Sunday, 4 December 2011

Thomas The Tankengine and #pencilchat - is it ok if you don't notice change?

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by dullhunk

So I was sitting there on a Sunday morning as tired as could be.  Miss 2 hasn't quite grasped onto the concept of weekend sleep in's yet.  I was up at 5:30am and feeling pretty tired.  It was around 9:30am and Thomas The Tankengine came onto ABC4Kids.  My two kids love this channel and it is an easy way for them to be entertained and be quiet.  Mr 5 was into Thomas a little bit when he was younger but I think that I enjoyed it more.  I used to love model trains when I was a kid and think that this is the reason that I loved watching the Fat Controller order those naughty trains around.  But this morning, something blew my mind: Thomas started talking......then the Fat Controller did as well!  This was anarchy!  What the heck was going on?  I asked "How long has this been going on for? Thomas shouldn't talk!"  Mr 5 responded with "He talks now daddy sometimes."  I didn't like this answer and it actually made me feel very uncomfortable.  I liked Thomas how I liked him.  Why did the change him?  Were they changing him for change sake or was there a good reason behind it? 

On Friday evening, as I was laying in bed, my twitter stream started to get taken over by something called #pencilchat.  At first, I was very confused.  Why were all of these people who I respected and followed to help increase my digital pedagogy going on about pencils?  After about five minutes, I realsied that it was humorous and people were taking the 'micky' out of stuff.  I then searched the tag and was amazed to find the volume of tweets being contributed around the world on this topic.  Educators were going off.  It was actually trending worldwide for a long time and it was a constant source of humour for me over the weekend.
So by now you are problary wondering what the heck I am going on about.  #pencilchat started as a humours annecdote which went viral.  Whilst people were happy sharing jokes etc, after about 18 hours, I came to a realisation - educators around the world are frustrated about the speed of change that is occuring.  Then this morning after my Thomas episode, I thought to myself "Does it really matter if a change occurs and you don't notice it?"  Thomas is still on the Island of Soundur and doing great, and my personal preferences towards the old Thomas shouldn't matter.  He is happy and content with his change.  I was upset at first because I felt that I was out of the loop in regards to the change.  Nobody asked me from BBC my opinion on this change.

Then I started to think about my pedagogy and how it how changed.  Some things have been a massive change whilst others I haven't even noticed.  I am happy and hopefully doing a great job.  This should be the main thing - I shouldn't be stressing about the fact that I didn't notice change occurring   

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