids dig social software. In reflection, the emotional reaction is important. Their tribe is about is about friends, fun, mobile technology, web communities, girls/boys, favourite bands & punk rock rebellion!!

How do we get the educational system & teachers to realise to capture this enthusiasm to teach & inspire learning?

First we need to acknowledge & understand people's attitudes v's emotional response to technology & pedagogy.

For example; if the curriculum/system does not allow for flexibilty to inspire teachers/administrators to incorporate new Web2.0 teaching practices, then they will be satisfied to work day in & out teaching, happy that they are meeting their job description/requirements, keeping the status-quo. On the other hand you have teachers/administrators who utilise/support new technologies ie: Web2.0 in the classroom.


When you see the tribal connection between the youth, who are embracing Web2.o, & the passionate techno savvy zeitergeist mavericks, who are frustrated by the need to have technology embraced enmasse by the non-initiated (eg: in education), you sense cathexis of the two, an energy that some have captured to move to a more open & networked learning pedagogy

The tribal connections...where do we start? Where are we at with initiating the un-initiated? Should they join the techie tribe? How will they benefit? What is the connection?...I see many adult's who don't see the relevance of technology in their lives, who overlook what’s going on with the younger generation & are happy enough not to join the with internet revolution.

There is no doubt that for many, after holding down a teaching job, family & life...once home, the time to look at a computer let alone explore Web2.0 technologies or engage with all the networking 'stuff' of an evening... is probably not a high priority!

Paradoxically…with younger generations who engage technology [Web2.0] in their day-to-day lives, their experience will effect to drive their desire to learn & evolve, & inturn they will look for accessible mentor’s to facilitate their education in this experience; to incorporate into more exciting pedagogy [from primary to tertiary]…so where are these mentors today, how do we engage a more positive response from the teachers/mentors?

We all have different connections (tribe) to each other, as we do to technology. What tribe you are in drives what connection you have to change & technology. We all have an ‘emotional response’ to technology whether it be positive/negative, excited/uninspired, engaged/closed minded.

At work, the way technology is affecting us emotionally (in some cases) may account for the slowness to change. Whereas others have drive & enthusiasm for new ways of thinking to utilise Web2.0 technology, others may see it as a threat to the status quo, others may simply unaware or at the extreme - be overwhelmed.

Today it is the adults who advocate how technology should be utilised in education eg: learning objects, LMS’s, firewalls… Paradoxically, when looking at what's happening with Generation-Y as an indicator, it's the youth of today who are driving the cultural & economical uptake of a more open internet, with mobiles & mySpace in their lives. Some educational innovators are bringing new web2.0 concepts into the classroom from the street, this is the start. Time will see the realised benefits & effects trickle through to the mainstream, though until there is a wider advocacy to incoporate new technologies in the classroom (or as part of professional development), it will appear the mainstream educational systems are working at a slower pace to adapt....BUT!! it seems to be changing... funding was recently released for several networked learning/ Web2.0 projects in VTE eg.teacherconnect.

If the educational technology (including the pedagogy) doesn't do 'IT' for students or even their parents!! Perhaps when choosing a school, TAFE, UNI they'll vote with their feet and find another progressive institution or something else to stick it to system :-).

The change to a networked society is happening naturally, Web2.0 being one aspect of this.

We need to facilitate the positive/negative emotional & attitudes to engage the two. How we can communicate this to the un-initiated masses in education, we as 'innovators' who's job it is to engage this target group need to show example and emphasis what is changing/happening, and just as importantly we need to re-remind the teachers that the youth of today, not only are adapting with the new technologies, they are easily willing & able to teach themsleves at home and take this enthusiasm to the class; so they will need a reciprocated response/outlet.

In the photo you see kid's using technology, jumping in and teaching themselves how to create their own music using garageband?.

Here's their bluegrass techno funk fusion


Leigh Blackall said...

darn! I was hoping for some examples to get us started Steven. Hope you'll join in for the meet up this Thursday, as I want to explore this issue voice to voice, and see how our respective work across the Tasman may compliment each other. Nice thought provoking post btw. What happened to your template!? Not to worry, I think I like the new ultra simple one.

stevenparker said...

Hey Leigh

Yes want to get meetup, we have several web2.0 projects which should work across Tasman.

Yes examples, the Learnscope 2006 web2.0 networked projects will initiate implementing the hallowed networked learning pedagogy, lots of examples to engage students teachers, managers will quickly follow. It's going to happen :-)

Have just watched a Keynote screencast from Will Richardson (for the 'Technology Coleges and Community Worldwide online conference' 2006). Clear consise great resource communicating value of blogging rss... Jo came up with idea of advertising these lunch time sessions, food provided to sit around and watch the keynote TCC networked learning guy's presentations. They also get to see eluminate online conferincing. Iniating awareness and value. One idea, lots of possiblities just need to implement them now.

stevenparker said...

Have just moved to default blogger template, more robust and a template that I can show teachers how to implement themselves withou fiddling with styles.