EC&I 833

Move Out of the Way, Teacher…


Photo credit: Pixabay

If you would’ve watched me while I watched Philipe Modard in his TedTalk, How web 3.0 will change our lives?, I’m sure you may have observed a furrowed brow, some deep breathing and after deeper analysis, a gradually increasing heart rate.  

Why you may ask?  My fridge might be able to determine which groceries I do not have for a recipe and order them?  Wait. What?!?   I feel like I can barely keep up with all the new innovations of technology and possibilities within Web 2.0 let alone Web 3.0.  Even my involvement in this class has opened my eyes and facilitated new learning and discoveries for me – which I love and get excited about. However, I feel like just when I’m nearing the surface to breathe a little, a new wave splashes in and I have a great deal more to learn.  In Moving from Education 1.0 Through Education 2.0 Towards Education 3.0Jackie Gerstein listed many reasons as to why educators may not implement Education 3.0.  I don’t feel as though I am really implementing Ed. 3.0 but not for the reasons she suggests.

As an educator, I feel like I am constantly trying to learn more, try new practices and seek out the interests and needs of my students in order to provide the best learning environment possible.  I don’t feel like I am making excuses.  I feel like I have a growth and positive mindset which Gerstein alludes to, but I feel like I can’t keep up.  What is it that I am even trying to keep up to?  I’m not even sure how to define Web 3.0 or Education 3.0. From what I am reading, I sure need to move to the side and get out of the way.

As I read Gerstein’s article, I loved the visuals that she used to demonstrate the evolution of education especially with reference to the teacher:

Photo Credit – Creative Commons Attribution

I know the representations above are small, but bear with me.  In the Education 1.0 photo, the teacher dominates and she’s easy to find.  In the second image – Education 2.0, the teacher is smaller and part of the circle, but there is still more emphasis on her than the students.  In the final image, can you find the teacher?  There is so much going on and so much connectivity that it’s hard to determine who or where the teacher is …. Perhaps that’s the point. Perhaps that’s where I need to start my thinking.  Less of me.  More of them.  So I will attempt to unpack my thinking of less of me, more of them…

1. Let’s go back to my viewing of Modard’s TedTalk.  After my heart was palpitating and I had newly developed wrinkles, I thought I would tell my students about Web 3.0.  After my very engaging speech about the “smart, semantic internet”guess what their reactions were?

  • “Hey – that’s so cool!”
  • “I want a fridge like that.”
  • “I wonder what else we could get?”
  • “Wow – that’s amazing.”

I don’t know what I expected, but what I received was excitement, awe and wonder.  That tells me something.  Excitement and curiosity breed learning.  I know that.  I want that for my students.  Understanding how to merge to 3.0 is my obstacle.

Learning 1 – Students are curious and 3.0 enamours their attention and learning – not me.

Obstacle – How???

2.  In her blog post, Education 3.0: Altering Round Peg in Round Hole Education, Gerstein discusses that Education 1.0 devastated her as a child.  She states that “education 1.0 for many students results in boredom, a wasting away of their time and sometimes their minds.  But there are bigger consequences than boredom. There are especially dire consequences for learners with oddly shaped minds.  This is not meant to be derogatory.  It just means that they see, think, hear, visualize, imagine the world a little differently than others.”   I see these kids.  These kids are the ones that usually require extra attention and often patience.  When I hear an adult reflecting on having to “survive” and “recover” from Ed. 1.0, it makes me cringe.  I would be devastated if a student had to recover from experiences in my classroom.

Learning 2 – Education can harm students and sometimes those teacher-directed traditional paradigms are more than “not ideal”, they are harmful.

3. As I read through Moving from Education 1.0 Through Education 2.0 Towards Education 3.0, I came across a beautiful quote by Gerstein:

Learners as young as the elementary level have the potential to engage in educational experiences based on heutagogy.   In other words, they can engage in self-determined and self-driven learning where they are not only deciding the direction of their learning journey but they can also produce content that adds value and worth to the related content area or field of study

After you read this quote, you may question why I stated it was beautiful.  I feel as though my eyes were opened when I read this.  I’ve always interpreted my students’ products as an output related to assessment.  They create because I tell them to …. In this reference, their creation is adding meaning to the world!  That’s amazing to me.  Imagine if I can help them see themselves this way.  Imagine if I stepped out of the way and asked them to add value and worth to their area of expertise…..  What would happen?!?

Learning 3 – My students are creators of knowledge that the world needs to know.  I just need to help them see themselves and their abilities.

As I conclude this blog post, I am still left with the obstacle of fully understanding Web 3.0 and Education 3.0 as well as how to practically implement it in my classroom.  However, I do know that I need to embrace what I’ve learned/know.  My students are curious and engaged with 3.0.  Certain practices can actually cause harm to my students.  Finally, my students can add valuable meaning to this world, even at their age so I need to restructure my thinking about why they are completing tasks and rethink my role.

14522998942_d2c0e7b77f_bSo … Less of me.  More of them.  I need to get out of the way and let my students learn.  How this will happen is still evolving, but I’m on my way.  I hear them urging, “Move out of the way, teacher, and let me learn.”


What’s your thinking about the phenomenon/reality of 3.0?


Photo credit: Flickr


9 thoughts on “Move Out of the Way, Teacher…

  1. Great thorough post, Natalie. I like that you mentioned a couple times ‘less of me, more of them’. I think this would be difficult for me as it means giving up a bit of control–I struggle with this in peer teaching, working with interns etc. The best part of my days are standing in front of my students, telling relevant stories to my lessons, and simply interacting with my students. Maybe I am reading too much into Web 3.0 and the effects it may have but just like anything else, change will come and we will adapt.


  2. Fantastic post Natalie. I loved when you wrote,

    “So … Less of me. More of them. I need to get out of the way and let my students learn. How this will happen is still evolving, but I’m on my way.”

    I don’t think we often consider that our teaching may actually impede on meaningful student learning. I know that when I feel the stress of a semester, I get on my “we need to finish everything” frenzies, frantically trying to complete units and stay on schedule. I wonder how many true learning experiences I have thwarted due to my “teaching”. Thanks for giving me a lot to think about this week. It’s challenging to flip the binary and see students as the teachers and teachers as students, but it may be beneficial in moving closer to Education 3.0.


  3. Thanks for your comment, Erin. I love so many things about teaching, but I really enjoy the “teaching” part so I need to be aware of how I do that and if it’s too much of me in that equation. Most times, the students need far less than I give them. I seriously need to stop talking sometimes! Thanks for reading my blog.


  4. Great post Natalie! You’re analogies are very creative and your 3 take aways are spot on! It is a big deal that children can direct their own learning and now the question is How?
    It might be hard to move out of the way, but it will definitely be worth it!


  5. I would have benefited from hearing your statement “Less of me. More of them.” in my first few years of teaching! I expended WAY too much energy trying to fill up my students’ heads with (my?) knowledge, rather than letting them explore, create and discover on their own! Honestly. The notion of the “carte blanche” was SO evident in my classroom. Re: your Learning #2…I mentioned in my blog that I, perhaps, HAD harmed students (by way of limiting their curiosity and freedom) when I first started out as an educator. With each paragraph of your blog, I felt more and more frustrated with myself for my old approach to teaching … but also more and more hopeful that I will be a better teacher – with my newfound knowledge and the amazing PLC that is EC&I833!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pat, I just learned of Dar;2in&#8w17es passing. I want you to know that you are in my prayers and thoughts. I pray that God will give you strength and peace during this sad time.


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