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There Are No Shelves on the Web October 23, 2007

Posted by davidit in Education, Education 2.0, ICT Integration, Web 2.0.

The following video is the latest offering from Michael Wesch, creator of the machine is us/ing us. I read the post on Ewan’s blog. It is yet another interesting and challenging perspective on the web, information and our changing perception of it. It throws up many challenges for us to wrestle with and what the implications are for all of us with regard to information, who creates it, who uses it and where it is stored. The web has made us all potential experts with wikipedia the ultimate in peer review, the knowledge pyramid has flat lined. It could be argued that the web is a socialist construct of sorts. Equal access to information to all that have access!

I am posting this video because it is relevant, but seeing it to tonight was perfect timing. We had a staff meeting tonight and we were discussing the new curriculum and specifically the effective pedagogy aspect of it. We were asked to make comments on varying sections of it. One member of staff took the opportunity to take a cheap shot at e-learning and try to put it in its place. (Prince’s ‘Lets Party Like It’s 1999.” comes to mind, the comment was out of date and in 2007 wildly out of touch and irrelevant!) However it throws up the internal dichotomy within schools, external pundits are making the arguments for change, pointing out the change and possible routes ahead, key members of staff are not hearing the call or if they are, are taking cheap shots to maintain an ancient status quo. I know that they are scared, apprehensive even just hiding their heads in the sand. But it is not their lives that they are messing with.

My school has come a long way in a short time and I am very pleased with the progress and wonder how much more we will make as we embark on our ICT PD contract in 2008? Managing the naysayers is a pain in the proverbial and at this stage the school has sectioned itself into four: Early adapters, fence sitters – watching with interest but non-committal and those on the other side of the fence, another song comes to mind “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” Make of that what you will! Until my fence sitters join the early adapters, then the naysayers will still be able to hold sway at meetings such as tonight.  The fourth group is management.  This last group I see as essential to success.  The legitimacy for change has to be visibly championed from the top.  They have to walk the talk in all that they say and do and using and advocating new technological solutions is a good way of demonstrating commitment.

This video encapsulates all that is scary for those that are scared of ICT, e-learning, information management and the uncertainty principal of knowledge.  Change is the only constant on a sand dune, no point drawing a line on it! The information revolution is undermining ‘the sage on the stage’, the revolution has come and on a techno savvy level many of these teachers know less than their students and that is a dynamic that is threatening to them, not empowering.



1. ATG - January 11, 2008

Indeed! Great post.

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