BYOD: Bring Your Own Deceit

(#Bloggermore2015 5/26)

Self Deception Image Source as Cited

Self Deception
Image Source: www.alameleadership.com

Interesting title, you say! Unfortunately, the deception is mine; but let me explain. The IT Strategic Planning Committee at my school has decided the time is right to go BYOD. Or possibly BYODD or even BYOT. Lord, how educators love their acronyms. While the decision can be relatively simple, I’m sure you’ve all heard BYOD called “Bring Your Own Disaster.” Trying to get my head around all the possible advantages and pitfalls, I wrote a guest post for my good friends at Fractus Learning. So, to the deception; the next paragraph is a short extract from my article “BYOD: Bring Your Own Disenthrallment.” By pasting the extract here I will cleverly create the illusion of having done another blog post. Deception! And, by then directing you to Fractus Learning for the remainder, I create traffic to my full article. Deception!

“I fully understand that teachers are entitled to work/life balance; their own children have to be taxied to dance lessons, there’s grocery shopping or a well-deserved rest. But, it would seem to me, that teaching is one of the few professions where individuals do not see it as imperative to keep up to date with the latest trends. Just yesterday I visited the dentist for a filling. How would I have reacted if he had performed dentistry without anaesthetic and wielding a rusted, nineteenth century implement? (BYOD: Bring Your Only Dentist!) The teachers at my school are by no means in a unique position; I have come across this same dilemma before. But, by the same token, the claim “I don’t have time for this” simply no longer holds … My day has the same 24 hours gifted to everyone else.”

To read the remainder, please use THIS LINK to take you to Fractus Learning.

BYOD: Bring Your Own ...

BYOD: Bring Your Own …

This weekend I am off to Perth to deliver my first conference keynote. I promise to be back next week to comment on the experience and give you access to the presentation. Honest, NO deception. And, of course, as always, I would be delighted to receive your feedback and comments.

 

The (Even) New(er) Mindset

Last week I had the opportunity to deliver my Haiku Deck based presentation, The New Mindset, to a group of around 75 high school teachers. The attendees ranged in experience from just 1 or 2 years teaching to, like myself, 30 years or more. At the time I believed that my “challenges” for 2013 were well received and certainly many of those present were complimentary about my presentation. However, yes there is always “However!” Today, I returned to school and to the company of many who attended my session. I was disappointed (I could go as far as alarmed) to see reams of paper spewing from coloured printers and to hear teachers complaining about lack of space in their filing cabinets.

As the only regular tweeter in the room, I also challenged my audience to join me on Twitter and reap the benefits of creating a PLN. The end result was four (yes, four) new followers; not exactly paradigm shifting! In the end I can only assume that my session of “Personal and Professional Disenthrallment” had limited impact. It would seem, the divide continues to grow between those who have accepted the inevitable transformation of education and those (still the majority) who are far more comfortable with monks in dimly lit rooms illuminating texts! OK, that last bit might have been a slight exaggeration.

On the positive side, my Haiku Deck has now surpassed 2500 downloads; an indication I hope that it contains a message which resonates with the readers of this blog. Some of the comments, messages and tweets I’ve received have been both complimentary and particularly affirming. The smallest of samples:

This brings me to my final point: I feel very much at home in the Twitter-verse and as many others say “I love my PLN.” But am I just “preaching to the converted?” I accept that getting others on board is never going to happen at the speed I would like. Yet, surely there are schools out there that are truly progressive and I would welcome comments about how you “inspired the uninspired.”

Personal and Professional Disenthrallment

Well, as hard as I’ve tried, I couldn’t put it off any longer. The summer holidays are almost gone and I’ve been awfully slack on the blogging front. This post is in fact being composed on a flight to South Australia; my wife and I are heading to Australia’s premier wine growing district, the Barossa Valley, for a short break. Surprisingly however, this will not be a post about my favourite wine or winery. (In case you’re wondering, it’s “The Beauty” from the Barossa’s Hentley Farm.)

In an earlier post from December entitled “The New Mind Set and My First Adventure with Haiku Deck” I wrote about my growing love affair with the iPad presentation app. Since then I’ve been appointed as one of the company’s international “Gurus.” (Can’t imagine I’ll ever tire of telling people that.) Creating a deck is simple but the end product is anything but; it’s an elegant, I would even say lyrical way to “set your story free.” The images are high quality and the challenge of using only limited text demands that you think deeply about exactly what you want to say. Yes, I am doing my best to promote the app itself but I also have to give a huge shout out to Catherine Carr and the team at Haiku Deck for their excellent, personalised support.

Finally, I can shift the focus to my purpose in writing today. I’ve recently revised, updated and indeed transformed the deck which I embedded in my earlier post. At that time it was a half-formed idea which Haiku Deck has now enabled me to fully realise. The deck is still entitled “The New Mindset” and it will be the basis of a Professional Development session that I will be delivering to a group of high school teachers on January 24.

Educationalist Sir Ken Robinson
Photo Credit: www.abc.net.au

The well-known TED Talk “Bring on the Learning Revolution” by Sir Ken Robinson will the stimulus for those who attend the session. Robinson believes whole-heartedly that schools all over the world are failing to provide the necessary opportunities for students to explore their natural creative talents. We are indeed following a linear narrative which is based upon the outdated imperative to produce standardised, assembly line university students. For Robinson, one of the greatest needs is for teachers to disenthrall themselves; to break away from old practices. In every school there are teachers who continue to teach in the same old way because “that’s how it’s always been done.” If you’re not amongst the nearly 4 million people who have seen Robinson’s inspiring talk, just click on the link. Trust me, it’s well worth 17 minutes of your time!

Bring On The Learning Revolution

Now, I love the school where I currently teach; after all, I’ve spent 17 years there, which represents more than half of my teaching career. But, for the past 2 or 3 years I’ve suspected that the school has been suffering from what I might call a malaise. Up until recently, I believed the problem was that many of my colleagues lacked the skill set required to teach in a school which has a 1:1 program of Apple laptops. I was wrong; what my school needs is a new mindset; teachers need to be disenthralled. There needs to be a fundamental shift; an acceptance that education and learning can and must be transformed. I can give my colleagues the skill set required to teach in 2013 and beyond but the new mindset must come first; disenthrallment is a personal and professional undertaking, a commitment to change.

I’m pleased to say that in just a few days “The New Mindset” deck has been viewed over a thousand times. I accept that’s not exactly “Gangnam Style” ┬ábut it’s surely good numbers for an educational piece. One of the newer features in Haiku Deck is the ability to attach presentation notes to a deck which can then be downloaded as a PDF file. As much as I’d love to do a national tour delivering my presentation, I have to teach for a living! The notes can counterbalance the minimalist nature of Haiku Deck. (Did I mention that I’m a Guru?) “The New Mindset” is embedded below if you should wish to view it. However, if you download it and print the PDF you could easily present it at your own school. To download the deck, follow this link:

Download the New Mindset Deck

The deck is designated public because I believe absolutely in its message; feel free to share the link with members of your own PLN. I know that with the help of my tweeps and blog readers I can send that download counter spinning. I trust you find it a worthwhile and even provocative presentation and as always I would welcome your comments.

Haiku Deck is the best application for creating presentations on iPad
Oh, and Haiku Deck is free, why not download and explore it now.