Making an impact | (Steve Wheeler)

How do you make an impact in the classroom? You can deploy all the latest shiny technologies you can get your hands on. You can introduce new, whizzy methods into the classroom, and continually invent new ways to engage students. You can pack your lessons full of content, activities, games and creative assessment. You can plaster your classroom walls with colourful posters and displays, and even invite guest speakers in to motivate to your students. You can rearrange the tables and chairs into progressive seating plans and move students around the room constantly to keep them occupied. You…

Continue reading at:

Taking a NAP | (Steve Wheeler)

It has been a pleasure and privilege to lead one of the most influential global organisations in digital education. It’s now time to step down, as my 3 year term has been completed.

Since 2014 I have served as chair of the steering committee of the Network of Academics and Professionals, an elected body that works autonomously alongside the European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN). It presently has over 1200 individual members worldwide, many of whom are active in distance education and technology supported learning. In my original position paper, written as part of the process…

Continue reading at:

The realms of possibility | (Steve Wheeler)

Everything that is imaginable is possible, but not everything that is possible is imaginable. That puts humankind in a bit of a dilemma. We are limited to our own imaginations, and any invention that is ground breaking or transformative often transgresses the boundaries of conventional thinking.

Many of the great ideas across history were dreamt of by mavericks, people who were considered to be a little unconventional, or simply downright strange. And yet such people brought us an understanding that the earth orbits the sun, time is relative, computers can do more for us than mere…

Continue reading at:

Jolly good fellows | (Steve Wheeler)

It has been a great week in Jonkoping, Sweden this past week, where we held our 26th annual conference of the European Distance and Elearning Network (EDEN). Around 200 people attended the conference, representing 34 different countries. During the event, it was time for me to step down as the chair of the Network of Academics and Professionals of EDEN after serving 6 years on the steering committee. Another blog post is in the pipeline to report on my work with that particular organisation.

I was very pleased, if not a little surprised, to be awarded Senior Fellow of EDEN and was presented…

Continue reading at:

60 years ago today | (Steve Wheeler)

I have reached a milestone in my life. Today I have completed 60 orbits of the sun. I don’t feel any different physically, but in my mind it has given me cause to reflect. I often talk about many of the experiences that have shaped my life, formed my personality and directed my journey. Here’s a brief reflection:

In the 70s my time was spent learning my ‘trade’, exploring the new world that was opening up in the form of educational technology, and discovering the true power of computers for the first time. While still in school I was inspired by a visit to a technology museum. Later, in my…

Continue reading at:

Learning by design? | (Steve Wheeler)

A recent tweet by Jason Elsom made me sit up and take notice: ‘We need to stop designing schools for teaching and start designing schools for learning.’ And therein lies the dichotomy of education. Are teachers there to instruct, or to facilitate? Do they lecture, or do they support? Most teachers do both depending on context, but I believe it’s the balance that Jason is questioning in his statement. We can either place an emphasis on teaching or we can privilege learning as the most important facet of education. Which do you favour?

Also, what does Jason mean by ‘designing’? Does he mean…

Continue reading at:

Walking away | (Steve Wheeler)

After nearly 20 years teaching in higher education, I’m walking away.

I have taken voluntary redundancy from my post as Associate Professor at Plymouth Institute of Education. Recently I was informed that the Computing and ICT specialism that I have helped to deliver for the last 10 years has been cut from the B.Ed Primary teacher education programme (yeah – try to work that one out).

I have mixed feelings about walking away. On the down side, I will miss teaching my undergraduate students, and the wonderful times we have enjoyed together exploring questions such as ‘who should define the…

Continue reading at: