I’ve decided to pronounce the year “twenty-ten”. Not sure what the popular wisdom on this matter will be but I suspect most will continue with the “two thousand and…” that we have been using for the first decade of the 21st century. “Twenty-ten” sounds like the never-arriving future is here – and I like that!
It is a minor matter.
What is more important than these semantics, from my POV, is personal renewal and direction. Last year, I posted about ‘directions and influencers’ but currently am endeavouring to reassess the larger picture for schools, especially mine. How to practically and effectively implement ‘a vision’, after a sound course has been charted, is always the challenge and pleasure of leadership. It is usually not so much a matter of a ‘new’ direction but confirming the route, with an eye on the horizon.
Digital technologies, advances in neuroscience, laptops, school infrastructure, web 2.0 and our 21st century tools are of great and continuing importance in the service of the ongoing challenge of maintaining and sustaining what is really important, our environment and civil society.
We are all going to need to learn, relearn, unlearn and want to learn!
Being traditionally, scientifically, digitally and, in fact, truly multiliterate is of the most profound importance, if we are to learn and grow. Reading is of fundamental importance. All humans must model and encourage reading for our personal and ever-widening interconnected web of interests to grow. It is pithy, and a reworking of a poster on a primary school door, but if we read, we will likely succeed!
Recently Dean Groom and Graham Wegner have posted about the lack of educational change in 2009. At my school, the last 12 months has seen more change than most teachers have seen in their career. Some of it has been superficial but mostly, significant platforms have been constructed for future progress.
Year 9 are flourishing! Their laptops have been a trojan horse and many are starting to understand the significance. Learning is personal and the teacher is there to help, instruct, model learning and facilitate. School now has endless windows, many of which can be fashioned by the learner, regardless of their status as ‘teacher’ or ‘student’.
I believe ‘teaching’ will have a renaissance this century, as we co-operate and collaborate and the citizens of the planet have the need to solve the growing challenges we will have to overcome. This renaissance has already commenced but will become truly evident during this new decade. Skilled teachers are already at a premium but those with vision, relentless enthusiasm and who love to learn, challenge and be challenged, will insist on thriving!
Is this you?
We need to watch and participate in the development of the Australian National Curriculum and resulting assessment closely, to safeguard a potentially enlightened future. There is incredibly important opportunity in this change but many threats abound too.
A curriculum for the 21st, not a previous century, is what we need.
On your first paragraph, how did we all say 1908? “One thousand nine hundred and eight?, no, it was nineteen-oh-eight. 1910 was nineteen-ten. Therefore, twenty-10 is correct and we really SHOULD have been saying twenty-oh-one through twenty-oh-nine last decade. “Two-thousand” was only correct in 2000. So what caused us to be so erroneous for the past nine years?
I believe it was Stanley Kubrick’ fault. His 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey set the precedent for everybody 33 years earlier.
As for the rest of your article, I’m patiently waiting for the day when the vocation of “teacher” morphs into “Professional Learner”.
I agree with you reflection and predictions for twenty ten. 2009 saw immense change in education and while many embraced the new opportunities and are running with them there are many others, and not just those close to retirement, who have rejected the changes due to fear, lack of skills, lethargy, complacency… We need to be aware of the potential divide that is occuring and make sure we are building bridges between the two camps to make sure all are moving forward to ensure the best possible outcome for the students in our care.
Since we only had our laptops for 2 weeks before school ended, I can only hope that they stimulate and challenge the students in the ways you talk about in your post. I will be interested to see how they start Year 10 after having had the holidays to experiment and play on them.
Adapting to change is the best skill we can teach our students and for that to occur we need to ba able to embrace change ourselves. I am so looking forward to the future of education – bring it on!
Brilliant analysis! Your ‘Kubrick thesis’ sounds correct, Stu.
I like ‘Learning Professional’ better but agree that this is of fundamental importance! ‘Naming’ is always important and we can list examples where changed naming assists fundamental change. We can also think of examples, I’m certain, where the name change has not assisted one little bit.
Thanks for your comment, Stu.
