Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Over my long years as a teacher, I have grown to realize that the word “me” would best be removed from a teacher’s vocabulary, and lately I’ve begun to see that the new technology (called “web 2.0”) can help in this process. Teaching is not -- or should not be -- about the teacher. There is no profession that requires more self-abnegation, more willingness to leave personal issues aside, than teaching. The teacher’s job is to aid the students in their journey away from ignorance and narrow-mindedness, and any focus by the teacher on private, self-centered concerns is an impediment to this process, a barrier that sidetracks education down the fruitless path of personality and self-absorption. Luckily, with Web 2.0 technology, teachers now have an opportunity to move further to the side of the trail. As the classroom becomes encircled by an immeasurably expanding array of web-based learning tools, there is no longer a need for a single, all-knowing pathfinder. In a very real sense, the universe -- including each of us -- becomes both teacher and student, both the guiding and guided. I look forward to this arrangement. I eagerly anticipate being able to move gradually away from leadership and toward comradeship. After all, one teacher trying to map and triumph over the entire learning process is like one trailblazer trying to lead travelers through an infinite wilderness. It’s exhausting and entirely futile labor. Better to let the wilderness, the endless cosmos of learning, show us its enigmatic and extraordinary trails – with the fresh assistance of Web 2.0.

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