A Quiet Revolution
Way back when….I was still teaching (pediatric nursing) in my first higher ed incarnation, I regularly used a video called “A Quiet Revolution”. The video was about the (radical) and innovative reconfiguring of the built and care environment for children in healthcare environments. The point was that children would be more cooperative and convalesce and heal faster and better in places where their particular characteristics were taken into consideration. The narrative pointed to exemplar institutions where intentional design decisions were made to create environments welcoming to children. I used this idea to frame everything we talked about in the course. Because children are different.
Fast forward to now. I am struck again by what appears to be (at least from where I sit) another ‘quiet revolution’. I am talking about the understandings we should all be reaching by now about the central importance of technology to the higher education teaching & learning encounter. (I don’t really want to quibble here as I try to get these thoughts down over what the essence or name or meaning of that technology really is. More on that later).
I wonder – daily – how it is that we can still be having conversations about things like the separation of IT and academic affairs. I wonder how we cannot reach a level of egalitarian regard for one another so as to agree on a collective mission that we all share – to prepare our students for their future. I find I am still needing to interpret what I do and where I ‘live’ within a broader network and in IT– as if these ideas are new and novel. I suppose that is what has me thinking of these ideas right now as revolutionary. Here’s a Google definition:
…a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people’s ideas about it.
The revolution I am thinking about here is the need to radically reconfigure learning environments to fully apprehend the affordance of technology (and EVERYTHING that means). Yes, “…a dramatic and wide-reaching change…” in the way teaching and learning works is needed. Thereby, we need to make intentional design decisions to create learning environments that are welcoming for our students.
And boy, are our learners/students ever different. Or are they? (Another ‘more-on-this-later disclaimer here).
To better and much more eloquently describe the revolution I am talking about, watch this:
Here’s the thing. Soooooooo many people I interact with (still) have little to no understanding of this revolution – while it is swirling around them each and every day. And sadder still – they are not interested in informing themselves and cling instead to the old order. That’s why I am thinking of the revolution as a quiet one (and you might not agree that it is quiet where you are. I am talking about my own circumstance).
Still a revolution though.
Today, as I write this I am weary of my own entreats to WAKE UP PEOPLE!!
I saved and wrote this on my office white board on January 19 a quote from this blog post by Seth Godin:
The trouble is that I CAN’T walk away. The revolution has not reached us here. I am trying to bring it. I am on my way to the bell tower.
That brings me to #thoughtvectors and the tantalizing opportunity offered to join the revolution on the front lines. I’m shaking the dust off the furniture covers in here. I have remained quiet and quiescent for far too long.
I have WAY more to say and share.
I am pledging here, today, June 5 – to participate fully.
I am ready.
I NEED to be a part.
I MUST use my voice more than I have been using it – like writing here in this blog.
And let me be clear. I am doing this first and mainly for me.
(Feeling quite convicted after reading Gardner’s post “Who is this for?”)
But maybe in the wonder, and thinking and messy writing I can make some sense and bring the revolution.
I am ready.
Yes, I am ready.