Emerging technologies for learning sometimes present profound challenges to ideas and practices of teaching. Open Educational Resources, MOOCs, crowdsourcing, remix culture, an emphasis on personalisation, and the increasing ubiquity of technologically-mediated opportunities for learning are just some of the emerging trends that are affecting what it means to be, and to have, a teacher. The response to these challenges is often to sideline the idea of teaching completely in favour of what Biesta (2009) has called the "learnification" of education.
But what might we miss by sidelining teaching? What do we need to think about in relation to the support of learning in online or technology-rich environments? What is a teacher in these spaces (Macleod & Ross, 2011), and what is a student? Is "teaching" now a dirty word? These are exciting and important questions that can inform the design of both technologies and practices.
This unconference workshop will give participants a chance to consider, in a collaborative environment, the answers to some of these questions. During the formal part of the conference, a low-key backchannel-type intervention will take place, where presenters and participants will be asked informally to share statements or assumptions about teaching that they hear in the sessions they attend. Workshop participants will take this crowdsourced document and work with it to try to identify some principles for teaching with emerging technologies. The end result will become a digital mini-manifesto: provocative and engaging statements for tweeting, blogging, sharing, elaborating and remixing with colleagues, students and collaborators after the conference.
Apart from the planned output, the workshop will be a space for energetic debate, critical reflection on the conference, and creative engagement with a challenging set of ideas whose time has come.
The workshop will be facilitated by Dr Jen Ross from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, co-author of the "Manifesto for Teaching Online" (Ross, Bayne, Macleod, & O'Shea, 2011).
Biesta, G. (2009). Good education in an age of measurement: on the need to reconnect with the question of purpose in education. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), pp. 33-46.
Macleod, H., & Ross, J. (2011). Structure, authority and other noncepts: Teaching in fool-ish spaces. In R. Land & S. Bayne (Eds.), Digital difference: perspectives on online learning. Rotterdam: Sense. pp. 15-28.
Ross, J., Bayne, S., Macleod, H., & O'Shea, C. (2011). Manifesto for teaching online. University of Edinburgh. Retrieved: 29 February 2012. http://onlineteachingmanifesto.wordpress.com/