Currently, an educator must wonder, is the Edcamp story missing, not being told? The answer, is obviously, “Yes”.
Next question, wonders the educator: “Why”?
First however, before venturing a possible explanation, let’s briefly share the story that is being told right now, world-wide:
Teachers are lazy,
Teachers don’t care.
Teachers lose interest.
Teachers are complacent.
Teachers aren’t smart enough for anything else.
Those that can, DO; those that can’t, TEACH …
Hmmm. This isn’t true, is it?
Dear colleague, of course not, generally speaking, of course not (exceptions excluded, generally speaking).
As evidence I offer, you guessed it, “The High C”. What?
“The High C“, the note that makes a great tenor. In this tidy, informative, fast-moving instructional video, our presenter and teacher is Rolando Villazóna.
He takes us on a tour of the “range of tenor”, ending with the famous “High C”. He expertly explains the importance of the “High C” to a tenor, both by his words and by deed – actually singing a “High C”.
“Without the High C”, we are told, it’s very difficult to be a tenor.”
Now, my musical knowledge is admittedly scant to almost non-existent, but Villazóna doesn’t sound like Pavarotti. What Villazóna is, however, is a great tenor in his own right. So, what’s he doing teaching, when he CAN, sing…? Shouldn’t he leave the teaching for someone who CAN’T sing?
My point here is that we can find, quite easily, as I have done, a case that proves your side of the argument, regardless of whether you are pro or contra.
So, what’s all this got to do with Edcamp Santiago and the missing story of the revolution that is happening in teacher professional development, the “unconference” known as the Edcamp Movement???
Well, my thesis about why the Edcamp Movement hasn’t made it into the mainstream media yet, is one I share with Will Richardson. For the sake of humility, let me say that I agree with Will, rather than Will with me.
Quite simply, the media, and quite possibly most education systems world-wide, aren’t ready for the challenge of the 21st century.
Indeed, few education systems world-wide “see” social media and education technology, not as something to be banned from the classroom, but rather to be embraced.
This attitude is what leads tech-savvy educators to seek out novel, transformative learning opportunities such as on-line, anytime, anywhere, free, high quality professional development.
Let me quote Alee Cotton, responding to a survey by Kyle Pace, from Edcamp Kansas City, in a recent free, on-line, high quality professional development, Webinar entitled, “Tapping the Power of Online PD”.
Alee Cotton: “I’m connected to countless passionate educators willing to share ideas and insights – so helpful as I get started in the profession.”
Angie Spann: “On-line PD has opened me to new ideas and people. I can develop on my time, when I need and not when I can get to a training.”
This on-line learning is further supported by the opportunity to personally meet people with whom you have established professional learning networks (PLN) with.
Enter the Edcamp. Edcamps allow teachers to gather together, to share knowledge, to share a profession, in a human, face-to-face, socially-mediated way that complements and solidifies what has been achieved in a virtual online learning environment.
By the way, there’s still time to sign up for Edcamp KC. Kyle Pace is going to be there, in person. EdCamp KC will be happening on Saturday November 5, 2011! Visit the official site at http://edcampkc.wikispaces.com
Where were we? What?
I haven’t conviced you yet?
OK, it’s like this: The media can’t report on a story that the logic (and inherited negative perception of teachers – in general) of the 20th century education system says shouldn’t be happening.
Teachers are not supposed to be highly dedicated, motivated, smart, tech-savvy. Further, no teacher would ever willingly give up a free day, a Saturday, to voluntarily participate in professional development. Right?
Consequently, there’s no story to report if the media has that negative mindset when it comes to teaching and the teaching profession.
Now, here’s the moment when I’d like to give the final word to Will Richardson. He elegantly and eloquently explains why things are the way they are, and in the process, validates your drive to become the best possible teacher you can become, including your attendance at EdcampKC, Edcamp Santiago , Edcamp Stockholm, EdcampYourHometown, etc. You’ve got your free ticket already, right?
Will, I saved the best for last. No, we’re not waiting for Superman. It’s Will Richardson, in his March 2011 TEDxNYED talk…