This was a podcast episode with a difference. First, I was asked to be interviewed by an articulate 13 year old student together with a classroom of peers located some 8 hours’ drive from San Francisco and who were connected to the seminar by iChat. Kelly Swarze is a regular to Macworld, and after she interviewed me I had the opportunity to interview her. It was a very rewarding experience.
Kelly wants to learn with technology and is forthright with her opinion about teachers who refuse to use it and to teach with it. Ouch! Kelly boldly claims that the majority of teachers don’t know what they are talking about with technology and don’t want to learn different stuff … that’s humbling.
When I was reflecting on this experience I had a personal flashback. In 2005 I had the wonderful experience of visiting Prof Stephen Heppell in Dublin Ireland. Stephen has been called by the press “Mr ICT” he consults at the highest level on learning spaces and teaching with technology. During the visit he told me about a program he was pioneering as a member of the board of the BAFTA awards (the UK Oscars). They are giving awards to young people for creative uses of technology. With pride he declared he had a T-shirt for me. In big bold letters it said “Be Very Afraid” (BVA). I asked what that meant, and he said that this is the message that young people are sending to professional filmmakers like Lucas and Spielberg. Four years on, Professor Heppel makes this disturbing observation:
- We should all worry about the gap that has opened up between the institutions, teachers and learners who have embraced – and are busy astonishing us with – this complex mix of technologies and services, and those institutions that mindlessly ban phones, YouTube, international links, social networking, joy, challenge. The gap is rapidly becoming a chasm.
Stephen says a lot more and I recommend that every teacher read the entire piece. And I think that at least once every year every higher education academic and teaching faculty member should be interviewed by a class of 13 year old college students of tomorrow. This will rekindle their passion for teaching and contribute to their professional development. Do you agree? Please add your comments to this blog, join the dialogue and be part of the wisdom.
Written by Allan Carrington