Jedi Music

A Resource for the Beginning Elementary Music Teacher


The Networked Teacher

Check this out:
When I started teaching in 1999 (last century!) 64% of this would have been very puzzling. At that time, I could have told you how to use exactly five of these networks for educational purposes. (I was fresh out of undergrad; chat was soooo not used for educational purposes on my campus!) Can you believe how lucky we are to have instant access to so much information?  As teachers, we should be more efficient and better educated than anyone who has come before us! Is it any wonder that our brains are feeling a little fried??!  And I know I'm not alone in blaming technology for my lack of sleep; each night after my children are tucked in, I'm online waaay too long at night, and I'll admit, it's not always for professional reasons!

This graphic was part of a dissertation by Alec Couros on Open Source Culture, which "usually refers to a condition where cultural artifacts are made generally available to all citizens. Participants in an open source culture have the right to use and modify shared artifacts, but are usually required to redistribute these items back into the community if there are changes or improvements. Open source culture is unique in the sense that it is recursive; its basic tenet is that the culture itself is based upon the sharing and promotion of cultural artifacts."

This speaks to one of the teacher attitudes that is so important: openness. We must be open to share with our colleagues and our students, and at the same time we must also be open to receive suggestions and to explore new ideas.  Our ability to be open, sharing, and collaborative with each other should come only from the desire to help improve ourselves, our colleagues, our schools, and our student's learning.  It is so simple to connect today via social media, why can't we put this tool to work in our professional lives as well?  We can widen our influence as well as gain information from new sources.  Teachers cannot miss this opportunity to enliven and enrich their teaching. Part of our ongoing professional development must be to employ these networks.

At the time of his writing in 2006, Couros considered Open Source Culture to be at the beginnning stages of infiltrating mainstream education, with the educational technology teachers taking the lead.  Five years later, would you consider teachers to be fully networked? Which of the networks do you find most useful?  Please take my poll on the is located on the bottom left of the main page.

And back to my lack of sleep, how do we find a balance in these activities? It would be possible to spend inordinate amounts of time on that "Networked Teacher" wheel.  Should I try the "timer method"* on myself? Suggestions are always welcome!

* I set my oven timer so that my son knows when to stop playing wii.

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