So, it’s been a year exactly since my last post. Ho hum. Never mind. The glossary of terms for the EdD could still happen, the logging of what’s going on in my work and my studies should still happen. But it’s hard to find what I write good enough to share (I know, you wouldn’t guess from what did make it onto here).
In the light of this, I was interested in a post on Harold Jarche’s blog called “Friday Find” where he explains that in a move to reflect and make something of the information he finds and shares on Twitter, he summarises the best of it every couple of weeks.
Summarizing what I see on Twitter is probably beyond me right now (I have an assignment due in a month and a half), so for the same reasons as Jarche but with less ambition, I offer the first of my Friday Finds – something I ran across this week on Twitter which excited my interest and got me thinking about education, teaching and technology.
This first week I’m going with a Stephen Downes slideshare:
In particular, I’m taken with a couple of aphorisms here that are I suppose obvious but easy to forget:
To teeach is to model and to demonstrate
To learn is practice and reflect
This is a partial account of both learning and teaching but it emphasises teachers as models of learning behaviour and facilitators of student practice and reflection over say as assessors or holders of knowledge.
I really liked this slide:
I’m not sure what Downes means by it at all. But what I like is that ‘personal’ is about connections to other people, it is emotional, multifaceted, difficult, compelling. For me, most of the best moments in education and in life are about personal connections. Personalized is something that machines do to us using our data, like the Amazon “people who bought this item also bought” algorithm or the soup that Facebook serves up. It is interesting but it is not as thrilling as somebody going to the trouble to suggest we look at something, to disagree with us, tell us we can do better or make us laugh.
This reminded me of another Twitter find this week: Mark Barnes talking about the importance of encouraging learners to engage in discussion and try again as part of work towards learning rather than be handed a score for assignments.
With both Downes and Barnes there is a distinction between learning as data and learning as a process between people. I think both are useful, but technology can allow us to focus on one at the risk of undervaluing the other.