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Archive for August, 2008

Are schools stuck in an 80s view of ICTs?

Posted by jturner56 on August 7, 2008

80s view of ICTs in school

  1. decision-making is hierarchical
  2. power lies in whoever controls the machines
  3. machine budgets come first, support resources come second, learning objectives (might) come third), professional evaluation – forget it
  4. change ownership is segmented
  5. it is primarily a resource issue (over issues of learning)
  6. it is up to the individual teachers to make sense of ICTs for teaching and learning
  7. it is about teacher direction
  8. teacher support is a resource issue, rather than an inclusive relationship issue
  9. ICT education is didactic, with students passive receivers of choices made elsewhere
  10. the value of any learning is decreed by exam regurgitation
  11. teachers who as little as possible with ICTs are valued as much as those who risk, extend and try to make educational sense.
  12. reputations are made on ICT fads, cultural embedding is just too hard

sad, but true ????


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Humanity is in all our classrooms

Posted by jturner56 on August 6, 2008

Response to

Humanity lost in digital classrooms

Frank O’Shea August 01, 2008

Humanity is in all our classrooms
To add value teachers have to work in, engage and understand the world we all live in. Whether we like it or not this includes ever changing, intrusive, digital technologies.
As a teacher for over twenty years I can attest that concentration spans are shorter, students (and others) are more demanding of personal attention and understanding, and that the myriad demands and opportunities that go with digital technologies is forever placing new demands on teachers, schools and education systems. As a teacher with and around computers there is not a day goes by when I do not see constructive interaction between students; deep, personalised learning; and approaches to using computers for learning that makes me confident our future will be in good hands.
The Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution has both promise and danger. Already we are seeing bureaucratic machinations directing the relatively more easy decisions towards more machines serving the status quo. The economic, learning and structural implications are still to be worked through.
There has always been some who claim that machines can replace teachers, but the reality is much more complex. In time some part of teaching might be better facilitated through engaging, deep, transferrable learning through digital environments. But I believe the potential for human leadership, involvement and social progress will always involve humans at the core of the educational process.
To see school and teaching and learning solely in terms of past, industrial structures and expectations limits us all. We need to be willing to retain and build on agreed strengths, while adapting to the challenges and opportunities of the present, and supporting our student and teachers to take on the challenges of an uncharted future.
As L P Hartley wrote “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” What we do not understand we can fear, or seek to understand and respond constructively. How we respond as individuals and systems will be crucial to what opportunities we can provide for a better future. Denial. Division. Engagement. Collaboration. Risk Taking. These are some of our choices.

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Schools in Retreat

Posted by jturner56 on August 4, 2008

Schools that Block and Filter as a first (and sometimes only) response to Internet threats risk slowing the system down to the point of access denial. They also deny opportunities to incorporate new learning as provided through Web 2 tools such as YouTube. If moral fear is the driving force then schools need to block and block and block until all credibility is lost. If schools are serious Wikipedia should be blocked as it has on occasion contained disturbing content such as massacres and uprisings that are reported on the web before reaching mainstream media filtering.

If education really wants to add value to Web 2 use in society the workplace and the home, then balanced, inclusive, stateable positions need to be forthcoming that develop understanding and responsibility in students rather than the purely ‘technical’ and ‘moral fear’ solutions that are being put forward.

I am sure five hundred years ago the Monks had a similar reaction to the printing press and its power to bring unfettered information (and opportunities for knowledge) to the masses.

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My proposal, My manifesto

Posted by jturner56 on August 1, 2008

There is much talk about the need for educational revolutions and for new directions.
You cannot have a Revolution by committing to MORE OF THE SAME.
A revolution requires commitments to change fundamentals. It is about the HUMAN SPIRIT and POTENTIAL.
A true Educational Revolution would involve real (not token) RESPECT, ENGAGEMENT, INCLUSION.
For those who are interested in a DIGITAL EDUCATION REVOLUTION
I believe what is needed and where I can assist such thinking is through facilitating

  • DIGITAL LEARNING CENTRES within a school for communication, support and online learning to cope with and add value for teachers, students and learning in a fast-changing environment
  • Independent and Responsible student learning valued through Web2 EPORTFOLIOS
  • Teacher Learning for all through the TEACHIT system
  • Developing PARTNERSHIPS FOR LEARNING to include students, families, teachers, schools and the wider communities (including business and bureaucratic support) that use global connections as one learning community
  • Preparing for the time where all students will be responsible for their own digital tools for learning

If you are interested in any of this and/or can provide an opportunity to make this happen please contact me

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