segunda-feira, 28 de fevereiro de 2011

Educational Entrepreneurship and Technology

Today, due to the new competitive landscape, Educational Institutions are forced to loosen their ties to solid educational tradition and join the new fads: technology, new gadgets, social media....
But is that (that) bad?... or (that) good? What lies under this (un)comfortable feeling? Are teachers the way we know going to disappear? Are students going to rule and exert authority over methodology and teaching subjects? Where is the resistance grounded?

It is a good opportunity to think over concepts we have been boasting all around. Let's start with entrepreneurship, for example. All the talk about creative destruction (Shumpeter), risk tolerance, perseverance, innovation can be put in practice when buying technology (a smart board, for example), bringing internet and social network to the classroom, walking the long path of distance learning. We knew it was coming... are we ready to go? It is about time we recognize we have to learn while doing, everything is changing and so will we.

A new world is already here and it unfolds at every step we take towards its demands, every single question we bring to the table: what strategies can we search to motivate teachers to leave their comfort zone? And social network? what do we actually know about it? who uses facebook, tweeter, blogger, foursquare....? Are all students into it? Can we reach them with social media?

Checking one more concept: what is social network? social network is an internet tool that allows the reader to engage with the writer or with an online community and in public .....okay...

So it takes us back to the market. First of all, our internal market: Who are our teachers? Who are our students? What are their needs? What communication sources have they been using? What risks are we (decision makers) prone to take? ....hum... it is not all unknown. Innovation is not trowing all we know in the bin and start from the scratch. We KNOW, we've learned that education is an ongoing practice, we are educators. Knowledge is the fuel of decision making. We cannot close our eyes to the past and cannot dare to do it to the future. The path ahead is the one of innovation, passion and education. We decided to keep going and we are enjoying it!

Have a look: great presentation using technology, 200 years in 4 minutes: