Beta testing and forums: how a teacher can prepare students for tomorrow

I’m feeling a little guilty for not having written in a while. I have written, on the net… but not here in my own private space. Bakhtin wrestles with the concept of other and self… and perhaps that is why I find a blog to be limiting… there is not the dynamics of dialogue.

But there are those that may find their way here to find out who I am or what I’m thinking. I cannot expect everyone to follow the same discussions that I’m involved in, though there are some I interact with in different media :).

One of the circles I’m thankful and proud to be part of is the Adobe Education Leaders. For me this is not just a network to be able to market a brand in an educational system, but a network of likeminded peers that help me hone my skills. We do discuss particular problems related to the software we have as a common tool, but there is much more to it than that. This international network gives me a chance to benchmark my students skills with students in other countries. It also helps me be informed of contests like the ACA world championship. There are also weekly webinars where we as members are given insight into and offered opportunity to give feedback on technological developments.

One more area where I have learned to take an active role is in reporting and following up discussions on bugs. If we teach something and we find that students frequently have problem with the design of a function, we can report it as a feature request or a bug. This is as important as taking an active role in giving voice to our concerns in media. Software companies, politicians and media companies do respond to our voice, if we learn to use the channels provided. Filling in a Feature Request or a bug, will make a difference, maybe not today, but if we clarify and motivate our requests we can hope for a change… or let me put it this way, if we only grumble to our peers and do not make the effort to use the feedback channels that we are offered, then we cannot assume that things will get better in the future. Voicing our concerns and seeing changes being made gives us confidence to raise our voices for change in other, more important, areas.

I believe we all can be active to change, and cause change, as long as we are not afraid to think and let our thoughts take the time to form words in the dialog of life.

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