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Crown Buildings, Bancyfelin, Carmarthen, SA33 5ND,
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Steve Wheeler

Steve Wheeler has spent his entire career working in educational technology. He is currently Associate Professor of Learning Technology at Plymouth University, where his research interests include social media and mobile technologies in education. He has conducted research into learning technology in all sectors of education and training and, having been invited to present his findings at conferences in more than 30 countries, he is truly a global educator.

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Publications by Steve Wheeler

Learning with ‘e’s

In an age where young people seem to have a…

Don’t Change the Light Bulbs

Curated by Rachel Jones, Don’t Change the Light Bulbs offers…

Author Blog

Love what you do

May 17 2017

Love what you do, and do what you love. For me, this is a great formula for a happy life, and also for a successful working life. I sometimes joke that I haven't done a day's work in 20 years. The fact is, I get paid to do what I love to do, which is teaching and research. When I was younger, my careers teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I left school. Without missing a beat I replied: 'I want to be an astronaut.' The teacher wasn't impressed.

I was persuaded that outer space probably wasn't where I was destined to be. I went off and did other things for a while which didn't really satisfy my curiosity. But deep down inside, my mind and my heart were committed to exploration, and I began to learn new skills. Looking back on my journey through various careers, and my current work as a lecturer in a university, I think that in a strange kind of way, I have become the explorer I always wanted to be. I try to find new ways to teach and learn using new and emerging technologies. I experiment with tools and technologies in different contexts. And I write and speak about what I have found. That is what I enjoy doing, and that is what I am committed to do until I get too tired or bored to do it any more.

So here I am, at the National University of Singapore, preparing to give the annual distinguished lecture for a group of research fellows. The title of my talk? My learning journey. I will trace my influences and inspirations and tell the story of how I got to be where I am now. It has been an interesting journey so far, with plenty of twists and turns, some failures and disappointments, and a few surprises. I wonder what questions I will get from my audience? Ultimately, as I continue to navigate my way through this thing called life, learning, occasionally failing, and learning again, I am loving what I am doing, and doing what I love.

Photo by Steve Wheeler

Creative Commons License
Love what you do by Steve Wheeler was written in Singapore and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

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The past and the future

May 13 2017

I saw this graphic on Twitter today (via Chris Cline) and it made me think. Are there really two types of schools, or is this really an oversimplification? I would argue from my own experiences of visiting hundreds of schools across the globe, that there is actually a spectrum. Clearly the binary is used as a rhetorical device, and in reality, each teacher is unique in the way they approach and practice their pedagogy. And yet there is a cogent argument in this statement.

I believe that what Wes Kieschnick is arguing here is that some schools develop a culture that militates against future oriented education. If schools ignore the need to prepare young people for a future that is uncertain and volatile, and instead fall back into the comfortable armchair of content delivery, then they fall into the latter category. If they focus on developing children's abilities to think critically, solve problems and express themselves creatively, they will be preparing them for a future that will probably demand such skills. If teachers encourage children to learn from their failures and challenge them to never give up, they will be developing grit and resilience. If, instead of focusing solely on facts and content, teachers also show children how to generate their own content and be wise to the provenance and veracity of the content they discover online, they will give them a fighting chance in a world riddled with fake news and post-truth.

This is not a debate about whether progressive or traditional teaching is uppermost. It's a discussion around far more important issues and rises above the petty and unproductive squabbling that currently rages on social media. The trads and progs can argue who's right and who's wrong, until they are blue in the face. While they are doing so, the problem is growing that children need learning that will be useful to them when they encounter problems we cannot currently anticipate. It is an important decision that every teacher, every senior management team and every funding body needs to consider: how do we future proof education?

Image by Wes Kieschnick

Creative Commons License
The past and the future by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

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