Paula, I am certain that you will see many positive changes in Year 10 this year and staff will rise to the challenge. Bridging the divide, as you mention, is key! This article tells us why is is possible:
janene van gogh
I also saw a significant change in my school in the last 6 months of 2009. Initially from a ground swell of PD on offer and taken by staff ,then followed by the student laptop rollout. The second was a major influence in staff wanting to engage with the technology. Staff who had previously not been that fussed requested laptops that were still available.
Continued and ongoing PD is going to be essential and ‘accepting where others are at’ (National Schools Network) will be critical in ensuring all staff feel supported and confident as part of this change.
Looking forward to 2010
It was the same for us. Teachers who previously could not see the relevance of PD on tech as they had chalkboards in their classrooms have now engaged.
You have omitted your own role as a learning leader and how you’ve used the small amount of time available in this ‘brave new digital world’ to achieve this.
Yours is one of the exceptions to the stagnant norm. We see individual brilliance and even school brevity — but what we must ask for is evidence that these machines are improving outcomes on the same scale they are being rolled out at. It will be interesting to see how this is evaluated and measured this year if at all.
Your questions, here and at your post, are of particular importance. I feel that the direction DET has set is good and now we must participate, agitate and engage with vigour to achieve great things for our communities.
We have a team of people at school we are very clever, hardworking and thoughtful! We are lucky to have a couple of people, two guys in particular, who are really savvy. I am more of an ‘enthusiast’ who likes change generally, they have the genuine tech skills.
I have been inspired by the changes in some teachers. We have some luddites who should be ever so pleased wih their progress. It is wonderful to behold!
I really enjoyed reading your new post Darcy, particularly the concept of endless windows. I think that is worth exploring in depth and establishing how that can move the school forward and hence enhance learning outcomes. I believe its important to harness that energy and the variance associated with it to establish a valid future for students, teachers and our communities.
I am concerned though with some thoughts expressed by dskmag in your comments. Absolutely, we must evaluate and measure, but until we have significant long term data based on both student and teacher engagement, and, until assessment, both internal and external, better reflects learning, I don’t believe we can really even consider, much less measure, the impact of DER in our schools for our students.
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What a delightful post. I am on the side of optimism too!
Twenty Ten – or as I am naming it…The Year for “PDR” – Positively Directed Energy”!
One such direction is the DET’s DER. The Laptop roll out has had some encouraging results in classrooms. My focus is creating a learning tool that does not lose it’s “gloss” after a couple of terms. Focused implementation of the devices through creative pedagogy is essential to keep the students enthused and most importantly engaged in learning.
My school is doing a fantastic job of training up all teachers – tech savvy or not -for working with the lappies. At this time, I’d like to think, my school is ahead of the board. Curriculum now needs to catch up, otherwise, the significant impact of the machine on learning will be lost. Much like you have suggested Darcy, a keen eye is required on the national curriculum, as is a strong voice to make sure that the curriculum is relevant for educating in the 21st century.
P.S. I like the blog makeover!!
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This post was mentioned on Twitter by Darcy1968: A new look and a new post to greet the new decade: ‘Life-long learning in “twenty-ten”‘ http://is.gd/5Kkk5…
Totally agree about the naming of twenty-ten. I started to ponder this back in “two thousand”, and wondered how long it would be before the quickly entrenched “two thousand and XXX” nomenclature would be replaced with the more correct (and much more easy to pronounce) “twenty-XXX” wording. I thought at the time that 2010 seemed the obvious crossover point, but wondered if we would be so used to the old way of doing it that it would be hard to change.
Which is a nice segue into the other part of your post… dealing with change. I must say that I’ve also perceived a real change in the air in the latter half of last year with regard to teachers finally saying “ok, ok, I get it! This technology stuff is here to stay! Society is changing! I get it… now just show me what I need to do” Not everyone, but increasing numbers of people, that’s for certain.
It’s good to feel that bit of groundswell starting to happen. I’m sure the DER is partly responsible, and has helped flip the switch, but really, I just think it’s an idea whose time has finally come.
Happy new year to you Darcy!
The road ahead « Kelli’s Blog
[…] been pondering what to put into my first blog post of the year. While some are blogging about the ongoing challenge of maintaining and sustaining positive change, others are reflecting on the work and thoughts of the past year, or setting goals for […]