Light Offerings

Archive for August, 2015

Some thoughts on the importance of critical thinking in edtech

Posted by jturner56 on August 16, 2015

According to Kevin Donnelly (Australian, 15 Aug 15) IWBs are the norm and research shows ‘virtually no effect’ of edtechs on student achievement. Donnelly draws on Susan Greenfield, whose book Mind Change (2015) points to the harmful effects on of digtechs on child brain development. In a similar vein, the latest Larry Cuban blog (https://larrycuban.wordpress.com/ 13 Aug 15) return to the ‘old chestnut’ of no solid evidence decisively confirming positive effects of edtechs on learning outcomes.

If one’s focus is closed knowledge within industrial thinking then there may be a case. Or viewed through a rear-view mirror. But lets start with a countervailing contribution from Megan Brooks  (Medscape 14 Aug 15) who slammed Greenfield’s contention as needing ‘less shock and more substance.’

More positively, revisiting Kath Murdoch (justwondering 28 Jan 15) highlights the importance of relationship development, involving students and nurturing curiosity, connection and interests. Taken up by Chris Goldspink (Incept Labs 29 Jun 15) when exploring the attributes of effective learners. Openness and readiness to learn being at the heart.

In an age when the Internet is seen as an unrealised, unrealisable infinity of space providing a landscape that decentres our world while also propagating a personal domain that recentres it (Josh Cohen’s 17 Jul 15 review of Laurence Scott’s The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World)
school and teachers are like surfers caught between the rip of limiting systemic demands (see for example Why NAPLAN was the worst idea ever NEWS 8 Aug 15) and the hope and optimism that Goldspink notes as necessary for effective learning. Trying to find balance to help move our children forward in trying times. Not helpful when the turnover reflects a lack of societal support (Frank Bruni 12 Aug 15).

Do you see a future limited by anti-intellectuals (John Elder 16 Aug 15) or development of critical thinking honestly appropriate for a better future?

Just some thoughts from this week’s anti-ruminations.

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An educational perspective

Posted by jturner56 on August 9, 2015

We are curious.

We are social.

We want our young to be part of a meaningful future (for them, for us, for all).

The journey as always is before us, the light that guides us will depend on the structure and values we choose to inhabit.

In the current age digital is part of all this.

Our means of transportation will be built upon the contraptions that arise from the intersection of aLearning (academic), cLearning (hyperConnected), sLearning (social), dLearning (digital), mLearning (mobile/personal) and tLearning (teacher). A complex conversation in changing times, too often shrouded and swept along by simplistic / political eddies.

This is what we as educators and society face.

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