29 November 2008

Big Ideas: No Educator Left Behind

It's a weird feeling, watching yourself giving a talk. I-the-watcher felt tremendously nervous since I was unprepared to give the talk I-the-lecturer was about to give. Strange, no? Fortunately, the guy on the TV was indeed well prepared, and didn't do that bad a job, if I do say so myself. TVO describes the talk like this:
"No Educator Left Behind" is the title of this lecture by Mark Federman. In it Federman contends that, as a result of the changes the internet has brought to the way students communicate and interact, universities, if they are to remain relevant, must move from the current model of education as skills centered to one that is more focused on connectivity.
. If you missed the live broadcast, you can download the video.

Update: If you'd like to pass the link around, here is a more manageable URL: http://snipurl.com/noeducator

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mrG said...

Loved it, loved every phrase and twist of it, even the hauling of our visual attention back to ancient greece; you did an admirable job, and now I am really depressed.

I am depressed because, of the many educators that I know, I know not one with the attention span (or self-improvement inclination) to endure a one-hour lecture. Yes, I grasp the irony of that, them being, as you guessed, old-school one-hour lecturers themselves. "Oh, I don't have TIME" they plead, "It's too long," they whine. I have sat in SCC meetings where the very progressive and modern star-child principal himself has assured me education as it sits right now is already as good as it gets, the best there's ever been, no need to do anything differently, and his teachers sat beside him and agreed. "We are getting the best scores ever" and you can't beat top scores.

Instead they could jam a hall for TWO hours to hear a business-supplies vendor who did "hours of research" tell them why Facebook is an evil pit of depravity and sin; their attention locked on that for weeks beyond that session, his words dutifully reconstructed in further hour-long sermons to the children, "Beware the network, children! The BOOGIE-MAN awaits you there."

Why is it not YOU giving them their two hour Facebook message? Or at least someone with some proxied credentials. I find single-malt is good salve for depressive fits like this, treats the symptom, at least.

btw, if you haven't seen it yet, and you likely have, and while it is yet another un-credentialled authority sans-proxy, it is nonetheless at least researched more than an hour here and there and more to the point it has become a collaborative bit of functional FUN meant more as the rhetoric to inspire and embolden the kids to bolster their IGNORE-ence of the affore-mentioned ubiquitous class of (un)educators: gen-we.org

Thanks again for posting the video. Keep the faith, baby.

Mark Federman said...

Thanks, MrG - I do appreciate your comments. I, too, am tremendously frustrated at educators of every ilk who are either unwilling, or uninterested, or too vested in their own privileged identities to want to understand the changes that have already occurred, and are sweeping through our society. But there is hope.

This talk was given before an audience of about 150 educators at Centennial College last June. I'm doing it again in February for an audience of educators and education policy makers. And, last April, I gave this as a keynote to nearly 500 higher educators from land-grant universities across the U.S. Some are beginning to listen.

And that's why I'm doing the research I'm doing on the valence organization, and planning to become a professor myself. I have the gift of being able to share ideas in an interesting way. Little by little, perhaps one or two of them will help effect sustainable change in our world.

I love, and envy, Gen WE. I hope I'll be able to stick around for another 35 to 40 or so years and be able to play with them right up to the end, to participate with them, and to learn from them, and to help cure some of the ills that my generation wrought upon us all. My very small contribution to Tikkun Olam.