Friday, January 02, 2009

A day listening to Darren on the Radio

Yesterday I had the privilege of participating in the back channel chatterous room as Darren was interviewed by Richard Coultier. The radio station he works for has the highest market share in the province. Darren had an audience. I was very impressed by the understanding of the topics that Mr. Coultier had and his passion to try to create change.

At one point Richard mentioned 1 to 1 laptop initiatives. He then started to ask the government for money to provide these needed pieces of technology. This was nice to hear but not what is needed right now in this province. We need training for teachers to incorporate new styles of learning into their classrooms. The $$ that would be spent on creating 1 to 1 would be enormous. You could get more bang for your buck if you trained new teachers in the technology and provided opportunities for older teachers to add 21st C learning into their pedagogy. Could you imagine if a small group of teachers who know how to use this technology was set loose on the general teaching profession in this province. Perhaps then we could see some change.

One of the best parts of participating in these forums is that you add new people to your network. I would like to recommend that you add Neil Winton. He is an educator from Scotland who has lots of great ideas and energy.

We do not have and Alec or Dean in this province. We do have an Andy, John Darren and myself who would be in place to do change. Our salaries are a drop in the bucket compared to starting up a 1 to 1 laptop initiative.

I say this because I am using 8 year old emacs in my room and having success. It is not the newest technology ( I would love new computers) but it is how you use the technology.

The conversations happening in the chatterous room were incredible. New connections were made by many of the teachers. There were over 25 educators from all over the world in this room. There were some incredible conversations. Now lets suppose some teachers were listening to the radio that day. I do not think that 30 of them were. How are we to get the majority of the teaching population to understand the power of using this medium in your teaching. Perhaps the large radio audience will ask questions at their parent teacher meetings and school visits.

To listen to this interview you can go to a few places:
Wes Fryer made a podcast of the interview and he also has a great post summarizing thoughts put forward by Dean, Sheryl Wes and Darren.

Thanks for reading. I hope change is in the works....

No comments: