Magic Wands still don’t exist!

From guest writer John Dalziel.

Just over 2 years ago, in one of my podcasts, I asked this question…

“What has a Mallard got in common with, using New and Emerging Technologies?”

At that time, before I retired, feedback from workshops, face-2-face and online sessions told me that most delegates had engaged with the amazing concepts and/or inspiring messages I’d tried to deliver.

However, being aware of audience reactions, while I was delivering, was equally as important. Often I’d looked around the delegates, and seen many who seemed completely disinterested in what I was presenting. Then…

03MagicWands2“I’d mention a new tool, and suddenly the mood changed.“

Those previously disinterested in the bigger picture, pulled out their mobile devices; they would be Googling and downloading that app or program, and the environment was suddenly buzzing.

Yes, I love tools just as much as those delegates.

Even in retirement, I admit that I filter through 200 plus RSS feeds a day; clicking and reading many of those “10 Tools…,” “50 Apps…”, “25 Programs…” articles that promise me, and others, an easier life.

There is a difference.03MagicWands1

I read those posts from the RSS feeds, already knowing an important secret: magic wands don’t exist.

These tools, apps, programs and devices won’t change anything in a learning environment without…

  • hard work,
  • investment of time, and
  • a real desire to learn with it.

All the tools, devices and programs, which I still share, with those ex-colleagues, those I used to support, and a much wider audience, are wonderful but, without the magic wand (remember they don’t exist) those people still need to invest the time and energy to not just integrate them, but to do so elegantly.

That’s essential if they are to realize a return on the investment of their time.

They – you – need to…

  • be a self-directed learner
  • own their/your learning.

I’m more than happy to share all I know about using New and Emerging Technologies (uNET) with anyone but, at some point, they must…Photo 18-11-2015, 16 02 09

  • take ownership and just give it a try,
  • try to figure out how it can work for their…
    • learners and/or
    • lesson plans and/or
    • examinations/assessments and/or
    • quizzes and/or
    • projects…

Even the most detailed step-by-step list of directions that I may share, won’t solve their/your problems until they/you roll up their/your sleeves and try working through the steps themselves/yourself.

Without this effort, the tool(s) is(are) lifeless – or, at best, defiant in the face of their/your instructional design at large.

Often I used to see amazing practitioners using tools, apps and programs to create the most fantastic learning experiences for their learners.

Those practitioners made it look easy.

It was like watching a mallard duck
as it gracefully glides across water.


The thing to remember is that the graceful glide of that duck is powered by the fervent paddling of webbed feet under the water!

John Dalziel
Retired eLearning Adviser

Read more: It’s alright for you John, but how do I keep up with all that’s out there?
Exciting Times for Education


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