A colleague from Suffield Academy (where I don’t teach) and I just spent about 1 1/2 hours on the phone and our presentation on Google Docs editing our presentation for Tuesday’s 21st century learning conference, sponsored by CAIS.
We’re both very excited. We’ve gone from about twenty slides to about eighty, and cut the average time for each slide from 1.5 minutes each to about 20 seconds apiece. We’ve gone from telling a story mostly with words to telling a story with pictures. We’ve gone from cheer-leading digital technologies to acknowledging that digital tech in classrooms rapidly become messy with many loose ends — but that it’s sticky, and introduces students to a range of new learning and expressive skills. We’ve acknowledged that old teaching styles are still important, but that a new pedagogy is emerging in the face of digital tech, one combining the best of the old and the best of the new.
On a completely different note, here’s some of the things that happened in our talk. My colleague said, at various points
Huh. I say it to you on the phone, and suddenly you’re typing it on your computer there.
Wow. The picture of the snake and the baby is really startling. I think that will make an impression on the audience.
My colleagues saw the poster for the conference, with the picture from our website, and wanted to attend the conference represented by the picture. They didn’t want to attend the conference represented by all the words. Even though they’re the same conference.
And more such statements.
Essentially, we both think that teaching is just beginning to ride up the base of a new wave of pedagogy — team-based, project-based, and multi-disciplinary. We’re both afraid of it. Tremendously afraid.
But we’ve also got our surfboards, and we’re running to the water.