Module 3.1 reflection

  • How would curriculum change if our priority approach was on critical, creative, and collaborative thinking?

Educators would realize the importance of curriculum design consciously based around C21st skills and objectives. Knowing something of Tara Brabazon’s work I was keen to read about the igeneration despite the reference to digital natives in the title, which may otherwise have put me off (Brabazon, Dear, Greene, & Purdy, 2009).  From this I liked these:

1. There are very few – too few – controlled studies of information seeking behaviour that is able to isolate age as a variable.

2. Speculation and ‘mis-information’ has been perpetrated about how young people behave in online environments.

3. All researchers – not only ‘young people’ are skim-reading research, reading abstracts rather than drilling deeper into the paper.

4. Young people are not ‘dumbing down.’ Society is ‘dumbing down.’

5. “The information literacy of young people, has not improved with the widening access to technology: in fact, their apparent facility with computers disguises some worrying problems.”

6. “Young scholars are using tools that require little skill: they appear satisfied with a very simple or basic form of searching.

7. “Digital literacies and information literacies do not go hand in hand” (Brabazon, Dear, Greene, & Purdy, 2009, p. 171).

  • What does the reality of the modern age of information– this age of Google –suggest that we “teach”?

Conole’s chapter excited me so much that I borrowed the book and read it very quickly. It is full of amazing suggestions for links (some of which are, unfortunately no longer active) to websites that guide curriculum design (Conole, 2012,  chapter 8). I am still working through the downloads but the idea of tapping into existing structures such as or – (the email link they sent me on sign up didn’t work though 😦 ) or is very appealing.

When I first started working as a qualified teacher-librarian SLAV had several CD based programs available to assist with cooperative teaching and learning, particularly planning research tasks, and these web based options seem to be similar to the principle but aimed at C21st skill development. I have also been exposed to assessing assignment design against C21st skills in my Microsoft 1:1 peer coaching course. For me, this is starting to bring my thoughts together in answer to “where to from here?” questions that I keep mulling over. I think my digital essay topic will probably be aiming to investigate some options in order to suggest pathways for reducing the digital divide and enabling reluctant educators to “have a go” in ways that may not be too threatening.

  • Can we simply “update” things as we go, or is it time for rethinking of our collective practice?

I do not believe that we can just update bits and pieces of curriculum as we go (although we do all have to start somewhere and that may be the only way). Just like the “backward by design”  principles that so many schools are embedding at present – we need to know the end point before we start “renovating” so that we end up with a workable, learning-centred and sustainable system.


Brabazon, T., Dear, Z., Greene, G., & Purdy, A. (2009). Why the Google Generation Will Not Speak: The Invention of Digital Natives. Nebula, 163-181. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from

Conole, G. (2012). Designing for Learning in an Open World. New York, United States of America: Springer. Retrieved April 2014

Heick, T. (2014). Are You Teaching Content Or Teaching Thought? Retrieved April 16, 2014, from te@chthought:>

Ito, M. (2013). Connected Learning Every One, Every Where, Anytime.  Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from

Zone of intervention – when to be sage in the classroom.

There are too many teachers who believe that their role is to direct learning from the front of the classroom and keep control over everything that occurs. (In my first Hamilton school (1980) there was a real “stage” at the front of each classroom,  and you taught from behind a big desk which sat on the stage between you and the blackboard – one of those new roller based ones that gave you almost endless space to deliver your words of wisdom – and well separated from the students, who were way down on the lower deck).  I hated it – and quickly created opportunities for students to be on the stage, at the board or for me to join them “down below”. Today, minus the board and the stage, this is what I still see in so many room as I move (occasionally) around the school.

Modern concepts of flipped classrooms focus on the sage role but place it outside the classroom, and leave class time for interaction around the information gained. This still leaves me uneasy.

The main reason I question the sage approach is that there are many things that my students know that I do not, and they are all individuals, not a homogenous body. If I assume the guru position, am I not locking them into the knowledge I have and not extending them beyond it?

The main reason I do assume the sage role at times is because, with 6 years of tertiary education and many, many years of teaching experience there must be things that I know that they can’t know, or fully understand without some intervention on my part. In both my History teaching, and my Teacher-librarian role, I tend to work along the lines of Ross Todd and Carol Kuhlthau’s zone of intervention: Google this to download a Ppt on guided inquiry which covers this topic – 

Dr. Ross Todd
Dr. Ross Todd

Reflections on Too Big To Know by David Weinberger





An interesting man but a not so interesting book. I ordered four books and decided that the one that arrived first would be the one I read for my scholarly book review. By the time it arrived we had to commit on the Google doc. If I had not duly committed, I doubt I would have finished the book.

Reviews found by Googling include:


and I found one review in Primo (CSU Library): “Weinberger, David: TOO BIG TO KNOW.” Kirkus Reviews 1 Jan. 2012. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 9 Apr. 2014

and it was brief!

One Review by Cory Doctorow:

“David Weinberger is one of the Internet’s clearest and cleverest thinkers, an understated and deceptively calm philosopher who builds his arguments like a bricklayer builds a wall, one fact at a time.

Weinberger wants to reframe questions like “Is the Internet making us dumber?” or “Is the net making us smarter?” as less like “Is water heavier than air?” and more like “Will my favored political party win the election?” That is, the kind of question whose answer depends on what you, personally, do to make the answer come true.

Ultimately, Weinberger treats the net as a fact, not a problem. It exists. It has remade our knowledge processes. It has bound together communication, information and sociability so that you can’t learn things without communicating, and so that every communication brings the chance of a human encounter. In a closing chapter of recommendations, he talks about how we treat the fact of the net as a given, and work from there to try and use it to make us smarter. The concluding chapter is a set of eminently reasonable recommendations on policy, technology, administrations and mindset, expressed with admirable brevity”.

From <>

Who is this reviewer?

Cory Efram Doctorow (/ˈkɒri ˈdɒktəroʊ/; born July 17, 1971) is a Canadian-British[1] blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics

I also found out that: is David’s blog. David is involved with this, this, and this. But I don’t know if he is linked to this.

I held such high hopes for this title but sadly they were not realised. If I was to have my time to invest in a book over again I would choose another.


And yes, this post is not official or scholarly. Sorry!