Teaching is dead… long live learning

Had great afternoon on Thursday down at the TAFE NSW Managers Association’s forum “Learning for the Future”.

As usual, I was pretty nervous beforehand about getting up infront of 50 educators and trying to get a discussion happening, but thanks to Joe (one of my mates from class), things went pretty smoothly…

Leigh Blackall, Anne Paterson and I were facilitating a discussion with the title Teaching is Dead… Long live learning” (the slides were just to prompt some discussion). People seemed genuinely excited about some of the ideas and demonstrations.

After getting a discussion going about how TAFE is currently using technology for learning (and where it might lead), I introduced some of the changes in the web that are affecting us – such as the proliferation of (excellent) content with examples of world-wide collaboration (using a current event from Wikipedia and flickr) – and our need to focus consider the technologies and learning tools that our primary stakeholders (our students!) will be using.

Leigh spent some time looking at news-feeds, blogs and creative-commons licensing, then Anne and Alex Hayes had some great demonstrations of Moblogging… which left everyone buzzing as they realised that the photos they were taking on the mobiles were appearing live up on the internet.

After a break, there was another excellent presentation by Liz Renshaw and Gregor Mackenzie about Personalised Learning… it was just unreal to sit there nodding my head all the time as they both talked about the need for teachers to let go of being ‘teachers’ and become learners.

On a personal note, while listening to other people talking at during the discussions and presentations, I realised how my ears pricked up every time the presenter started telling a story… it reminded me of one of Kathy Sierra’s Ten Tips for new Trainers/Teachers:

Know how – and why – good stories work: learn as much as you can about storytelling and entertainment [...] Humans spent thousands upon thousands of years developing/evolving the ability to learn through stories. Our brains are tuned for it. Our brains are not tuned for sitting in a classroom listening passively to a lecture of facts, or reading pages of text facts.

Must spend some time learning to tell a good yarn!

3 comments to Teaching is dead… long live learning

  • craig bottomley

    hi michael…

    gotta agree that storytelling is one of the great skills an educator must have. i find it interesting that while the practice of storytelling is thousands of years old, in this day and age of instant communications and speed of light technology, we need a researcher to remind us that storytelling is powerful. blogs, moblogs, podcasts etc etc etc are (and should be) tools for spreading our stories, passing on our traditions and knowledge for others to come along and explore. what more powerful way of educating than using our stories online…


  • Hi Craig,

    Totally agree… something I’ve only been realising in the last year or so, and consequently, story telling is something that I’ve not practised in a long time. Any tips for getting started?

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