Thursday, June 7, 2007

Two Way Dialogue

The concept was reiterated in the FOE conference that education is a two way dialogue with the majority of the world. I disagree. Teemu Arina's visual concept explains what I mean best. He displays a picture of a honeycomb. In that situation, communication is not just on two quadrants, which would be two way, or even one quadrant as in a monologue. The pattern of a honeycomb implies four quadrants. Communication is this model is more than two way. Digital natives are used to this 4D way of communicating, sharing, learning. We digital immigrants are more used to the two way, or sage on the stage, model.
As educators, we must capitalise upon this 4D learning style. It has previously been said that our brains are like jungles. Communication is more 4-d than it has ever been, with all 4 dimensions hitting us from all sides simultaneously. We must be able to organize this plethora of information efficiently or be overwhelmed by it. We are not dealing with a flat world but wrinkles in time and space that are not being ironed out. They are scrunching up as fault lines of the digital information technology erupts exponentially across our radars…like honeycombs.
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Kelly Christopherson said...

Very true! We have moved out of any type of 2 way dialogue. Although there may be 2 people in the conversation, there are many more influences that are direct and immediate which influence what is happening. As for the "sage on the stage" comment, we've been working to disassemble that model for years - trying to get teachers to realize that the best teaching actually occurs when you aren't on the stage of letting students engage with whatever you are covering in a manner that pushes their understanding to new levels. btw, digital natives aren't always use to communicating this way. In fact, we have to be very careful because too many people have grabbed onto this native/immigrant expression and it just isn't so. Many of our students will need to be introduced to making connections, sharing, communicating and learning. They may pick it up quicker than adults but they aren't necessarily adept at it. That is one problem with the us/them view - nothing, nothing is that cleanly divided and it is a severe problem because it creates artificial barriers that don't need to be there. In fact, I often assume that most of the students I am teaching have some idea of using the tools but go with the idea that few will understand. So far, this has been very successful. Because our brains are like jungles, there is a good chance that all of us can become adept at this with use.

Durff said...

I want to imply by digital native that digital tools are not a foreign concept. They may not be proficient, but they are more willing to learn in these ways. Their parents, and too often us teachers, expect school to be "the teacher up front & do the work in th book" sort that they experienced. It's time to move forward....