Keynote from the first UK Edublogging conference.
Some quickly typed notes from the conference….
Barbara central argument was the view that schools cannot keep pace with technology in society. As computer ratios appear to near sensible ratios in schools, the technology has moved along and left the desktop computer behind with the ‘real world’ that school children live in being one of high specification digital phones, texting technology, communication and learning on-the-move!
Barbara detects a backlash against the empowerment that new technologies are bringing. Society at large doesn’t understand new technologies and consequently doesn’t have the ability to talk about it. An example being that email is used to communicate with older generations and those in power – between themselves, they use text, mobiles, etc.
The news is bad, cheating, porn, plagiarism and this results in institutions feeling the pressure to react against it, clamping down on the exciting new opportunities and in effect trying to keep out the real world.
Barbara identified one problem that results in some of the bad news is that children are not encouraged to use technology thoughtfully, but are told to use it mindlessly.
She identifies a rift between what is possible and desirable and what parents and authority want and will allow at this intersection of new and old literacies.
Barbara’s message is to evangelise, be proactive, spread the word, and risk failure. She argues that unless we collectively do this just as the revolution starts to get some legs and run, cultural and institutional inertia will chop its legs off.
I suppose the question is, can we join up these isolated instance of change and build it into something bigger?