In my vision, space-age objects, in the form of small computers, will cross these cultural barriers to enter the private worlds of children everywhere. They will do so not as mere physical objects. This book is about how computers can be carriers of powerful ideas and of the seeds of cultural change, how they can help people form new relationships with knowledge that cut across the traditional lines separating humanities from sciences and knowledge of the self from both of these. (p.4)
I am currently enrolled in the Master of Education (Digital Learning) at Monash University.
Aptly named, the journey to the Matheson Library and seminars along Ancora Imparo Way on the Clayton campus, strikes me as a having a choric quality as I read the street signs sotto voce ‘ I am still learning’. I imagine my grandparents repeating the same phrase to me regarding their lives, and now as a grandmother myself, I know it’s true for me too. I feel like I have only just figured out ‘what I wanted to be’ … a writer or is it more accurate to say that becoming a writer now suits me in every possible way, having done my long apprenticeship in ‘fits and starts’ as a curriculum writer, theatre historian, theatre reviewer and playwright over the years.
But… why a Master of Education (Digital Learning)?
As I watch my children, now young parents, I reassess my different roles in education as a drama teacher, curriculum leader and textbook writer in drama.
Have I been a help or a hindrance to the vital project of inspiring and engaging children in our schools? More importantly, can I now ensure my kids and grandkids participate, as I have done as a ‘baby boomer’, in an egalitarian Australian education system?
The solution for me in addressing this question is not to reminisce about the ‘good old days’: the past can distort the reality of the present like a ‘hall-of-mirrors’ can reflect back your misshapen form. Besides which, I admire the way my children’s generation are evolving their solutions. I like what I read and see about new forms of thinking such as DESIGN THINKING. I enjoy participating in new AGILE project management systems that enhance collaboration. I am impressed by new communication systems which understand the importance of CONTENT STRATEGY to help manage the many platforms and software services that are part of living in a digital age. I like the way in which viewing the internet through the biological metaphor of an ECOSYSTEM assists meet individual and social needs.
It’s a new world after all.
My current work contracts with Fantastic Learning Systems P/L and Red Wool Editions have challenged me to address how I will change in authoring arts-based education content, write theatre history and create plays. Put another way, what will it mean for me as a baby-boomer to author content, design curriculum and be a playwright in a digital age? How will the principles, concepts, skills and literary conventions that I carry with me, help or hinder me in creating work for contemporary teachers, students and theatre audiences?
The answer is: I don’t know.
So, it’s time to think again and learn all I can about the impact of digital technologies on teaching and learning, as well as creative industries.
At the very least, I believe, it would be good that my children and grandchildren see, as I did my grandparents, how to remain awestruck by the fact that ‘I am still learning’.