I'm also going to embed the two presentations below (the second one is in two parts), and I think it's well worth your time to watch both of them, particularly if you teach Language Arts, but really if you care about education at all. After each presentation I've pulled a few select quotes that really resonated with me.
The Future is Now: Presentation to the RU Board of Governors
We're living in the time of the most significant change in human expression in human history.Do you agree? If so, what implications does that have for the way we teach Language Arts? What about other subject areas?
This is the room we're particularly proud of - the Collaboratory.OK, when I build my school, I'm so going to have a Collaboratory. Actually, every room will be one. Perhaps that should be the name of the school?
To compose, and compose successfully in the 21st century, you have to not only excel at verbal expression, at written expression, you have to also excel in the use and manipulation of images. That's what it means to compose.Shades of "The Yancey." Note that this is additive - no one is suggesting that words don't matter, that what we traditionally think of as "writing" is no longer important, but that the very nature of composition is more complex now, and that our instruction, our pedagogy, our learning spaces need to reflect that.
This is all building towards a larger vision of the humanities for the 21st century.
. . . In the New Humanities what we imagine at the center is this collective, collaborative kind of composition.Social construction. Social composition.
The real function of the humanities is to engage in the art of creativity - moment by moment - to improve the quality of the world we live in.I'm certainly not a linguist, but doesn't that get back to the root of "humanities?" And have perhaps some of our academic treatments of the humanities forgotten the human part that should be the center of our work?
That's writing in the 21st century. It's multiply authored, it's multiply produced, and that's where English is going.Is that where English is going in your school?
This Is How We Dream (Part 1 and Part 2)
It has never been a more important moment for this profession, or for people who take reading and writing seriously.Do you agree? If so, what implications does that have for your school? Your classroom?
I spent my time understanding writing as a solitary activity . . . I'm a person of the book.Writing (composing) is no longer exclusively a solitary activity. And we need to expand our definition of composition beyond only text and beyond only a specific medium (book, research paper, academic journal).
An assignment for a class I taught for first year students called Creativity and Collaboration.This is a class I'll be offering in my new school (The Collaboratory).
Ideas don't belong to us individually, but they belong to us as a culture. And that we as educators must be in the business of sharing ideas freely.Shades of Pesce.
The limits and restrictions are largely ones we put on ourselves.No excuses.
This is a way to push ideas into our culture. Why wouldn't we be at the front edge of that?Yes, why wouldn't we?
We do not have a pedagogy on hand to teach the kind of writing I'm describing. It needs to be invented.Alan Kay said the best way to predict the future is to invent it. The best way to figure out what composition should look like in the 21st century is to co-create it.
We can do this. We should do it.We should get started.