With the resources of the internet available to most schools, teachers don’t have to be the experts of content and knowledge any longer. While this may cause some uneasiness for educators as they feel like they are losing their position of authority, this is something that should be a cause for excitement. As educators, we no longer have to know everything in terms of content, but we do need to know how to ask good questions and find answers to those questions. We first need to do that for ourselves as learners, but then know how to instill those same skills in our students. Learners of all ages need to be able to think, inquire, and explore. Learning and teaching in this manner isn’t an easy practice to adopt as it is so different from what we likely experienced as students ourselves. We are used to asking questions for which we already know the solutions.
I like what Todd Hurst has previously shared about “remixing” our current educational practices. (The remix term is in reference to this creative video project by Kutiman.) We don’t need to throw everything out and start over with education. Let’s take what currently works, recycle what used to work, and blend it with new resources and practices that show a lot of promise.
As I was putting my 10-year-old to bed tonight, he asked me what I was writing, so I summarized my thoughts on teachers taking on more helping roles rather than traditional teaching practices. He thought about this for a moment and then said, “School would be a lot more fun if teachers would just give us a little hint and then let us figure it out.” I think that’s what I am experiencing right now in my course “Digital Age Learning and School Technology Leadership” with Dr. John Nash. I have no idea where our learning will end up at the end of this semester, but we’ve received our hints, we’ll figure it out, and it sure will be enjoyable.
Here is the Kutiman video.
Here is my wise son Gavin, playing a little “I Shot the Sheriff.”