Sitting here in the plush surroundings of Ivanhoe Grammar School ready to hear the man behind edublogs, James Farmer. I'm actually sitting next to Warrick Wynne, one of the nodes on my network and had a great talk before with my blogging colleague, Jo McLeay who I caught up with the last time (first time!) I was in Melbourne and James Farmer himself. The introduction is just about done - time to hear James.
Started with an old episode by E.M. Forster " Out of the Unknown" as a glimpse from the 1960 towards the future. Started by showing some of the evolutionary tools for teaching and learning, showing a Blackboard LMS - this "machine" dominates universities or versions of it (Moodle being an open source version of Blackboard). Showed us a bulletin board- great teachers can use this tool but many people struggle with it.There's no ownership on a discussion board - archived and lost for ever. Not a good place to talk - lacking identity. Replicates tools we already have. Identity is why My Space and FaceBook are so popular. Communication using Web 2.0 tools instead of third party tools instead of a Content Management System. Many teachers just want Information transfer or a Swiss army knife solution. We want the easy solution instead of a chaos-based reality.
Picked up the theme. James is now talking about Community of Inquiry -there's Al Upton's blog on the screen now! Web 2 tools make this community of inquiry possible. Does a little plug for edublogs - I thoroughly endorse that sentiment. What really matters in education is communication - use the "machines" that enable us to do so.
During question time, James points out that the only way for teachers to get involved is to get online.