Let’s Chat: Discussion-Stimulating Videos on Ed Tech & Change

My brain is getting tired since spring break is just over a week away and my city has experienced enough snow and -30-something degree (celsius) temperatures to last the entire year–in the last few weeks.

So I went in search of something both light and thought-provoking in the form of short videos of high interest, design, and accessibility, about educational change. Here is what I found:

21st Century Education in New Brunswick, Canada (5:35) by 21stCenturyNB

This video was produced by the New Brunswick Department of Education in 2010 to help stimulate discussion among educators about how technology has been a major force in shifting education, and how the education system must move forward in the personalization of learning. It includes facts and figures, as well as approaches to teaching and learning. The tone is positive and enthusiastic about the future, as well as the important role that educators play in helping students learn using technology tools and differentiated approaches. I especially enjoy the segment from about 3:00 minutes until the end, where it shows examples of ways in which we can increase personalization for students. These examples are very realistic and can already become a reality in our schools.

Did You Know 4.0 (4:46) by xplanevisualthinking

Practically everyone I know has seen the older Did You Know videos from a while back, like Did You Know 3.0 by vlbworks2010. What I admire about this newer version (uploaded in late 2009) is that it presents many facts and figures that I did not know. I am sure that most students have not seen it either. I believe that this video would be a wonderful resource to help stimulate discussion with students as well as adults of all kinds, around the ways in which technology has changed how we interact, think, and learn. I was impressed also with the calibre of the professors who helped contribute to it and the extensive reference list at the end of the video.

The Networked Student (5:10) by wdrexler

I wrote about this video in a past post, Rare Find: Positive and Practical Look at 21st C Education. This video, uploaded in 2008, is a surprisingly positive and useful look at modern education. I am tired of videos about educational change that do nothing but criticize everything about the education system, or highlight only issues without inspiration or solutions. In particular, this is a great video that highlights real ways in which students and teachers alike can build effective learning networks.

Do you have some recommendations for high quality videos that can be used to help educators and students to re-think thinking, school, schooling, and their futures? Please share!

Rare Find: Positive and Practical Look at 21st C Education

If you have ever searched for YouTube videos using terms like  “21st century learner”, you would have found hundreds of matches that emphasize all the ways in which students are being let down by educators. They show students who are disengaged, simply because they aren’t watching YouTube videos, recording podcasts,  social networking, or gaming.

These videos imply that using any kind of technology to do anything is the answer to learning for all students. They also reflect a teacher-centric way of looking at education where the blame is on the teacher or school system for having the ‘wrong’ approach. These types of videos spend too much time pointing out the negatives, and leave out practical and powerful ways in which technology can help people (both teachers and students) learn.

I was lucky enough to stumble upon this incredibly insightful video, “The Networked Student,” by wdrexler. Instead of offering generalized and stereotypical ideas, it shows practical ways in which 21st century people can learn by using technology to share, consume, analyze, organize, synthesize, and connect ideas, knowledge, opinions, and understandings. And what’s more–it shows the role of the teacher in the learning process as the guide, facilitator, and mentor to students.

The major points are:

  • Students develop their own learning network by using tools like: rss readers, social bookmarks, blogs, skype, and other tools. BUT it’s not about the tools–the magic is in how they use them to both share and consume.
  • Teachers help students build their learning networks, and guide them in problem-solving, asking effective questions, organizing, synthesizing, and analyzing resources and information, in order to draw their own conclusions.

What do you think about such videos or their critical counterparts? Do you have suggestions for other videos like this one?