“Teachers need time to play to enable the successful uptake of web2.0 . “
This comment of mine sparked much debate amongst the participants of Session 3, day 1 of the online Knowledgebank conference where a fast and furious chat continued behind the scenes. And I just loved this comment from peggyg
“Now that I am ‘retired’ when I tell people I’m spending lots of time ‘playing with technology’, they just smile. They have no idea that I am learning more through this ‘play’ than I have learned in years of schooling/education!”
Many key points were raised by various global participants and are summarised below:-
@cathy From an administrator’s point of view, teachers need to feel safe to play. Teachers need to be willing to facilitate students when they ‘feel (see) the need to learn”. This is totally different to directing the ‘shots’. Should ‘play’ be given another name eg learning activities or sandboxing, experimenting with new technologies? @peggyg requested a better term than “play”, as to most people ‘play’ does not equal learning. “I believe in constructivism and constructing knowledge but not just free play – without intent and purpose”. @coryplough responded with “Play means learning by doing but not under pressure of assignment in the beginning.”
Teachers need to play with the tools to learn how to use them. They need to know how to play and maybe what to play with @Carole McCulloch wants the mainstream adopters to be engaged with a WIIFM approach (What’s in it for me approach) “ The technology must have a purpose and meaningful connection to their lives and their students..and not everything at once.” @amanda There need to be programs, mentors, personal learning networks, walk in, walk out times in the computer lab.
@deangroom “Starting in your own classroom puts pressure on the system by the kids.” @barb ‘kids will push other teachers to use the things they have enjoyed in other classes” @tasteach “Teach the tools first and then see how students use it with their work.” Students will drive the show with their excitement and enthusiasm and it does become infectious. Use students to teach students from other classes. @deangroom “kids are the unpaid but best advocates”.
@bethstill “Play is necessary in order to learn. It is just part of what we do! Luckily , I have been encouraged to play and blog during planning time! Very nice to work in a supportive environment”. Play may amount to the new research. Set the ‘need’ first with teachers before they play.
@amanda “Play with the technologies and also about ideas of what learning is about too.”
Once staff and students learn the tools, potential directions can be found and a huge resource of applications becomes apparent to improve learning outcomes. Does using pedagogy in conjunction with web2.0 tools allow a potential partnership with leaning and learners? Education must be connected to play. Is knowledge taught or should education be skills based? Are teachers intimidated by the fact that they may no longer be in control of the ‘play’ by children, where students may be learning lots more from their online ‘play’. Will teachers take on a new role where they now bring to the fore the learning in play? Playing on the computer is viewed with fear vs playing with something else. Should all learning be for assessment and do the assessment practices cut across the play/learning time. Are assessment practices and accountability at odds with student engagement? @bcdtech puts ‘scratch’ on the computers for playtime and kids love it.
Another of peggyg’s favourite quotes “to teach is to learn twice!”