Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Digital Revolution.

For many of you reading this, the digital revolution will be well underway. It might not even feel revolutionary to you anymore; you may have been online in the days of Netscape, or even introduced BBC computers to your school way back when.

For others, this will not be the case. Like me, you might have been at school in the nineties, and just missed out on meaningful ICT teaching, dismissing computers as for geeks, and not even being aware of the online world until much later. It may just be that it has passed you by. For many, this brave new world of digital technology and online networking may seem frightening, a world of specialist language and technical skills hidden from the common person.

Clearly, the future, and indeed the present, is digital. As a teacher, I see the pupils adopting technology without a pause, be it BBM, twitter or online gaming. Indeed, many show much more skill at finding work to copy and pass of as there own than they do at researching and learning independently.

This is why we MUST keep pace with the change.

We cannot be left behind; this will merely alienate the young people we teach, and make our pedagogy increasingly irrelevant and, sadly, boring.

I joined twitter about 14 months ago, for a laugh. One day, I stumbled across #edchat. Soon after, #edtech, and then, #ukedchat. I followed inspiring teachers and educational professionals, and saw the potential. Tentatively, I began to try new things. In my position as Literacy Leader I began a whole school blog to showcase the writing of our pupils. This was a first step, but a minor one - it's controlled by me, not the pupils, therefore lacking ownership. Since then, I've used Inanimate Alice, successfully engaging a class, who produced some outstanding work relating to that fantastic text. I've read a lot, and contributed, when able, to Thursday night's #ukedchat discussions.

But so what? What difference is that really making to my work, and, most importantly, to my pupils?

Recently, I became Head of Department. It is my intention that the digital revolution will not just be televised in my department; it will be blogged, vlogged, wiki'ed, VLEd, google doc-ed, Moodled and more. I've started a weekly blog for my fantastic team, slowly inculcating them with information from my online PLN. That's just the first step.

Now, I need your help. I'm sure there are others like me who lack confidence with teachnology in general (teachnology was a typo, but I'm leaving it in, and copywriting it!) but want to use it, and want to engage their learners on a level that inspires and challenges, preparing today's learners to be adaptable, innovative leaders, who aren't scared of technology, and aren't reluctant to adopt new forms of communication, fitting them confidently to their needs.

I want to hear your ideas on using technology, on embedding it with cautious professionals and fearless children. I want to know how you have used google docs, or a wiki; I want to know how you have got pupils using mobile technology and gathered pupil voice in a cunning, enjoyable way. I want to share your ideas with other who are cautious about this confusing world, and somehow (I'm not sure how, to be honest) make this accessible for all - not just the tech-savvy.

I'll be posting queries and questions through my twitter account and asking questions on here, and would really appreciate your thoughts and ideas.

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