The new “way” forward

Sometimes one is surprised by how life conspires to throw things into your path. In doing so, you just have to trip over them, notice them and come upon a clearer view and vision of “the way” and what is there.

I’ve been training teachers for a number of years. In that training, I’ve always accented two approaches; teaching less to achieve more and the benefits of using technology (properly). Slowly but surely over the years, I’ve sniffed a new “way” in the air and teachers realizing more and more that we need to do things differently or risk irrelevance.

3 things of late have been thrown into my path and clarifying my own view of “the way” forward.

1. Last week presented at RSCon3 on The Flipped Curriculum. Great response and many emails from teachers offering their own versions of “flipped”. Great.

2. Then, listening to the radio yesterday and hearing a teacher comment, “I only teach as little as I have to” – meaning that the accent wasn’t on teaching but the students learning and teaching themselves individually or as a group.

3. Reading the local newspaper today, the North Bay Nugget. Read a sterling column by a local, level headed man, John R. Hunt. I’ll post when it goes online. He tells of a blind girl who failed high school despite how they “cared”. She finally got her degree (and straight As) through independent learning and “less” teaching. A cry for more innovation, more ways for informal learning to be recognized. Spot on.

The times are a changing. We need to harness the passionate minds of our youth. We can only do that if we “teacher less” and let them run more in the field of possibility, now provided by technology. Not a call for teachers to lose their jobs, just for those jobs to be transformed and energized. Let’s start, let’s change.

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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