Sunday, December 14, 2008

One Year Anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of this blog. I have to say that I had no idea of the amount of time, energy, researching, soul-searching, and tongue-holding it took to write this weekly post when I decided to start last year. I've been able to share some really neat things that have applications to education and some that are just fun. The most gratifying are the comments have been posted. It's just like getting mail from someone unexpected - a real treat!

Just a brief post today about the highlights of the keynote speech by David Warlick from the Western Regional Computer Advisory Committee Symposium held in London on Dec 11. This was not the first time that I've heard David. Last year at the OLA Superconference, he was the OSLA keynote speaker. Here is the list of critical points that I feel he made:
  • The 21st century teacher must be a master learner
  • Print resources are beginning to disappear - what are the implications to schools?
  • The world is moving from a competative stance to a more cooperative stance.
  • Future job opportunities will be in science, engineering and the ARTS
  • Students of today are different
  • Video games are learning engines
  • Broadband access is an equity issue
  • Information is raw material
  • To be literate in the 21st century means: learning literacy, learning habits and adoptin of a learning lifestyle
  • What are the pedogogies of information abundance?
To me, what really stood in mind was the issue of equity in this 21st century world. David said that many countries are moving to wireless. For example, he said the whole county of Macedonia is wireless and Mexico will soon have broadband access for all in a short time. I fear that our country's politicians are really not focusing on what needs to be done to assure that Canada is able to compete in this flat world. If investment in infrastructure is needed to stimulate the economy, then providing broadband access to all Canadians seems a good infrastructure investment.
I look at many school boards and see issues of equity - new schools have all kinds of technology (computers with Smartboards in every classroom) and old schools struggle with poor wiring and lack of equipment. There hasn't been a new secondary school built in our area since the 70s. Our secondary teachers say that the biggest barrier to implementing read/write web tools is lack of access to computers.
Comments from David's 2 cents Worth blog post about his presentation said that many of the teachers at the keynote would not do anything about the message. I really think that teachers want to integrate more technology into their teaching but are deterred by the lack of access and the reliability of some of the technology.
And what about all of those students who don't have computers and Internet access at home? I fear that they are being left behind. That's my 2 cents worth.


paul c said...

Congratulations on your anniversary, Sharon. It's writing that weekly post which empowers your own professional learning.

I like David Warlick's point that to be literate is partly to develop a learning lifestyle. That should be the ultimate goal of teachers for their students.

Best wishes for your second year!

I invite you to participate in a 2008 Top Ten writing meme at my site.

Vicki A. Davis said...

Happy anniversary! What a great blog and nice job you've done with it! David Warlick got me started and inspired too! I think he's great!