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Archive for September, 2009

edtech plj Lesson Six

Posted by jturner56 on September 25, 2009

6) To support edtech one needs to understand what you believe in and what other belief systems are at work in your school

As I prepare for the start of a new school year in a new school I have been thinking about what I will be telling teachers about why they should support student use of digital technologies. I know there will be a range of teacher views, including those who see it as nothing more than an unreliable tool, and a defensiveness against those educators who promote digital technologies as the harbinger of a redefinition of, and revolution in, learning and school.

In my case I have more practical considerations to work with. To this end I will be promoting the value of digital technologies to

  1. engage students more deeply in personal and subject learning
  2. foster creative work through purposeful use of digital tools
  3. widen constructive audience feedback
  4. foster higher-order thinking through meta-cognitive decision-making and reflection
  5. introduce and embed digital skills and understanding in support of 21st century learning skills documented as of learning value.

I have a range of project examples and curriculum possibilities for those who want to see.


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edtech plj Lesson Five

Posted by jturner56 on September 23, 2009

5) EdTech is still too much based on belief.
As I prepare for a new school year in a new school with significant tech change (1:1 introduction) I am struck with how little many elements of school use of digital techs have changed in the past 20 years (increasing availability of digtechs and student capabilities / potential aside). It is a leadership issue which is prone to superficial changes and fad focusing. Real edtech requires ongoing commitment to handle everchanging learning; connections to and with other learners; willingness to work with what many find unacceptable levels of tech unreliability; a willingness to engage in bricolage. Perhaps we need to look beyond Fox Mulder & his credo ‘I want to believe’. What will it take for all of us (at least in schools) to believe at least to an embedded level?

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edtech plj Lesson Four

Posted by jturner56 on September 15, 2009

4) School ed should be about balancing past values with present responsibilities with future possibilities
If we are of the balance we flounder between those advocating revolution (power shifting) change, and those who can use denial to coral and limit. Those teachers in the trenches are left one out to often.

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edtech plj Lesson Three

Posted by jturner56 on September 14, 2009

3) The isolated teacher, for whatever reason, limits the learning that can be achieved
We should be using edtech to benefit all students. Therefore all teachers should be included even if their views do not coincide. Diversity of opinion is a strength according to James Surowiecki and The Wisdom of Crowds (2004) providing the conditions are set right. Conversely, although the historical view is of the lone teacher working in their classroom kingdom, in this day and age such perceptions should be an an anathema. Connected learning, corporate knowledge and collectivist intelligence require a united approach, nowhere more so than in schools.

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edtech plj Lesson Two

Posted by jturner56 on September 13, 2009

2)  We are still unclear as to the value and values of edtech use for school learning
Talk to edtech devotees and they will be clear in their exhortations. So too many school decision-makers (although their explanations might be a tad smokey). Yet schools can still operate with edtech as an optional add-on. Until this changes and edtech values are universal (like reading, writing and researching) we will continue to be chasing success based on personal belief.

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edtech plj Lesson One

Posted by jturner56 on September 12, 2009

1)      Real learning that edtech can deliver now and into the future is not easy to find or action.

I find there are people who are willing to talk about learning in schools from their own perspective or in generalities but there are few (if any) who can lead actionable, inclusive discussion and action. This is not to say that, like the unicorn, I have never seen this. It’s just that we need to keep reminding ourselves that school learning is a journey that can only start  with a conversation built around the questions: What learning do we want to achieve? How will we achieve this? And when will we know we have achieved our objectives? A conversation that is never-ending.

In a practical sense I use the ISTE NETs a a starting point.

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Starting my plj

Posted by jturner56 on September 12, 2009

As part of my journey here in a new school in Doha I am going to be edtech ruminating and rambling as I reflect on where next after 20 odd years in the edtech classroom.
If you share my interest please add to my thoughts.
FYI, my personal learning journey (plj) will be using
• Facebook to report on my personal journey
• WordPress for digiLearning lessons learned (
• Wiki for working materials (
• Ning for working groups (
• Ning & Wikis for collective / corporate knowledge
• Twitter for research pointers (@jturner56)
• Diigo for readings (jturner)
• iGoogle / RSS to monitor

Iam looking to add educational value for students and teachers through supporting their learning journeys.

Hope you can join with me.

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