After an amazing 3 days at camp my brain was a wee bit of mush but I had too much FOMO (fear of missing out) not to attend the monthly PLC run by The Education Hub. And I am so glad I attended. I have really enjoyed the past sessions as it is so amazing to be amoung really amazing educators who I can hear inspiring ideas from and it encourages me to go even further and get more and more passionate about my profession!
This evening's discussion has made me want to post as I did not want to loose my thinking. We talked about technology and wellbeing which have been a big part of my journey this year and it made me think about the Key note from Mike Walsh at ULearn (yes that is a hologram!), all about the Future and the direction he thinks education might go in. Having reflected on today's discussion about how we as adults find it hard to restrict our use of social media/technology so how can we encourage learners to limit their time on devices? I was thinking about how it is even more important to get children these days to understand WHY they should limit their device time. Most people over the age of 20 should be able to remember a time when technology was a novelty and you had to find ways to entertain yourself; be it with friends, playing outside, making things. However, this is not a reality for learners today as many have nothing to compare this feeling to. When we know we have had a lot of time on our phones we will say 'oh I need to get outside' or 'I need spend some time in the real world.' But to some of our learners their 'real world' is in technology where they speak to people from all over the planet. Which can be a positive but if this is their only means of communication then that is where they don't understand the WHY behind limiting their device time.
This leads to my connection to Mike Walsh's key note. These are the three things he puts forward as key for young people to know and understand now and in the future:
1. Be more comfortable with ambiguity
2. Recognise the power of IT (Information Technology) and AI (Artificial Intelligence)
3. Centre ourselves and make good choices (Philosophy)
This Keynote really resonated with me as I was glad that even though he was a 'Futurist' one of his last messages was 'Don't loose touch with what is means to be human.' That is why although I think the first two points are really important, the third one is what I have been reflecting on the most. We need to be educating learners (and ourselves) on how we can use technology to extend our knowledge but not be our only means; see it as a tool and a resource not get trapped and addicted. They say that the reason why technology can be so addictive is because of the dopamine hit but when I was in the group today (even with my tired body) I was buzzing off the energy that being in a safe group environment can bring.
I myself really enjoy philosophical chats which is probably why I really liked this suggestion. In the past I have used things like circle time, P4C, word mats so I know what Philosophy in schools is not a big new thing. However with 'anxiety' being the new trigger word in today's society I think that philosophy may very well be the connection needed to be emphasised to ignite the conversations we were talking about in the PLC to boost wellbeing. While washing away my camp blues I was listening to a podcast I delve into from time to time - Philosophise this! He was talking about Kierkegaard who built on the idea of self. And one of his quotes was 'anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.' linking this quote alone as a provocation as to what does it mean to be free? Free from the pressures of technology, from social media? How can you achieve that? What do you do to help yourself calm...... and can be taken in a different direction for the littlies - how can we make good choices? What does our body do when we are nervous....
I hope over the next while to keep working in this space to refine my understandings and make links between technology, agency and well being, seeing how they all come together to support our learners in their futures.
Although we do not know what the future holds I feel we have to attempt to understand what qualities and skills will be needed/desired to be successful adults: creative, risk takers who can self regulate and adapt to a changing environment (with confidence or resilience?). - That's my thoughts anyways. Helping children to accept and understand what ‘comfortable with being uncomfortable so you are prepared for anything’ means.