Revolving doors and revealing realities.

IMG_20161021_153618Reflections on a public lecture delivered at Warwick University by Jesse Stommel @jessifer on 31.10.17 with the periscope footage from the session. (Sorry for the coughing, blame the microbes).

The dangers of tips and tricks approach to teaching.

I really like the underlying point here – do we empower teachers to reflect on what they do and to experiment in order to improve? or is it easier to give a set of rules which may disempower them?

On scaffolding and best practice

Loved the way Jessie explained this – the “stairway to learning” is of course a fiction which conforms to a desire to institutionalise and scale up “delivery of learning” and ignores the real complexity of human factors involved in engagement in learning. Education has long suffered from this culture of shortcuts and reductionism.

Many ways in and out of learning – many doors. How would spiderman tackle that scaffold? Infinite paths. Infinite number of points of entry, not scripted. I’ve heard that some USA school districts now provide teachers with scripts to teach from…

On edtech and humanity

Critical thinking here about tools/pedagogy and the university as a filtered community which is therefore less diverse than it should be. This last point is increasingly important as cost becomes a limiting factor in participation. In terms of tech design making assumptions about “features” required in educational contexts, those selling the technologies are trying to please multiple stakeholders but the budget holders are their main audience so the tools only have to be sufficiently appealing to teachers to bring about adoption, the ROI is about the value added for those budget holders and/or for the ed tech companies. I once met a young entrepreneur who explained his ed tech development to me which was predicated on teachers becoming part of the gig economy…

Of critical digital pedagogy 

A cacophony of voices – Hybrid Pedagogy reflects this. The conversations about the future of education are perhaps too complex and politically sensitive to take place within institutions through some sort of “open meeting” and tend to emerge in various open spaces online. There was an interesting discussion around trust after this clip which brought the focus to the relationship between learner and tutor.

A focus on process

The session ended with Jesse’s video mash-up from students documenting their learning process, a short extract is captured here. So many facets here to notice:

  • student participation is the very material of the output – how could you fail to feel empowered by that!
  • the tutor is clearly paying attention to student experiences of the learning process.


Thanks @IATL for bringing the guys over to work with Warwick, I am only sad that I couldn’t make more sessions but I will look out for the resources that get shared.






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