In a great post The age of unreason? Terry Freedman writes about the difference between teachers and technologists, and on the usefulness of all the cool web 2.0 stuff that the technologists write about in practice. He talks about benefits versus costs saying

Nowhere in such outpourings do I find any educational evaluation, be it in terms of pedagogy or, more mundanely perhaps, teacher workload.

I think this is a real frustration for teachers, not only in the web 2.0 world, being told what to do, by folk who are not in the classroom every day eating their own dog food.

I have an ambivalent feeling towards educationalists (sometimes earning more in an afternoon that a class teacher does in a month): thanks for the ideas mixed with a wee bit of envy.

Terry writes of his own frustration with Superglu:

Now, there are a number of issues with this. Firstly, from a purely practical point of view, I cannot fathom out why the content from my own web page’s RSS feed doesn’t update itself automatically on the Superglu page — and I don’t have time to find out. OK, I’ve probably not done something simple and trivial, and were I a teacher I’d (hopefully) have someone who could do all the technical stuff for me.

which gave me a chuckle, especially the hopefully bit.

Peter Ford posted a response: The Age of Unreason:

The real antidote to falling into the ?trap? that Terry outlines is to ensure that teachers are at the heart of grassroots innovation rather than always being the recipients of top-down advice in a sort of web 2.0 deficiency model.

which works for me, and there is some nice comments. I am not sure if I’d agree with this one

I think most teachers have plenty of occasional ideas but there is no mechanism to develop them.

strikethrough, First Thought, Best Thought Peter;-)

There are quite a few educationalist, including Peter and Ewan, who teach regularly and are therefore more believable (although Ewan is a bit too active for most to try and emulate;-)), but I have this idea of a teacher/web 2.0 job which consists of a five day week:

  • 1 day research/playing with the toys.
  • 1 day implementation in someone else’s classroom co-operatively teaching.
  • 3 days teaching as a job share, trying to incorporate some of this stuff in the real world, with national tests, lost homework and late-comings to deal with.

Of course if someone offered me something like this I’d be flexible about the 3 days, I’d be ok with 2;-) I’ve almost got that this session, as I am released from class on a Friday to work in other classes with ict, I just need a bit more discipline on Saturday which seems to be my research/play time.

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