Michael Fisher has a blog entitled Digigogy, A New Digital Pedagogy.
In his description or explanation of this blog he states:
Digigogy is a paradigm shift.
Where pedagogy is about methods to instruct, Digigogy is about those methods, but with a technological frame. From hardware to software, from tech ed theory to application, Digigogy is about reframing our methods in the future of instruction. The new way of learning is a complete tear down and rebuild of traditional teaching, where learning is a joint effort and roles are reborn. Beyond the desks...beyond the walls...beyond the school. The new classroom is orbital, and scenic, and here. This blog is intended to be a launching pad...
I enjoy following his thoughts and ideas. Recently, his story (Please read the full account) was about his father-in-law reminiscing about an early career job at age 16 in England. Until the new worker learned how to do his task (and do it well), the team he worked on would be held back by the slowest (newest) one in the group.
“In essence,” the supervisor said, “we will move at the speed of you.”
…While my father-in-law was just relaying a story from his youth, I thought this story spoke volumes about teaching and learning, both with students in the classroom and with adults in professional development. (How often have we been in learning situations where the teacher or staff developer moved at the speed of “themselves?”)
How often do we REALLY support each other to ensure quality for all? How often do we share our tips and tricks at a level that brings everyone to a collective expertise? How often do we facilitate that level of support in our students, enabling them to help and guide each other?
As someone who is in schools often working with teachers, I thought that this story underscored the importance of positivity, collegiality, and generosity. To tell someone that we will “move at the speed of YOU” is huge. It’s a relationship and trust building practice that helps to sustain the work we do for the long haul. It benefits everybody, most importantly, our students.
Many of us, blogging away about technology, forget that everyone else is not on the same page as we are. When we provide in-service training to others, it is easy for us to forget that these “students” of ours could be “kindergartners” in the realm of technology use. We need to move to where our learners are and work to get them up to speed at their own individual rates. The same is also true in the classroom for our students.
An interesting sidelight to this thought, is that sometimes the teachers are the “Technology Kindergartners” and the students in the classroom are the “Technology Instructors.” This presents a hard position for most teachers. Teachers are used to being the sage, not the learner. Teachers need to be humble and realize that they are no longer “the sage on the stage”, but are lifelong learners, who may have students teaching them new information.
As Michael Fisher says
a complete tear down and rebuild of traditional teaching, where learning is a joint effort and roles are reborn. Beyond the desks...beyond the walls...beyond the school.
It is hard for many teachers to adjust to this new role.
Can you adjust your role?
Can you be a “learner” to your students if they are the sage?
[As always, in my author quotes, the underlines, color changes, and bold type is mine, not the author’s!]