This post is a response to the blog post of Jose Picardo, an excellent languages teacher who loves his Web2.0 tools and his thoughts about ‘futurity’. See the original post and my comment here!
This is a wonderful insight into exactly what faces the teacher in the classroom – online pupils! Also a great starting place and rationale for anyone understanding that teaching is going online because that’s where their pupils are.
The problem outlined here is how much, by when and exactly what online tools should be used. A given is the use of the Internet to collate and distribute information about schools and courses; providing a hub for where and when everyone should be is going to be the driving force in learning and schools in general. The problem here is getting all teachers and admin staff contributing, in a web2.0 way, to the wider online program of the school and until it is understood and accepted that this is a much more efficient and simple way of collating a communities resources, the action that is required to make it happen will not generate.
The immediate answer is Headteachers driving the online facade of their schools whereby a communication hub is formed for information about activities in and out the classroom. One of the many problems is that people in general are scared that data is going to rule – test scores, effort marks, percentages, attendance, behaviour, exam grades – and that teacher judgement will perish behind a cloud of misunderstood data, a cloud of numbers. This is coupled with a similar opposition that identity cards provoke.
The longer-term answer is probably one of evolution – generational change. As teachers who work online become Headteachers they will champion their online community. As these Headteachers are successful, more successful than their paper-based peers, national change will become enforced as we are seeing with the expected/compulsary implementation of VLEs throughout ENG & WALES.
The bigger issue might be that people will continue to see the success of their classroom (good exam results) is because they prepared their lessons, and nagged their students and marked a lot of work very quickly in order to achieve that success. This was based on hard work and 1-2-1 F-2-F relationships in the classroom. Until teachers see how an online relationship reinforces the F-2-F one and increases the opportunities for 1-2-1 ed tech will be the ghost in the closet rather than the elephant in the room.