Building Bridges?

I got a comment on one of my YouTube videos! I was so excited, for about 10 minutes while I logged on to find out what someone had said.

Turns out, what they said was, “Way to use technology to bore me half to death…” And “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz“.

Part of me is annoyed. Annoyed, because I worked hard on finding a way to deliver content to my students digitally. And this person — who isn’t even in my class — has found a way to critique me and my teaching methodology, all the way from Ireland!

Part of me is amused, though. Because as a digitally connected teacher, I have to answer critiques of my teaching style and presentation formats, even if they come from Ireland.

Today, Junior Scholastic sent me a sample magazine, in order to persuade me to sign up for the regular receipt of their publication. The cover story was about the 143 million teens in China, and how they’re going to be future competitors with our students today.

Guess what, folks? We teachers compete with them, too, right now.  Just as Sugata Mitra predicted, we’re going to be facing off against (and collaborating with) teachers around the globe in a digitally connected way. (That’s not actually the gist of his claim — Mitra’s claim is that there are going to be places where good teachers can’t or won’t go, and that’s the perfect place to replace teachers with computers; but he also claims that teachers who can be replaced with computers, should be…. and how replaceable is a bad-but-digital teacher? A question for another post.

The question now becomes, how do we build bridges to other digitally connected teachers — so we can work with each other, to create better digital content, that keeps global attention longer, and serves the needs of students in multiple environments and at varying levels of socioeconomic scale?

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