Friday, June 23, 2006

Joining the dots

As some of you may already know I've been reading The World is Flat over the last week or so and it has had a great impact on how I see the world and what I think I should be doing as a teacher in my classroom. However, I keep on having a number of historical "flashbacks" as I see an older pattern repeat itself. Ok, here is a pop quiz.

What do these places have in common ?

Lindisfarne, England - 7th century
Edinburgh, Scotland - 18th century
Manchester, England - 19th century
Kitty hawk, North Carolina USA - 20th century
Bangalore, India - now

Well, in short they are all centres of world changing events that in their time were considered to be part of the periphery. In each case these places played host to thinkers and visionaries who changed the world. In each case those who were not considered part of the intellectual mainstream, created ideas and concepts that changed (or will change) the very fabric of our civilisation.

And I see the same thing happening all over again with the next intellectual revolution to hit us in education. The changes are not being led by those at the pinnacle of the educational establishment, but rather by practitioners who are experimenting with the new tools of learning and forging ahead, irregardless of current shibboleths. Once again, it is those who are far from the centre, on the periphery, geographically, economically and politically who are showing people the way forward.

It's a wonderful example for those of us who feel that we are far from the traditional centres of decision making and who have, up till now, felt we must simply do what others have deemed important.

If you want to see what the future of education looks like, check out:

Now, this is just a tiny, tiny part of the wave on innovation that has been released by web 2.0. Just imagine what their students will be able to do!!!


HMc said...


I learn so much from your blog -- I had not previously heard of Flagrant Disregard and was only vaguely aware of Flickr. Thanks for the links to the other edublogs and the great article from The Guardian, as well.

EFL Geek said...

Thanks for the plug, but your link to my site goes to and not my site.

teacher dude said...

Soooorrrry about that, efl geek. I've just changed the link.

Glad you find this stuff interesting hmc.

Vicki A. Davis said...

I am honored you would include me in this. When my husband and I made a conscious decision to move from Atlanta, GA to small town of Camilla, GA, I often bemoaned the fact that I was departing from the center of innovation at Georgia Tech as I had known it. Although many people in my home town do not know what a blog is, when I began to blog, I was so encouraged to find that there are innovators out there far from the periphery as I. I also hope you are reading Darren Kuropatwa and his a difference blog and Clarence Fisher. They're doing some neat things also.

Thank you again for the mention and you are one of my bloggers that I always read!

I have some older computers, I wish there was a way to send them to you (many of them are Pentium III's). Contact me offline if you are interested!

Vicki Davis - coolcatteacher

teacher dude said...

Thanks for the offer of the computers but I think it would probably be more practical, not to mention equitable, to donate them to a cause closer to home.

Our problem is not so much access to the technology as somebody making the decision that it is necssary.

David said...

Mr Dude says:
If you want to see what the future of education looks like, check out...

...and among others, you list my blog! I am very flattered - thank you. Although, to be fair, it is probably best to read some of my students' blogs for a better picture of what the future will look like. The students have mostly gone a bit quiet, but I hope at least some of them will get busy blogging again at the start of next session. :-)