Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘blog

As a dad, I can relate to this Google ad…

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I maintain more than one blog and have been blogging on behalf of my son since before he was born in 2004.

We started our blog at LiveJournal, moved on to EduBlogs and now we are at Posterous. We lost a several months of blog entries when we moved from EduBlogs to Posterous and that is the fault of the former’s bad exporting tool.

My son won’t just have a digital footprint, he will have a digital legacy to maintain! I am going to do my best to educate him on this in spite of a schooling system that largely refuses to embrace his tools, meet his needs and prepare him for his world.

Steve Wheeler wrote two very interesting blog entries.

One was “Why do I bother?” which outlined why he blogged. I can relate to his reasons. Also noteworthy are Jeff Cobb’s five reasons to reflect daily and John Connell’s slow blogging.

Wheeler also wrote about breaking the mould of education, i.e. changing it radically for the better. He cited one of his favourite “anarchists” Ivan Illich:

A…major illusion on which the school system rests is that most learning is the result of teaching. Teaching, it is true, may contribute to certain kinds of learning under certain circumstances. But most people acquire most of their knowledge outside school, and in school only insofar as school, in a few rich countries, has become their place of confinement during an increasing part of their lives. [source]

When asked who his favourite “anarchists” were, Wheeler said:

Jesus Christ, Mozart, Picasso, Van Gogh, Stockhausen, Einstein, The Beatles and Dylan Thomas…. Few of these, if asked, would have classified themselves as anarchists in the sense that they wished to ‘destroy the world’. Many of them were criticised for being mad, deluded, drug-crazed or drunken, but each of them in their own way broke the mould, enabled us to see the world in a new way, and created new concepts that made us rethink our representations of reality.

Wheeler outlines his reasons for breaking the educational mould more succinctly than I can write here.

My simple and visual mind sees the reasons in the image above. What our children need to learn has grown (is growing and will continue to grow) too large for the confines of the current educational system. The educational system needs to be recontextualized and expanded to embrace social networks and real life, instead of being simplified models and reduced to tests or exams.

Like Wheeler, I agree that schools and universities will not go away. But they should not be the only place where we think “education” takes place. To think that it does is to kid ourselves and to do our children a disservice.

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How could I not blog about something that three Tweeters I am following mentioned?

If you visited The Guardian, you might have come across this headline: Pupils to study Twitter and blogs in primary schools shake-up. Of course the headline was sensationalistic, but it was quite accurate too.

I think that the bottom line was not so much that primary school kids in the UK might embrace more technology in school. The fact is that they will be using more RELEVANT technologies in their schools. This will force teachers to update their pedagogies because if they don’t they will soon discover that old methods do not necessarily allow new or better forms of learning to take place.

And of course various stakeholders feel threatened. There’s not enough coverage of history or the learning of drama for example. But at the end of the day we should not be looking at what is important to us in the short term, but what is important to the kids for the long term. We should be preparing them for their future, not our past.

Am I going to wait for the Singapore educational system to play catch up? Obviously not. I am preparing preservice teachers under my care to think and teach progressively. Time will tell if I am right.

News articles or Stomp entries like this crop up from time to time: Teachers blog and they get attention for the wrong reasons.

That is why I get my trainees to edu-blog. They are not only reflecting as they experience my course. Nor are they simply providing opportunities for informal learning and interaction. They must learn how to blog for teaching and learning, and they must learn how to blog responsibly when blogging as professionals.

Twitblogs sounds like an insult, doesn’t it? It is actually a service that allows you to go beyond the 140-character limit of Twitter… if you need to. According to their Web site,  you already have a Twitblog account if you have a Twitter account!

But I am not sure what to think about this service. Twitter purists will argue that the point of tweets is to maintain a “stream of consciousness” and keep entries short. Bloggers will argue that they can write short entries anyway. Twitter could relent and increase the number of characters if they did away with the SMS feature.

I might try Twitblogs on for size. Then again, I might not. There is no real pull factor at the moment.

I will be overseas and on vacation this week. But I will continue to blog with my netbook and as long as I have wireless access. I could also “blog” if I used a new service. allows you to blog with blogging. The service automatically creates blog entries based on keywords that you specify. This might seem like a good idea for a “lazy” blogger, but I think that it is a great tool for automtically gathering information based on topics of interest!

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