This mini-series sketches out some of the ideas that I would like to explore at the upcomingTDSIG Unplugged Conference in Barcelona on 21 May 2011. If any of them chime with you and you would like to explore them as well – or if you would like to work on completely different issues, the conference is there to give you the open space to do just that. It is never too late to join in, so if you haven’t already, visit www.tdsig.org/unplugged and register!
What is our dream for Dogme & EdTech?
As long as I can remember, teaching unplugged has stood in opposition to technology in the classroom. Or rather, this is how the situation has been portrayed by some. The common conception (or misconception) is that unplugged teaching requires eschewing all forms of convenience, such as coursebooks, broadband internet access, mobile devices, Web 2.0 tools etc.
As if unplugged teachers were seeking total self-sufficiency – drop a teacher raised on EdTech into a zero-resources area, goes the myth, and they would be eaten for breakfast; drop an unplugged teacher into a zero-resources area and, like Rambo, they would thrive.
Of course, this is a parody, but it is, perhaps, not all that far from some presentations of the Dogme/EdTech debate circulating out there. Sometimes this has led to polarizing exchanges on various discussion lists; at other times, it has led to moments of conciliation on certain blogs, or even moments of self-ironic genius, as this mashup by Sue Lyon-Jones shows:
Still, I have a dream.
I have a dream that, one day, all developing unplugged teachers and all developing EdTech teachers will be able to play together in the staffroom, exchanging ideas in a positive and appreciative way.
I have a dream that conference coffee breaks will be filled with conversations from tables surrounded by unplugged teachers and EdTech teachers, rather than separated by seas of carpet and ignorance.
I have a dream that journals like the ELTJ will be filled with action research reports co-authored by teachers with names like “Phil Dudeney & Sean Fogarty” or “Rose Thornbury & Jenny Hockly”
I have a dream that those reports will present hard data about the positive impact of both approaches to teaching – and show how these strengths can best be blended.
I have a dream that labels like “faff” and “cave-dweller” fall from memory as easily as they once fell from the tongue or the keyboard.
I have a dream that labels like “unplugged” or “EdTech” will no longer be necessary, as we walk together towards pedagogic righteousness.
I have a dream today!
Whether it be to do with dogme and EdTech or not: what is your dream for tomorrow? Let’s share it on Saturday.