Another dot in the blogosphere?

P-eeved: Lessons from a video about selfies

Posted on: November 24, 2015

Recently I read Death by a thousand likes: How Facebook and Twitter are killing the open web. The article highlighted the tension between publishers of content and platforms that collect or curate content.

The platforms and publishers need each other, but the article paints a picture illustrating more threat than opportunity. The publishers worry that platforms take content without attribution or payment. The platforms worry about publishers putting up walls and start co-opting publishers and feeds.

In the realm of education, this problem has been felt most in content management systems (CMS). One reason why very few people know about CMS is because the threats became real and opportunities slipped by.

The providers of CMS thought they could control both publishing and platforms by creating content in-house and providing access via proprietary platforms. However, the rest of the world moved on to open and freely available content on platforms like YouTube and publishers like, well, anyone. CMS providers failed to reinvent themselves by taking advantage of a more open system.

Educators need to be aware of this tension and two more Ps: Pedagogy and people (I refrain from using “pupils” because our kids are people, not just studying machines).

Old school pedagogy that relies on published books is no longer enough. Content is now less stable, easily goes out of date, and publishers cannot keep up. Information is readily available online and changes every minute of every day, and students need to learn how to deal with this newer standard.

The pedagogy of content delivery is insufficient. Teaching that creates contexts and provides opportunities for problem-seeking and problem-solving are more important. This sort of teaching is more difficult because it is more just-in-time and just-for-me instead of just-in-case. It is focused more on the people that matter, the learners.

Teacher preparation programmes struggle to keep up with this change and they send new, semi-adventurous teachers to a very conservative system. The recruits are assimilated to the system, their energy diluted, and very little change results, if any.

Video source

One way to break out of this pattern is for teachers to unlearn old behaviours and learn new ones. This group of parents and teachers offered these tips in the video above:

  • admit that what you do is losing relevance
  • adopt an open mind
  • learn to use new tools
  • learn from your kids and students
  • dialogue with them

These are what any good educator would do to be a learner first. They do not have to take selfies; they need to take a good, hard look at themselves.

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