Light Offerings

Archive for April, 2012

It’s a vision thing

Posted by jturner56 on April 25, 2012

I was going to title this, It’s the vision stupid in deference to Bill Clinton and the hope that some politician would say a similar thing about education. But in the end I chickened out and titled it after The Castle: “It’s just… the vibe”.

Vision. It’s the core of the Digital Learning Infusion White paper statement that was shared with the CDNIS community this week. Already I have had several significant discussion arising from this as teacher, departments and the school as a community seek roadmaps to make better learning technology related decisions.

I can also share a poster that sums up the vision, the initiatives, questions we need to be constantly asking ourselves.

Image

Let me finally say that  Jabiz summed it up so well in his Intrepid teacher blog:

“We need to move beyond (hahahaha) all these discussions of tools and what tech is or isn’t and move to something John was talking about — what is the vision? The vision should be based on what we what our schools to be and how and what we want our students to learn. When we nail the vision, we will have the Holy Grail (If there truly is a Grail to be had). I said it more than once during the two days — there is NO MAGIC PILL! If there is a magic pill, it is learning itself — nothing more and nothing less.”

Thanks Jabiz

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Light Offering on the value of learning technologies

Posted by jturner56 on April 15, 2012

This week my school finalised its Digital Infusion plan for the next period. Central to this was the vision that: Digital technologies enable opportunities for Greater Active Student Learning that is valued, visible, connected and progressive

This vision will support the practical developments including student eportfolios, online learning, teacher learning, student active support in class, and resource acquisition and implementation.

A public version is available at http://ltt.cdnis.edu.hk. In support of this  a Timeline of Implementation, Role responsibilities, and Review/Evaluation mechanisms have also been developed.

Tamara Ball of the University of California highlights the research justification for this vision in her Understanding: the Purpose of Learning which reports on Case’s 1996 research into changes in learning and teaching over recent times and which highlights the active nature of learning, the importance of the teaching and social context, and the importance of interest and engagement.

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This week’s light offerings

Posted by jturner56 on April 8, 2012

Reading Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow highlighted to me two important contemporary learning issues:

First, the importance of school as an integral part of our COMMUNITY now and into the future. On page 55 Kahneman puts forward research by psychologist Kathleen Vohs on how money primes individualism, and with it “a reluctance to be involved with others, to depend on others, or to accept demands from others.” School provides us with an opportunity to be more than this through its social learning and contributions.

Second, I found the book slow and ponderous and sought out the GetAbstract summary which succinctly provided the key points. But if I hadn’t read past page 55 I would have had the summary, but not a key insight. This raised the importance to me of CURRICULUM as the guide to learning. To this end I have come to appreciate the International Baccalaureate for its breadth in showing doors across key areas, and its depth of challenge at all ages. Breadth and depth and opportunity are what should define a good curriculum.

We can do better (isn’t that the hallmark of what learning and good CRITICAL THINKING is about?) but need to be willing to seek realistic and community-driven paths (rather than succumbing to if…only politics with selective justifications, and the individualism that is behind such thinking). Better balances between content and process that support students CONNECTING to CONSTRUCT better futures while being given opportunity to challenge themselves as part of honest COMPETITIONS.

How this is achieved will define the CULTURE we all are part of within and beyond our schools.

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