Headed to the front row…
BLC is an environment and learning culture like no other that I’ve experienced in my professional life. Where else do our teachers sit alongside us as co-learners, asking for our ideas, and working as colleagues to unravel some of what makes teaching with new literacies practices so complex (and exciting)? We are all learners here. And, maybe that is why I woke up well ahead of the alarm this morning – shot out of bed – and was ready for the learning to continue (no matter what the clock said).
Or, it could be that I’m headed to the front row for this morning’s keynote with Prof. Michael Wesch.
We learned from Ben Zander’s keynote last year that there is power in sitting in the front row, in learning with “shining eyes,” and in, just maybe, being so engaged that you aren’t even fully sitting in that seat. A confession – I’m not usually the front row girl. I’m usually closer to a door as I’m half present, checking my email, popping out for a phone call, or rushing out early to set up for a presentation set to begin as soon as the keynote ends. Not today. Today, I’m eager to learn from one of my biggest teachers.
When I last saw Prof. Wesch speak (at a small venue at Virginia Tech in 2008), he effortlessly rattled off a sentence that I’ve spent the better part of two years attempting to meaningfully unravel and translate into meaningful classroom energy, offering “this information environment is not just a download but an upload world – we need to prepare students to create their world and to do so as not just knowledgeable but knowledge-able thinkers.”
Perhaps of bigger importance – as much as he is lauded for his work in engaging learners in his classrooms, Prof. Wesch continues to refine his pedagogy. Yes, he teaches in large lecture-halls, but the core of his pedagogy resonates across grade levels. He shared in that VT talk that, “students learn what they care about, from people they care about and who, they know, care about them.” No matter our technological literacies or levels of expertise, I think that this is exactly what unites us as a learning community here at BLC – we work each day to REALLY SEE kids. We value the multiple literacies that our students bring into our classrooms. We know what it means to learn together and co-construct what it means to teach and learn in this ever-changing and rich new media landscape. Together, we are teachers.
Enough writing. Time to get that seat. See you there.