This is my blog of reflections, musings and ideas. Originally started as a requirement of the Graduate course "Seminar in Educational Technology" at the University of Manitoba. Now that I have finished my Ph.D., I will use the blog explore ideas as I proceed through my work in education & educational technology.
Compassion and Care in Curriculum
The other day I came across this blog post by George Veletsianos (the Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology) in which he talked about his thoughts about how we should be including "compassion, kindness, and care" in digital learning. He writes that he is no talking about overtly teaching compassion, etc, rather, "I’m more concerned here with how to embed compassion in our practice – in our teaching, in our learning design processes, the technologies that we create." He goes on to list several questions he is thinking about. After over 35 years as an educator, I firmly believe that relationships are vital to meaningful learning. This was/is true in any level in K-12 and in higher ed, and in any role. I have been a classroom teacher, an ICT leader, and a school administrator, and now a teacher educator. George's questions are interesting to contemplate. How can we include compassion in our course design? As I begin to think about my course syllabi for next year, it is something I will have to think about. The work of Noddings can be useful in thinking about this as well. Noddings (2012) wrote: "A climate in which caring relations can flourish should be a goal for all teachers and educational policymakers. In such a climate, we can best meet individual needs, impart knowledge, and encourage the development of moral people." With the world in its current state - from the hatred we see between people not even known to each other, to the often disgusting online commentary on every topic under the sun, a little bit of compassion, care, and empathy would go a long way.
Perhaps we need to embed a pedagogy of care and compassion in our work as educators? Reference Noddings, N. (2012). The caring relation in teaching. Oxford Review of Education, 38(6), 771-781.
Late last year my colleague, Dr. Rennie Redekopp (University of Manitoba) and released a new free eBook we edited title Education and Technology: Manitoba Action and Reflection. This book consists of 15 chapters written by Manitoba Educators. The book is divided into 4 parts: Current Trends and Issues, Connecting and Sharing , Stories of Personal Transformation, and Where Do We Go From Here?
The book was an idea I had over a year ago and Rennie agreed to help out. The chapters paint an exciting portrait of educational technology use in Manitoba schools. The editors hope that it can act to inspire others to implement educational technology in thoughtful and meaningful ways.
In a recent TED talk (below), Sugata Mitra contends that schools are not broken, they are obsolete: "I said schools as we know them now, they're obsolete.I'm not saying they're broken.It's quite fashionable to say that the education system's broken.It's not broken. It's wonderfully constructed.It's just that we don't need it anymore. It's outdated." He then goes on to describe his famous 'hole in the wall"experiments and his vision for schools in the cloud or Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE), that is, schools in which children explore and learn with and from each other. While this is an intriguing idea - and might have some merit, kids should learn from and with one another, the thing that struck me in his description of the current school system - with which we are familiar, was his contention that they (schools) are not broken, they work in the way they were designed, but rather they are obsolete or out-dated. The…
So, I have signed up for Digital Writing Month. During the month of November various digital writing challenges will be given. It sounds like fun, and I would love to play with some other ways of writing, and improve in this area. The first task is to create an unofficial CV. I considered a way to be a little creative, and decided to make an infographic. I have my students make them to explore ways they can be used in the classroom, so I thought I should give it a try as well. I used Piktochart - it was fun to do and here it is: