You know how when someone jumps off a tall cliff, or out of a plane, or just makes a big leap into the unkonwn they usually yell out something like “geronimooooo…” as they go?
That’s pretty much the way I’ve jumped into gadgets and technology since I can remember when. It’s not that I’m careless or fearless, because I don’t want to screw things up, just like anyone. But I’ve always thought that the only way I’m going to learn new stuff is take a bit of a risk sometimes, and just stuff happen.
Today at a meeting about the state of play with new technology at my school, I think I reiterated this feeling to my colleagues, and went on to say that everyone should just get in and have a go. In my mind, immersion is the best way to learn something like technology. You can read all the manuals you want, attend as many classes as you want, but hands on, up to your elbows in gunk is sometimes the best way to learn.
What I noticed most about this meeting was that as traditional educators sometimes try to box new concepts into contexts that they understand, they can take all the excitement and innovation out of things. I thinkl we sometimes overthink situations and end up making new things fit existing structures, when it should be the other way round. That is, lets let the new idea create a new future, not a replicant of the past.
Iknow, I know… there is an argument that innovation and curriculum requirements for Boards of Study don’t always mesh, but hey, lets not throw up our hands and say safety first all the time.
Technology is a great opportunity to change pedagogy. Teachers should be ready to throw out a lot of the “old ways” and embrace the collaborative/engagement/innovation opportunity that it presents. Instead, we run the risk of smothering the opportunity in structure and control that takes away it’s attractive, impulsive, flexible features likely to appeal to kids.