My goal for Educon this weekend: collect stories

One thing that I have noticed over the years is that I have a hard time getting people to change their practices when it comes to using technology for teaching and learning. I think I’ve come up with a better understanding of why.

As an educational technologist, I’m not one of you. I’m not a teacher, dealing with demanding students every day. I probably give the impression of being a bureaucrat that spends most of its time playing with shiny new toys. What most people don’t understand is that I don’t play with toys for the sake of it, I use them to make my life easier and connect with people, as professional development channels.

Since I started my Ed.D, I think I’ve made some interesting strides towards building a better narrative to support my claims. The main idea that I want to share is that open educational resources are the catalyst to 21st century faculty development, because they trigger the conversations required for continuous improvement and lifelong learning, as described in this diagram I made last fall.

Diagram: OER as a catalyst for faculty development

OER as a catalyst for faculty development - Mathieu Plourde on (click on image for full size and description)

Because of my position, my voice doesn’t persuade teachers to move forward. Aristotle articulated, in On Rhetoric, three modes of persuasion: Pathos, Logos, and Ethos.

Pathos refers to the emotional delivery and connection with the audience, logos, to the logical argument, and ethos, to the appeal or credibility of the source. I think my logos is ok, and my pathos is getting there, but without the ethos, my stories don’t get too far.

So what I’d like to do during Educon is to collect “Stories of adoption” with educators who attend the conference. I want to collect real stories of real educators who changed their teaching practices by embracing a 21st century lifelong learning way of life, through the introduction of personal learning networks and open educational resources. Stories of how you have influenced colleagues are also welcome. I’ll bring my video camera to capture those Youtube-style stories, share them openly, and embed them in my narrative as needed.

If you’re attending and you’re interested, let me know, as a comment to this post, or by email at mathieu AT udel DOT edu.

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