Daily Archives: April 4, 2006

A great quote from Doug Johnson the other day in a comment to Leigh Blackall:

......as we say in Minnesota, an expert has to be someone from at least 75 miles away......

In Australia, we suffer a bit from that cultural cringe thing a bit when we feel compelled to invite well publicised "gurus" from beyond our shores to come and tell us how to do things better. I was in a conversation with another educator who expressed the view that the recent Marc Prensky visit didn't add much new to the conversation about engaging our "digital natives". I'm in two minds about this. On one hand, we have plenty of talent here in the Australasian region who could inform us on the future directions of education but what Prensky did for us here in Adelaide at least was get people talking and raising questions about where student engagement is at. Bill Kerr has blogged a few times about this in a very thoughtful, reflective manner and it is this process that having an outside "expert" come in is good for. I have found that some of Prensky's analogies and articles to be really useful in my school setting in terms of using non-academic language to explain certain ideas about the changing nature of kids' learning and their world. My favourite part of his seminar that still resonates with me is his article "If We Share, We're Halfway There -- We need to post on the Web everything we do or create that works" because that is the headset that is needed for the 21st century teacher if we are ever to make headway with the ever increasing workload, accountability and relevance to our clients, the students. So my challenge is to practice what I advocate and get more website content jammed in here and in my other hidey holes around the web. I've talked in the past about Doug Johnson's website but I've poked around another that is a great example and makes feel quite inadequate. If you have a few spare hours (you will need it) check out Wesley Fryer's impressive website. It is really, really worth your while.