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Wiki Wonderful! and Some Thoughts About Life Long Students… January 6, 2007

Posted by Joselyn Todd in Educational Technology.
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The “wiki experiment ” is going wonderfully. In two days, the “wiki about wikis” has developed into a useful resource, but most importantly, perhaps some teachers who have never used wikis will now give it a try in their classrooms. If you have not yet participated or want to participate (we have extended the wiki through the weekend), go to http://emergingedtech.wikispaces.com/ . Follow the directions on the second page of the wiki. For those of you who have been observers and contributors to the wiki- Shawn, Jennie, Joy, Bill, Sam and JT, Amy, Beckey, Maureen, Glenn, and Bridget- THANK YOU! I hope that you have found it to be a useful “experiment” and please continue working or observing through the weekend.

My parents who are retired public school teachers of 35 years a piece, both participated in the wiki. My mother added quite a bit of content and in spite of some early struggles to get onto the wiki (due to the fact that I had used her mac powerbook over the holiday to begin working on creating the wiki), she persisted and added some nice resources- one from David Warlick.

My father had this interesting and I think very poignant thought that he wrote in the wiki. “The experiment is exemplary of what technology has to offer to the teacher and to the student. In the end, we are all students and all teachers.” This is so true!

I thought about this over a cup of coffee this morning and wish to add a few thoughts of my own. It is unfortunate that many, many teachers have forgotten that they, more so than all others, must be life-long students. The teachers who participated in this wiki are passionate STUDENTS. Perhaps undergraduate education programs should have an entrance exam that in some way evaluates the applicant’s willingness to be a life-long student. I can think of no other predictor of an educator’s success than their willingness and passion to continue to learn throughout their lives. An educator that can “pay forward’ the passion to learn to their students, arguably possesses the most important key to student success.

What do you think? Have many educators lost the passion to learn? Did they have it in the first place? Do they not have the time to be students any more? Does the stress of producing students that can achieve acceptable test scores literally strip away an educator’s early passion to be a life-long student? I would love to know what you think! Click on “add a comment” at the top of today’s blog post (under today’s date) and let’s get a dialogue going.

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