Saturday, November 1, 2008

Preparing for the future

Dr Alan Finkel
"Good lecturers engage the students, they tell jokes and stories, they take questions from the students, they ask questions of the students and they proceed at a pace assessed by reading the mood in the lecture theatre." Dr Alan Finkel, Monash University Chancellor, June 2008.

The above comment was made as part of Dr Finkel's plenary lecture at the recent Australian Universities International Alumni Convention in Singapore. He went on to speak in detail about how technology is changing the way that we need to teach and learn, and that "in order for universities to be at the forefront, in order to be ultimately successful, there is no time like the present to be preparing for that future and testing the waters."

I thought that these comments from Dr Finkel would be an ideal first post in this, my new blog "RenewEd" - a place where I intend to question traditional teaching methods, openly share my thoughts and readings, and "test the waters" with new and adventurous uses of ICT in education. I'll be documenting my experiences, including the successes and failures, as I continue to explore new ways to engage my students over the coming years.

Please subscribe, contribute to the conversation, and help me to renew our students' educational experiences.


Stan Lee said...


Love that you've taken up the name that young punks like Julian C and Zac probably gave you.

I spent 2 years teaching, yes teaching, in the advertising degree at RMIT.

I loved it becuase I'm a good with kids, love what I do and have a serious interest in the impact of technology on us all.

I gave it away for 2 reasons:

Firstly because even though I had held 4 Creative Directorships in both Melbourne & London and had won awards at pretty much every major advertising award show in the world, I wasn't educated enough for a permanant academic gig. Go figure!

Mainly though, I gave it away because I believed that it was better to post my "then and there" thinking to a blog rather than write a paper for my peers. Especially given my peers probably hadn't even written a banner ad, yet alone have any real idea of just how much advertising has changed in the last couple of years.

That's enough about me.

You should be so proud to have been involved with the education of trouble makers like Jules and Zac. Keep it up!


Wags said...

Thanks Stan, or "dad" as the young punks call you! - I appreciate the comment.

I'm hoping to create many more graduates like them, with open minds and engagement with the real-world.

I hope you keep reading as this blog grows - maybe you'll consider getting back into teaching as a result?


Nathan Shafir said...


Great site, great topic.

I agree - we cannot just stand up and talk. We have to impart knowledge by giving examples and by keeping everyone involved and receptive.

But not everyone is geared up to teach in this way, so there will always be some who do it one way and some who do it another way.

I hope you get it all happening here - let the motivation and maybe even the re-education begin on this blog site.


Zac Martin said...

As a student who has experienced both your style of teaching and the traditional old grey haired approach... there is no comparison.

If only there were more Wags' in the world of academia.

Wags said...

Thanks Nathan and Zac!

I'm hoping to raise awareness of important teaching and learning issues here, so I appreciate your support. It could get controversial at times, so your honest views in the future will be much valued. Keep reading and contributing!