Questions in the EduBlogosphere

There seems to be a lot of talk in the online community of ed. tech. bloggers about what the biggest questions are in today’s ever-changing world of education.  Much of this talk started before the EduCon 2.2 conference in Philadelphia a few weeks ago.  Undoubtedly, our world is changing drastically, and rapidly, and these changes make us question the foundations of our systems of education and schooling.

At EduCon, Will Richardson led a conversation with over a hundred educators  who attempted to tackle the question, “What are the ‘big’ conversations that schools should be having in relation to the ‘tectonic’ shifts that are occurring with social learning online?” After some small and large group discussion, the conversation resulted in a long list of questions of importance to today’s education landscape.  Such great questions have caused quite a stir, and after much discussion and some voting, the following top ten list has been created and posted on Richardson’s Weblogg-ed.

  1. How do we support the changing role of teacher? 116
  2. What is the role of the teacher? 110
  3. How do we help students discover their passions? 110
  4. What is the essential learning that schools impart to students? 109
  5. What is the purpose of school? 102
  6. How do we adapt our curriculum to the technologies that kids are already using? 100
  7. What does and educated person look like today? 97
  8. How do we change policy to support more flexible time and place learning? 97
  9. What are the essential practices of teachers in a system where students are learning outside of school? 92
  10. How do we ensure those without privilege have equal access to quality education and opportunity? 92

It’s a great list of questions, and has generated a lot of great conversation in the ‘edublogosphere’, however, Richardson’s intent is to take this beyond discussion and is looking for actionable solutions to many of these questions.  See the great discussions around this on his recent post.

Grant Urban has joined in the conversation by sharing and discussing Shelly Blake-Plock’s suggestion of a common thread through the questions: “the intersection of identity and purpose”.  I would have to agree that there does seem to be a common thread relating to identity and purpose.  Has the changing landscape of education caused us to question our very purpose, and the ways in which we set about to achieve it?  I think it has.  Grant finishes his post with another question: “Should education be in a position to respond or be in a position to initiate cultural change?”

I don’t feel that I have any answers to these questions, but I do think they are great questions and I plan to follow the discussion as it continues.  Richardson is planning to separate each question and base some sort of a crowd-sourcing project around each question.  I do think that there is a sense that the landscape of education is very different for today’s young people.  So different in fact that it makes us question very important issues of identity and purpose, as well as ways in which we can move forward and directions in which to move.

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One Response

  1. Hey Ryan, thanks for reading. Looking forward to your participation.

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