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Posts Tagged ‘new

This photo should make you think.

But instead of seeing just the similarities between a classroom then and now, I also see a key difference.

The modern classroom should look empty because kids can learn on their mobile devices and with YouTube.

The problem is we still rely on 100-year-old strategies and bring them back into the classroom of old.

You can imagine parents telling their kids to stop playing video games and to do their homework instead.

These same parents will ignore the growing suspicion that schooling does not prepare kids for their futures but for their past instead.

They will ignore the increasingly loud rhetoric about preparing kids for jobs that do not exist yet. Watch the segment of the video last edited in 2012 and embedded below.

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They will certainly ignore two things I tweeted recently about the possibility of gaming as a career and the prize money it offers.

But they ignore these at their peril and to the possible detriment to their kids because they focus on what they want instead of what the kids need or might be able to do.

Ten years ago when YouTube was born, who thought that it might be possible to live off online videos by vlogging? Who even considered vlogging as a job instead of a hobby? Who thought that vloggers might get TV shows, movie deals, merchandizing, sponsorship deals, books, tour dates, etc.?

We might not have a new economy (it is still about money), but there are new players who are rewriting the rules or making up new ones.

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This RSA video suggests a few problems with attempts at systemic educational change (39sec to 1min 24sec mark). One problem is teacher professional development that provides knowledge, but does not attempt to change behaviours.

To make matters worse, only one out of four teachers in OECD countries are rewarded for trying to be innovative (1min 56 to 2min 02 sec mark).

RSA suggest we stop asking the old question of “What works?” and instead encourage teachers to ask “What might work?” To do this, teachers must be problem-owners, solution designers, and risk-takers.

What can you say in one minute? What can you teach in one minute?

Most people would say not much.

But if video is the new text, what can you say in that same minute? What can you now teach in one minute?

Here are three videos, each only a minute long, that present a wealth of possibilities.

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If you are an educator, what questions can you spark so that the learning (not the teaching) goes well beyond that minute?

If students are already “reading” videos, why are we not teaching them to “write” videos?

If video is the new text, are you an educator who is literate and fluent with this text?

T minus zero normally means “out of time” or it marks the launch of a projectile.

5 seconds by lecates, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  lecates 

Today is the start of my identity sans NIE labels. No professor, no lecturer (I hate that term!), no appointment holder, no leader or manager. No unnecessary baggage either.

But I will still be doing some of those things over the next few months as I provide consulting work for various institutes: pedagogy workshops, change management experiences, strategic planning, ETC. ETC not as in et cetera, but as in Education and Technology Consultant.

I am looking forward to a more focused, relaxed, and rewarding work life. If I take one of the full time positions I have been offered, my blog readers will be among the first to know.

Thought leaders in the area of journalism started declaring that “video is the new text” in 2012 and 2013.

At a conference in Kuala Lumpur last year, I heard Marc Prensky say the same thing in the realm of education. This was one reason for our CeL-Ed video channel experiment.

If video is the new text, what is the new textbook? I do not think that it is a YouTube video playlist.

Instead, I think that the new textbook is rich experiences. Experiences that not only include the consumption of rich and timely media, but also interacting socially with peers and more knowledgeable others, creating and sharing content, and learning outside silos of books, subject areas, and classrooms.

Now this is obviously not what the Open Textbook movement is about. However, I think that my suggestion is another way of acting on the issue of over-priced, paper-based, and limited-use textbooks.

I walk this talk in the two courses that I facilitate. I only provide one PDF chapter in one course and five videos in another. I have a host of curated resources online, but I expect my learners to find and/or create their own.

This gives them greater ownership of the learning because they are more involved. They write in order to read. Their textbooks are based on their experiences, that of their peers, and the ones I provide for them. These textbooks make for riveting reading!

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These videos helped me time-travel.

To explain how, I need to mention “new economy” and a memory from my time as a graduate student.

The “new economy” has been bandied about for as long as I can remember. When I was a graduate student over 10 years ago, I recall a professor saying that the phrase was rubbish. He claimed that despite the influence and advances of the Internet, there was no real “new” economy despite the dotcom boom and bust. Companies either made money and survived or they lost money and went away.

His point was that money talked the same way it did in the “old” economy. I recall how the class laughed because we understood where he was coming from.

But the new economy is more than making money (or not) in order to survive (or not). It is about newer approaches to things like fund-raising, how you make a living, and getting work done.

The two videos show how crowdsourcing is one way of raising funds. This seems not much different from asking for donations until you realize how anyone in the world can participate. If people do not offer money, they can also offer their services, talents, locations, resources, etc.

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For example, a typical blockbuster movie is a multi-million dollar hard sell that you do not have any say in. The Wongfu guys are asking for money, resources, and even ideas. The ordinary person is not just a cinema patron, s/he is a donor, writer, web designer, marketer, talent, manager, etc.

If the old economy is typified by centralized control, the new economy seems to be exemplified by distributed reach and involvement. What used to be 9 to 5 is now 24 x 7. What used to just be about numbers is now about doing something meaningful.

We live in interesting times because they are not about just the old economy or the new one. Both exist as do combinations in the continuum between.

But we also live in troubling times because schooling still focuses largely on preparing kids for the old economy. The good thing is that some kids with the means are teaching themselves the skills they also need for the new economy. Skills like building digital identity or building online community.

The bad thing is that many school systems run on the model of the old economy. The worse thing is that some of these skills are not encouraged or viewed with fear in schools. The worst thing is that kids are not ready for either economy when schooled this way.

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