Monday, December 3, 2007

NYSCATE Report #2 (Final Report)

The last of event of NYSCATE 2007 was a discussion/debate/deathmatch between Will Richardson and Gary Stager, both on the cutting edge of instructional technology practices. I will try to recapture some of the more thoughtful points during this Q&A.
Q: What is the nature of learning and the role of technology?
A: Learning does not have to be confined by time & place; learning is now on-demand. The computer has to be viewed as more than an informational appliance. Creating and sharing information is key. Most dangerous idea? Curriculum is bad. All curriculum...because it tells the learner what to learn, when to learn, and how to learn; when in fact we learn best when we learn what we want, how we want, and when we want.
Q: What is the point of blogs, wiki's, etc.?
A: They create professional learning communities, are tools for collaboration, allow individuals to connect to experts and others outside of the classroom, and is a vehicle to help students connect with other students.
Q: What is the role of the teacher and teaching?
A: Teachers provide experience, ideas, are connectors, and are models but teachers need to see how technology has effected their OWN learning. Schools spend $0 on research & development.
Q: What is the value of the connectors like Second Life, Ning, Twitter and other social networking technologies?
A: These technologies and ustream, are at an early experimental stage but provide valuable connections for students as learners and sharers of information.
Q: What is the sustainability of blogging?
A: There has been too much educational blogging about educational blogging...need more topics. There is also a need to find balance between the immersion in technology and the rest of your life. Need to be able to find other voices in the blogosphere.

The above is paraphrased and taken from the notes I took during the discussion. The discussion was broadcast live to the world via ustream using a simple webcam and laptop. The video and the chat transcript of listeners can be found at weblogged-tv.


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