After listening to Dan Haesler speak at a conference I immediately wanted to know more. He captured my interest as he discussed changes he feels need to happen in education. Dan touched on many points that resonated with me. In particular his comment stating ‘Why is it that children fail over and over again in computer games and return to it but fail once or twice in maths and give up?’ (Haeslar, 2015)
His discussion and the insights he shared were all too brief for me. He mentioned that he had a blog and I went home and looked it up that night. Dan’s blog is probably the first blog I have really read and his blog was arranged into topics that I could quickly navigate. He has blogged on different issues including; youth, wellbeing, tech and social media, social justice, social commentary, media, leadership, engagement and motivation, education, change and chatting with John Hattie.
Dan’s blog continues that spark he ignited for me as he discusses the short-comings of education and changes we as educators can make to help redefine the education system. I think he is such a powerful speaker as everything he said related to education and practical implications for teachers.
His focus or the catalyst for this change he believes is technology. He discusses how technology can help to change, motivate and engage students. He further discusses and challenges ideas of how we as teachers engage students. Dan raises the question, when we talk about engagement do we mean compliant. Dan speaks of autonomy and letting students explore and find the answers out for themselves.
When we have people like Dan living and working in Australia, I consider how he is as an advocate for change. Dan advocates 21st century skills and the use of technology in the curriculum. As a teacher I can see how the youth of Australia will ultimately benefit if we listen to Dan and embrace change. So how do we get his message out? How can we be the change the education system needs? How do we incorporate technology into education to engage and motivate our students?
My belief is we need to start talking about the leaders we have here in Australia for education, Dan Haesler being one of them. We as teachers need to embrace change instead of being unaware that it is happening around us. Teachers and schools need to embrace technology not just use it a substitution for something else but as a tool that allows us to redefine what we are doing in the classroom. Dan pointed out that students are willing to fail multiple times in video games but not at school. As teachers engage with the youth of today we need to embrace what they are doing in their leisure time and find a way to create that same motivation in the classroom. To colleagues reading this Dan Haesler’s blog is definitely worth a read if your looking for inspiration and engagement for the students in your class.
Haesler, D. (2015, March 30). Dan Haesler – Educator/Writer/Speaker [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD0IecnxCEA