Digital Presence

… the fact is that researchers really need a digital presence these days because the internet has become the greatest library and person search database of all times.

What are people going to do if they attend your session at a conference or hear your name somewhere? They are going to google you and if they don’t find you, they move on to the next person, independently of how good your work is.

via knowmansland.com (from the post: Personal Branding, Digital Scholarship, and that thing called PhD on the Learning Journey by Cristina Costa.

Cristina points out reasons for digital presence for academics & researchers. ‘Googling’ people to learn more – for job applications, to learn a bit more about a person, to learn about someone’s research & work – is happening more often. How are you building your digital presence?

Learning is Continous

As educators, we need to stop thinking of learning in yearly segments.  Learning is continuous, along with the process of change and growth. …  When we are rushing to get everything done by the end of the year through our own growth process, that is when things feel like add-ons and we lose our belief in them.  … The tools might be different, but the learning should be continuous and built upon.  If we really believe that an idea is truly  better for education, the process will (and should) take awhile.

Is this not a great way to role model to our students that we are continuous learners?

via georgecouros.ca at The Prinicipal of Change

In this post, George was talking about changes in schools, but the idea can be applied to any and all learning. We chunk learning into units and courses – artificially to fit into some predetermined time frame. I guess some things must come to an end, but learning is not one of them. Although a course might finish or a school year end, the learning does not, but it might take a new direction or emphasis. With our emphasis on time frames and grades are we rushing learning? Why can’t a student pick up and continue where he/she left off instead of starting again? What is so wrong if one person learns something in 3 days and another in 6? As George states this is true of change – which is learning – it needs time to be thought through, take hold and be nurtured, not rushed and abandoned at the first sign of it fading. In my own learning, although the courses I take end, the learning that starts in them continues, the Ph.D. is one step in a learning process, and each course is just one piece of that growth process, not an end in itself. The final statement is also important, as educators, we must be good role models too. How do you live life-long learning?

Good Question!

Those selling “21st Century Skills,” “college for all,” KIPP, charter schools, common core standards, and pay-4-performance, however, want schools to prepare children and youth for what is, not for what society should be. These advocates have seen, and continue to see schools as boot camps for society as it is…

Yet each generation of reformers has contained those who also see public schools as instruments of social change that can make the lives of marginalized children far better than now exist. They are hardy and tough-minded; they do not let the facts of the past cloud their dreams nor halt their efforts. The question, then, remains open as it was a century ago: What role should public schools in a democratic society play?

 

democracy and education 

photo © 2009 CHRIS DRUMM | more info (via: Wylio)

 

from the blog post: A Pedagogy of Culture and Power: School Reform for Social Justice | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

In this post, Larry Cuban asks what the purpose of schooling should be, education fo rthe world as it is – or should be. A great questions that has implications no matter the answer. IS the answer one, the other, or both? I encourage you to read the original post and reflect an this important question.

Community & Connections

Taking the time to consider this deeply, I’ve reached the conclusion that the killer app in classroom blogging isn’t the platform. Kids aren’t motivated by blogging because they have  a cool space to write. The killer app in blogging isn’t blogging after all – it’s connecting and communicating with others. It’s about the community that develops around your platform.

… The connections inspire accelerating returns and positive feedback loops. The connections gives students a window into other’s lives and spaces.

via evenfromhere.org (Remote Access asks: The End of Classroom Blogging?)

Clarence says it well – it is about community & connections!

(originally quoted on February 22, 2011)

Rethinking Schooling

Children in Classroom in Keene New Hampshirephoto © 2011 Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County | more info (via: Wylio)

I’m a huge fan of using technology to rethink schooling. But it’s the rethinking that matters, not the technology. What matters is how we use these tools to solve problems smarter, deliver knowledge, support students, reimagine instruction, refashion cost structures, and challenge students in new ways. Unfortunately, in far too many places, educators, industry shills, and technology enthusiasts seem to imagine that the technology itself will be a difference-maker. Good luck with that.

via blogs.edweek.org (When “Digital Natives” Discover the Encyclopedia – Rick Hess Straight Up – Education Week)

Rick Hess makes a valid point in this post. It is a common, oft heard refrain, it is not the technology. We need to rethink and change schooling to both reflect our times and what we want society to be, based on prinicples of democracy, justice and equity. Technology is not the answer, however, it does afford us the opportunity to connect and enhance learning in ways we never could before, but that takes good teaching, reflective & critical thought, not just throwing technology into schools.

(originally quoted this on December 22, 2010 – trying to catch up!)