Wednesday, July 12, 2006

ICT: The C is for Conversation

I am way behind in my podcast listening. I mean waaaay behind! I usually listen when I'm taking the dogs on their final walk of the night. This works well in the dark of the Autumn and Winter nights when I have my hood up and my head down against the damp, driech drizzle that characterises Scottish weather for roughly ten months of the year! The headphone go in, the head goes down and off I go into the dark and stormy night. However, with the recent good weather and light nights, I've spent less time listening to podcasts and more time listening to the world around.

As a result, I have only just heard David Warlick's Connected Learning podcast from the 7th of March - Episode 56 titled "Rights and wrongs on the Information Highway. (David's archives seem to be broken at the moment, but if it gets fixed, you may be able to find this podcast at the Connected Learning Podcast site. David posted the link in a comment on this post and I've now linked it to the title of the podcast.) I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast and learned some good stuff from it. However, one of the things I learned was not connected to the topic being discussed. Rather I learned from the way David did things.

I'm not sure if he was asked to give a keynote,a workshop, a presentation or what, but what he actually did was have a conversation with the people in the room. Perhaps they went there to hear David speak, perhaps they went to be told what to do with technology, but what they ended up doing was having a conversation with him. Brilliant!

The conversation was very skilfully guided and developed by David. He picked up and expanded some points, he let others go. Sometimes he went with the flow but sometimes he channelled the flow in a particular direction. When necessary he stopped one discussion topic and moved things on into new areas. He didn't talk at people - he talked with them. And even better, he recorded the conversation and turned it into a podcast. I'll say it again... Brilliant!

I've thought before about blogging as a conversation, but the way David handled this session reminded me that all learning and teaching should be about conversations. Perhaps that's not easy to do in the large lecture settings where I sometimes find myself, but I'm inspired to try and make more space for conversation in all my teaching sessions.

Whether I'm able to do it, or how quickly I fall back into that old Scottish educational stand by - "I telt ye, I telt ye!" - remains to be seen. :-)

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TheBizofKnowledge said...

I'm way behind on my podcast listening too because I keep getting recommendations for new (or as yet undiscovered by me) ones. I am intrigued by your description of David Warlick's conversational podcast. I am definitely going to have to check that out!

David Warlick said...


I'm glad that you enjoyed the conversation. It's an interesting way to handle a conference session, but it holds the potential of peril for the presenter ;-)

I apologize for the problems with the Connect Learning blog. It happened when I moved everything over to the new server, and I need to take the time to upgrade the blogging software. Anyway, for your listeners, you can get directly to the audio file at:

Mrs Moffat said...

Sometimes when you put the 'C' in the ICT you have to go out on a limb. The presenter in this instance was obviously aware of potential peril and prepared, or just knew his stuff. Wish I'd got to Elive! Knowledge is power. The 'C' in ICT is communication, conversation, if you like, but then conversation is....Reflects some of the stuff that goes on in my classroom, but then I picked that up from hanging on others' coat tails. Do the conversation thing with children and be astonished!!!!If you are listening! So why should we as adults be surprised?

David said...

Hello David

Thanks for giving us this link David and thanks again for all the stuff you produce.

Hello Mrs Moffat

Listening - yes! One of the most common faults I see in student teachers is that they lapse into lecture mode. They talk at the pupils rather than with them.