When I was an IB Geography teacher in Thailand in 2008-9 I was often asked by students how old a case study could be for citing in their assignments. We talked about the fact that in geography, to be current, a case study should date from this century, and if that was impossible it should certainly be from within their own lifetime. Any earlier than this would be history. In subjects like geography, content can have a fairly short lifespan, which implies that it is the concepts that are important to understand, not the content. Siemens writes about how in a connectivist approach to learning we create networks of knowledge to assist in replace outdated content with current content.
Tomorrow we are trying a new form of PD at the elementary campus of ASB - we are prototyping a PlayDate. This is an unconference where educators can explore technology in a group setting. Last week we sent out a survey to find out what types of tools teachers and TAs are interested in exploring, and we have come up with 8 different tools that people can explore. Each space will have a facilitator who is not there to present but to support and guide our educators through the process. We're hoping that participants will tweet out from the various spaces about the learning that is taking place, and that people will move from space to space, or even into breakout spaces, depending on where their curiosities and passions take them.
Today I was preparing for our PlayDate at ASB tomorrow. I was looking for resources that would help the facilitators of each space of the PlayDate to get started. It was important for me to find the most up-to-date examples of videos about the tools and blog posts about how they are being used in classrooms around the world. I drew heavily on my social networks of educators to find some of the most current resources.
Filling the learner with content only works when the "half-life" of knowledge is long - when it takes a long time for it to lose relevance. Tech tools are constantly evolving and the half life of these is incredible short. I'm happy that the educators in my network have become content creators and that our learning is continuous (and our sharing of this learning is too).