Education is in the midst of a revolution. As with all revolutions, there are competing sides and the winner is still uncertain.
Will Richardson (@willrich45) suggests that there are two paths possible (three if you count status quo): one with endless possibilities for students to learn in multiple places; and one where corporations feed the content for the multi-billion dollar industry they have created. In one, students learn through inquiry, questioning and are engaged in their own process of learning. In the other, students are fed a diet of scripted lessons that can be done without the interactions between students and teachers to create knowledge and understanding. One is scary for those brought up in the traditional mode of schooling and the other is scary for those who see education as more than memorizing facts from a textbook (whether it is a digital text or paper).
Jane McGonigal (@avantgame) writes about the gamification of education and how bringing to education the power of the video game and the process of learning that players go through in playing to learn can create lifelong learners with skills that go beyond the classroom walls. Collaboration, trial and error, and ‘new lives’ allow students to push themselves past cognitive safety zones to create new knowledge in the 21st century.
Tom Whitby (@tomwhitby) explores, through his blog, My Island View, a plethora of educators that are moving the conversation forward, utilising digital media and social media to connect to thousands of educators around the world. While retired from teaching, his ideas on what education could look like are thought-provoking and provide insight that many current educators enjoy.
Kristen Swanson (@kristenswanson) has moved the professional development of teachers forward by leaps and bounds through the formation of edcamps that are sprouting up across the world at an alarming rate. Teachers taking control of their own learning, moving forward in areas of interest and sharing their ideas without the cost of conferences or corporations. Her blog often talks about these movements and where we can go with the power of teachers with technology.
Andy Hargreaves (@hargreavesbc) and Michael Fullan (@michaelfullan1) both suggest that professional capital might be one of those things that stick. They provide several examples of how to improve all teachers and educators within a system through utilising the professional capital within a building or district.
These are a few of the educators that I follow through twitter that are on the edge of the precipice of educational reform that is actually beyond reform. It is moving towards a revolution where the outcome is unknown. Lurking through the depths of twitter chats, one can easily get lost in the push to change how we do school. We seem to moving towards a time where anything and everything is thrown against the wall, waiting to see what sticks. I feel privileged to be an educator in this age of change.