20 tools for legacy learning

I'm not going to be around for ever, and neither are you. As teachers, we only have a short time to make an impression on our students, and that time goes by very quickly. So what legacy do we leave behind when we stop teaching? Is our influence as educators solely confined to the memories of those who have sat in our classes? I believe our influence can be much wider and long lasting, certainly in the digital age. There are so many ways teachers can continue to educate long after they have gone. Before the digital age, teachers could write books and articles to share their knowledge. Today, teachers are spoilt for choice. Here are five ways we can give our knowledge to generations of learners we will never meet:

1) Blogging. Blogs such as the one you are now reading have been set up to share knowledge, and also to encourage discussion. The more teachers share their ideas and interact on public spaces such as blogs, the more that dialogue and emergent thinking can be preserved for future generations to learn from and enjoy. If you want to blog, tools to look out for include Blogger, Wordpress (includes Edublogs), Typepad, Tumblr.

2) Video. Creating videos of events, presentations, interviews, demonstrations... in fact anything that we can learn from, is another way to store up ideas for future generations to use. Video is also very effective for storytelling, and one of my favourite things to watch on video is documentaries. They capture my imagination and get me asking questions I would otherwise have missed. Tools to look out for: YouTube, Vimeo, SchoolTube, Daily Motion.

3) Slideshows. There are many tools available for sharing slides, and if you really want to give your slidedecks impact, record an audio commentary to accompany it. Most hosting site provide the facility for you to add audio that synchronises with your slides. Tools to look out for: Slideshare, Authorstream, Speakerdeck, Sliderocket.

4) Photographs. Images tell a story that goes beyond words. Powerful images can be used for a number of educational purposes, and students can engage with them at many levels. Some of the most powerful images of our time capture moments in history where everything changed. They can be a valuable legacy for our future generations of learners. Tools to look out for: Flickr, Instagram, Imgur, Photobucket, Pixabay.

5) Audio. Don't underestimate the power of audio. Some of the most evocative moments in history have been captured in audio format. Radio has been a powerful medium since it was first invented, and we live in an audio culture. Simply look around in any public place and not the number of people who are walking around wearing headphones or earbuds. Podcasting is a popular method for conveying knowledge in audio format. Tools to look out for: Podbean, Libsyn, Audacity.

So think about how what you know can be shared with others long after you are no longer around. Teaching is for a season. But learning continues for a lifetime.

 Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Creative Commons License
20 tools for legacy learning by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Martin King said…

I think you are surfacing a things about openness and sustainability.

1. It has been said that the Internet never forgets .. putting stuff on the net in an open way gives a natural legacy.

2. Talking about legacy ... you are also talking about sustainable education and learning.

As educators our role is to make a difference ... the most wonderful stories are about those who have been inspired by a teacher.

Rather than legacy simply being a memory the best legacies continue to make a difference into the future.

Now ... this gets me thinking .... imagine the potential of tech to offer autonomous contextual legacy into the future .. a set of principles that can take current events and use them in teaching ..... this type of AI\avatar ... takes us into some fundamental questions about what it means to be human .... and the ability to change our minds.

I digress - Good post Steve.

Steve Wheeler said…
You nailed it Martin. My intentions when writing this were to highlight some of the possibilities around openness in education (as I have done so many time before on this blog). I also intended to acknowledge the sustainability aspects of learning, and if teachers are willing to share their content openly and freely, the tremendous impact it can have beyond the conventional space.
I can't say I've heard about schooltube.com - I'll have to check it out. Also, Twitter!

Popular Posts