The quiet revolution

Here’s Sir Ken Robinson delivering the TED talk that occurred in February, but has just been released on the TED site. Please watch it, not just once, but two or three times, and internalise the message. Ken asks for a revolution in our schools. A revolution that allows our students to explore what they are passionate about. A revolution that will require a rethink of curriculum structures that bind us to an industrial model of teaching. A revolution that needs teachers who understand new technologies and how we can use these tools to assist our students in pursuing their passions. Sounds like the ethos underlying Students 2.0 really.

In my own workplace, I’m trying to do my bit to force the revolution. I feel like I’m making a dent in recent times. In the early days, I was evangelistic in my mission, and it didn’t do me any favours. Now, I’m quieter in my intent, and I’ve probably been assisted not so much by my own efforts, but more from the shift in society. The fact that people accept Twitter as an acceptable medium now, and more people are aware that options exist with online applications like Google Docs, makes it easier for me to be heard and sought out.

We are currently working on a thematic study of Romance and Relationships in our Year 9 study of English. Part of our assessment is a task requiring the students to use technology to put together a creative response. I’ve spent time in classes showing our students tools like PreziGlogster, Voicethread, Wikis, Blogs, podcast tools and a site called 60 Second Recap. We’ve tried to encourage our students to think about sharing their presentations with a wider audience than just their classroom, and have tried to make them realise that, in doing so, they can help to create a positive digital profile for themselves.

Today, was a good day. It was a good day because yesterday I spent time in classes outlining how these tools work, and this morning I walked into work and a student excitedly showed me what she had achieved with Prezi last night after getting inspired seeing what it was. This is a student who doesn’t get all that excited about English assignments. She told me she spent four hours working out how to use it and missed all of her TV programs! I tell you, I was smiling all day just thinking about the effect this had had on her. And she wasn’t the only one; another student had gone home and worked out how to use it and had already created a presentation for something she does out of school hours.

These experiences make me hopeful that we will see inroads made. Maybe it’s not the revolution that Sir Ken hopes for (and me too!), but a quiet transformation that just might help to make our students realise that they can direct their own learning, and make others realise that change is in the air.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “The quiet revolution

  1. Heath

    Thanks for sharing this wonderfully thought provoking talk and post. I haven’t visited your blog for a while Jenni, but am reminded why I shouldn’t stay away with gems like this.

    Love prezi but have never used glogster, will defintely give it a try.

  2. Andrew Blackwell

    Hi Jenni,
    You have inspired me always to be like you in my teaching. Yes like you silently we are working towards preparing our students for a cyber age rather than an industrialised one!

  3. Which of these tools were the most popular, Jenny? Such a good story, thanks.

  4. Pingback: Re post of Jenny Luca’s post of Sir Ken Robinson at TED2010 | Miffy - the cute little bunny

  5. Rhondda

    Agree with sentiments absolutely. Funny how well students behave and how high the standard of work becomes when we take the chance on them! Rarely do the kids let you down

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  7. Thanks for sharing that video Jenny, Sir Ken always has very poignant messages. I also loved your story about your Prezi student success moment. Those are the moments that we relish.

  8. Liked the message. I’ve stood on soap boxes before and had people taking pop shots – know its the quiet achievers who listen, respect and exude passion that make a difference. Well done!

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