Unable to attend the 2013 EduTECH National Congress, I enjoyed reading a brief article by Chelsea Attard, which I’m unfortunately unable to find online: Gadgets, gizmos and plenty of world-class speakers on show. This article gave just a glimpse of some of the inspirational presentations given over the course of the conference.
Amongst a review of a number of different presentations, this quote piqued my interest:
“Education is an exciting place to work right now because technology is pushing us towards self-directed learning”
Quote of Kynan Robinson at EdTECH National Congress 2013 as reported in a review of this Congress
by Chelsea Attard in Technology in Education (Term 3, 2013)
With a passionate interest in teacher education and how educators today are able to benefit from the incredibly rich online learning environment which surrounds us all, I was hooked by this short quote. Eager to put these words into context, I was pleased to very quickly locate a video of Kynan Robinson’s presentation at the 2013 EduTECH National Congress.
As it turns out, this quote, which feeds into my own belief that technology is pushing all of us to self-directed learning, was really part of a talk which focused on how the playing field for students in our schools has and is dramatically changing. The thoughts, experiences and examples shared were interesting. Taking Robinson’s words a step further though, it is without a doubt that the altered learning environment being experienced by our students in our classes is also being experienced by educators across the entire education sector.
Many of the points Robinson made, can be applied to teacher education:
- education today is an incredible place to work because it is empowering and inspiring;
- the Internet is reshaping how educators learn;
- technology is making learning and teaching better for both the educator and the student
- modern technology is about communication and connectivity
- communication is enhanced by social networking
- adjuncts of social networking such as liking, rating, tagging and sharing diverse opinions facilitate shared knowledge
- connectivity enables the sharing of ideas
- ideas are being shared in online networks
- active participation in online networks allows members to become co-creators of new knowledge
- online networks are developing new knowledge
- knowledge resides in online networks
- network learning is becoming the norm
- connectivity allows educators to take responsibility for their own learning
- connectivity allows educators to determine their own learning paths
- connectivity empowers educators
- connectivity inspires learning
In other words, where the symbol –> means ‘leads to’ :
technology –> communication & connectivity = social networking –> networking –> network learning
For those of us who are already active online network learners regularly joining hands with those in our Personal Learning Network in the pursuit of new learning and new knowledge, this kind of thinking is not new. So good is the experience, it is not surprising that we are keen to share with those who have not yet discovered this incredibly easy way to enrich our knowledge and our lives!