The 2014 IGGY Junior Commission report on Education and the Internet is an important read. I’ve not had chance to digest all of it yet, but what I have read makes for some uncomfortable reading for Higher Education – take note: children understand the technology they have access to, the understand the possibilities (and challenge them), and know how they want to use it and bring it into all aspects of their lives, including learning / classroom / education.
“The IGGY Junior Commission enables ten of the brightest young minds to collaborate with one another to achieve a global goal. These young people are the potential leaders of the future and deserve an opportunity to share their views and recommendations.”
Research and interviews from 289 school children and 109 teachers from 14 different countries helped form the conclusions of the report which include: Continue reading →
“Because we now live in a technology-based world, we believe in the smart use of technology in the classroom to facilitate student engagement is no longer optional. The use of online education and technology can also effectively address the age-old problem of having students on various levels in the same classroom and allow for the simplified creation of personalized learning plans.”
“As educators, and as an association, we understand that questioning basic assumptions and asking difficult questions are what education leaders are expected to do. We should regularly analyze advantages and disadvantages of the benefits and growing dependence on technology in the classroom, workplace and society as a whole.”
“However, technology can act as an impediment to education as well. All is not equal with technology. Some students have unlimited access to computers and internet at school and home while others have very little to none … technology infrastructure varies widely from urban to rural areas. How can you create a technologically-based curriculum for all if all do not have access to computers / software / broadband? How do you make sure the teachers are trained on the ever changing apps and software that are available? And if you have a school where most every student has a device, how do you make sure each student stays on task and their data is safe?”
This great little video highlights some of the themes and discussions that are going on (and have been going on for some time) around education and how ‘we’ can improve it from the ‘one size fits all’ attitude. Enjoy!
“Are we failing Superman with a traditional one-size-fits-all curriculum? People are different, their interests are different… Why wait 11 years to truly differentiate the curriculum? In this video inspired by the worlds of Peanuts and DC Comics, I offer some of my thoughts on a solution.” Marc-Andre Lelande
As I research around my role I often find some great resources, and sometimes some are pointed out to me. Thank you to Flea Palmer (@fleapalmer) for this Educause article: “Educational Technology: The Hype, the Reality, the Promise” (Shwiff & Larkin 2013)
This is also very topical as part of my ‘what is a Learning Technologist’ series of blog posts, and as a resource for the collaborative research with Rachel Cullen and Geraldine Murphy from Loughborough College.
The article comes with quick reference ‘take-away’ notes to make it easy for most of us to not read the full article, but I urge you to read it, it is full of good information and research.
These three take-away notes of interest are:
Within universities, there’s a growing tension between faculty, who typically focus on what is taught, and educationalists and technologists, who focus on how things are taught.
To realize the opportunities that technology offers, we must first re-imagine higher education’s long-standing learning model and ensure that all stakeholders make educational quality and critical thinking a priority.
Educational entrepreneurship can offer a way forward by offering incentives for educationalists, technologists, and faculty members to collaborate, experiment, and innovate.
“We should never confuse education with training or the “tools” that educators use.”
“This article examined how higher education students used text and instant messaging for academic purposes with their peers and faculty. Specifically, comfort level, frequency of use, usefulness, reasons for messaging and differences between peer-to-peer and peer-to-instructor interactions were examined. Students noted that they were very comfortable with using both text and instant messaging. Text messaging was used weekly with instructors and daily with peers. Instant messaging was used rarely with instructors but weekly with peers. Students rated text messaging as very useful and instant messaging as moderately useful for academic purposes. Key reasons cited for using both text and instant messaging included saving time, resolving administrative issues, convenience and ease of use. Text messaging appears to be the preferred mode of communication for students with respect to communicating with both peers and instructors. It is concluded that both text and instant messaging are useful and viable tools for augmenting student’s communication among peers and faculty in higher education.”
This article by Julie Tausend on the EdTech Magazine website – Distraction or Opportunity? A Guide to Embracing Technology in the Classroom – asks the question as to whether classroom technology, or the BYOD mentality, can be harmful or an opportunity to learning. It argues that it can (as I would agree) but specifies the limitations to this approach, on which I think we’d all agree:
“Engaged students use the opportunity to make additions and annotations, to downloaded slides or to transcribe the lecture using word-processing programs. The problem, of course, is that not every student is that engaged.”
One element of the article, however, I would disagree with, and this is:
“One downside of technology in the classroom is that it’s more difficult to get students’ to turn away from their computers to participate in discussion. Technology is not always a distraction in the classroom, but hiding behind computer screens can lead to minimal interaction with professors during lectures. If you want dynamic discussion and interaction with students, ask them to close their laptops.”
Instead of asking them to close their laptops or put their tablet away … Continue reading →