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I was reading George Couros’ blog today about “work phone mentality“, while I always enjoy his blog posts, this one really got me thinking.
At my previous school, before we introduced iPads to the classroom we gave them to our teachers for six months. The first two months were playing, and like Couros mentioned, not everyone played. Some people used it for personal communication, some looked into how they could use it with students, but I guess everyone who used it thought about how they could use it to enhance their teaching (which is great). But I don’t think anyone used it to try to create something (myself included).
I don’t think we were solely consuming (or we were aware of solely consuming), rather I think so much of what we know as educators is to consume and adapt. Rarely are we asked to create change, or stimulate change (well in our students yes, but in the system? I don’t think so).
For the past two years as an EdTech coach, I’ve been asking teachers to create rather than consume with their learners. And I fully support that idea today, but I think I’ve missed out on some of the benefits of consuming, or I’ve been using the word improperly or just leaving off the creating aspect from consuming.
Consuming, creating and the commons
While I often think of the potential of creative commons, I don’t always think of it as a tool for both creating and consuming (although now that I think of it, I can’t actually imagine it any other way). Coming from a constructivist view point, I believe we build on from our previous knowledge, besides direct experience and then consumption (reading, watching, listening, interacting) to other people’s experience, I don’t know what other ways we can acquire knowledge.