Footprints in a Digital Age – Are we there yet?

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Will Richardson in his 2009 article in Educational Leadership, Footprints in a Digital Age, August 2009,Volume 66  said,

Our students must be nomadic, flexible, mobile learners who depend not so much on what they can recall as on their ability to connect with people and resources and edit content on their desktops, or, even more likely, on pocket-size devices they carry around with them. Our teachers have to be colearners in this process, modeling their own use of connections and networks and understanding the practical pedagogical implications of these technologies and online social learning spaces.

Will wrote this in his article almost 5 years ago and I am wondering how much we have progressed towards this sort of colearning, networking, to increase pedagogical practice.  In our board in the past five years our classrooms and schools have more wifi connectivity, more devices, but I fear that we still have a number of schools that have archaic no use of electronic devices during class or school time.  That is not the case everywhere but I can not confidently guarantee it is not the case in some of our schools.

Also I worry that despite increasing the technology in classes that we are not near enough moving our classes and students towards relational and collaborative learning.  That we are still teaching and assessing knowledge and facts instead of how to incorporate, analyze, and integrate these concepts into understanding.

Recently, I had some relief when I found a science teacher at one of our high schools who says he is a “non-techie” but has been a risk taker trying things like flipping his classroom and using interactive web 2.0 tools to enhance learning and engagement in his class.  He has given up some control to the students and has been rewarded with some refreshing new ways of doing things.

I know this teacher has worked with others in his department and school which has moved a number of teachers forward on the Edtech world but how do we get this out to more teachers in our board and province?

I would love to open up the learning and see if we can make some connections here on my blog.

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