Light Offerings

When you see a computer in school, what do you see?

Posted by jturner56 on March 1, 2015

To someone like Larry Cuban too often waste (oversold and underutilised).
To others like Susan Greenfield perhaps concerning disturbances.
While others may see an opportunity to push philosophical or commercial interests (often accompanied by ‘if only’ statements of absolutism)

I started with Robert Taylor’s 1980 summary of the computer’s role in schools: tutor, tool or tutee.

  • tutor: as surrogate teacher
  • tool: amplifying academic abilities
  • tutee: learning by programming the computer.

Early on I saw in the computer a combination of educational tool that could amplify cognition through development of worthwhile educational environments that include student ownership of learning.

Over the years this has extended to embrace the always happening nature of digital change that bring opportunities (and challenges). This includes a fourth T: Togetherness, to reflect the human-digital interconnections that underpin community, collaboration and connection.

Adjustments that included reconceptualisations of

  • information (web delivery to online learning)
  • identity (personal choice to social interactions)
  • learning (widening cognition across all ages)

These, of course, are all bedrocks of education, with its responsibility to facilitate cultural and cognitive empowerment into an undisclosed future.

Central is the teacher. With roles systemically defined, yet with personal digital differences, teacher digital capabilities and beliefs are strong influences on what is possible. I have found the four interconnected levels have to be considered:

  • individual  (with any surrogate teaching dedicated to weaning)
  • team (developing capacity within each team)
  • specialist (for deep conceptual development like any academic subject)
  • vision (diving interconnection)

An interesting consideration here is the bridging of new teachers (and students) into what are becoming more sophisticated digital educational ecosystems.

BRIDGE (Being Ready In DiGital Education)

Currently this involves new challenges in reconciling the personal with the systemic as mobile devices permeate.

So when you see a computer in school, what do you see?
What bridges are you building?

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 6.23.18 am

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