Tag Archives: Internet

Education and the Internet

Reading: Education and the Internet

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

21st Century Education: Thinking Creatively

Thinking Creatively

As part of my 2013 review I’ve been looking over some blogs and reports I read this year, and this one by Anthony Chivetta, whilst originally posted in 2008, still has so much impact today, some 5 years on – “21st Century Education: Thinking Creatively”

“Today’s world is no longer content with students who can simply apply the knowledge they learned in school: our generation will be asked to think and operate in ways that traditional education has not, and can not, prepare us for.” (Chivetta, 2008)

Just so you know, at the time of writing (Jan 2008) Anthony was 18 years old. We must also remember that in 2008 we didn’t have tablets like the iPad, we were still using desktops and laptops and netbooks, and we had only just received the first iPhone (June 2007). Yet this observant millennial had already seen the power and advantage a device like this could give a student, and that his teachers were lagging further and further behind their students.  Continue reading

Network Fluency (@jaycross‎)

Thanks to Jay Cross for this short and sweet 2 minute video on ‘Network Fluency’. With the Internet and the connections we make through it we have enabled ourselves and our learning to take a new level.

“Connections begat connections. Soon everything was connected to everything else. A parallel universe sprang up alongside society, the Internet became an integral part of business and leisure: those who weren’t fluent and using the ‘net were marginalised. Not only that but everything happened faster and faster and you were required to proclaim your ‘network identity’ and figure out what you were going to do. And what you’re going to do is become fluent in the way networks work.”

Jay goes on to highlight three main areas where we need to be to become ‘fluent': making sense of stuff, giving back, collaboration, and connection.

YouTube: Network Fluency / Jay Cross

E-Learning and the Future of Distance Education

Reading: eLearning and the Future of Distance Education

E-Learning and the Future of Distance EducationWhile searching for articles and papers on the return on investment on eLearning in Higher Education I came across the work or Ormond Simpson. Simpson has made many of his papers and book chapters available on his website, and this one – E-Learning and the Future of Distance Education – was especially interesting to me.

“The paper explores the economic concepts of ‘return on investment’, ‘willing to pay’, ‘resale value of an education’ and ‘investment risk’ as they apply to distance education. In particular it will suggest that distance education, both as it stands today and in terms of current trends towards e-learning, may be either too inaccessible or too risky an investment for most potential students, and that distance education will fail to reach its potential unless it can increase its availability in the market and its rate of student success.”

Have a read for yourself and think, as I did, as to whether we are, or should be, addressing the learners pedagogic or financial needs? In Higher Education and especially when considering Masters-level distance learning, the students are more likely to be mature and have a better understanding of the financial implication to one or two years of further full- or part-time study (and be able to fund it). Continue reading

The Future of Search (video) #edtech

I came across this excellent little video on The Guardian website (via Flipboard): “The future of search … made simple – an animated guide”

“How will new mobile phones, technology such as Google Glass – the wearable gadget that searches for whatever we look at – and social networks like Facebook and Twitter influence our searches? Should we be concerned that sensitive personal information is being filtered through a small number of companies?”

“The future of search could have more of an effect on us than we think.”

The Technology of Touch (video)

“As we move through the world, we have an innate sense of how things feel — the sensations they produce on our skin and how our bodies orient to them. Can technology leverage this? In this fun, fascinating TED-Ed lesson, learn about the field of haptics, and how it could change everything from the way we shop online to how dentists learn the telltale feel of a cavity.”

YouTube: Haptography: Digitizing our sense of touch

There there are those of us (me included) moan about the march of technological innovation over function, development for the sake of it. Few can argue that bringing technology into the fore for those with disadvantages is a bad thing, that developing and using technology to enable.

While Katherine shows a couple of uses and examples in the video what else can we do with this, how can this be used in education? By introducing touch in this way you can bring any substance or texture to the classroom where it would not be possible (or safe) to do so. What does moon rock feel like? What does hard enamel tell you about the integrity of a tooth? What does the surface of a scarf feel like when it’s frozen in liquid nitrogen? How do you spot a possible failure in an engine block when it’s running at 9000 rpm. To experience these things can bring the subject, the science, the learning alive where you would not always be able to?

What do you think, a worthwhile use of enhanced technology and something that can ‘add value’ to a classroom experience?

The Future of Learning: School in the Cloud #SOLE

Have you heard of the Hole in the Wall from Sugata Mitra (@Sugatam)? No, then before reading any further you ought to watch – “Sugata Mitra shows how kids teach themselves“.

“Young kids in this project figured out how to use a PC on their own — and then taught other kids. He asks, what else can children teach themselves?”

The results are still being discussed and dissected today, almost 6 years after he first announced and presented his findings. And now Sugata Mitra is back, building on this pioneering work, with his new TED Talk “Build a School in the Cloud” (below).

Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud

Continue reading

Introduction to Technology Integration #edtech

YouTube: An Introduction to Technology Integration

Watch this, it’s great:

“What I think is really exciting about what we’re seeing now is that technology is being used to fundamentally transform what the classroom is, fundamentally transform what you can do with the classroom.”

“I think to define technology integration it’s really using whatever resources you have to the best of your abilities. Technology is a tool, it’s what you do with that tool, what you can make, what you allow the students to make, that’s really what technology is about. If you can do this lesson without technology, that’s great. But if you can do it better with technology then that’s why you use it, that’s why you use tools.”

“I am truly seeing a world where the person who’s in the role of teacher is really the facilitator, and if you can facilitate your students to create great work and work alongside them to do that, that’s amazing to me.”

“It’s not about the mode of creation, it’s not about the tool. It’s about the learning, it’s about the process, it’s about the look on my student’s faces, the fact that they can stay focused, motivated, engaged, and they’re sharing ideas really makes learning joyful.”

How Internet Addiction Is Affecting Our Brain (Infographic)

As we get more connected, do we lose focus?

How Internet Addiction Is Affecting Our Brain (Infographic)
How Internet addiction is affecting our brain / Infographic

From the infographic above, “How Internet addiction is affecting our brain”, some of the figures are interesting – “is it a coincidence: as we get more connected, we seem to lose focus?”

  • Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is a recognised psychological diagnosis in China, Taiwan, and Korea, and expected to be listed in the US next year (and what of the UK?)
  • IAD will be added to the DSM-V (bible of psychology: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed.) with a definition of “preoccupation with the Internet or Internet Gaming” and “Use of Internet to improve or escape dysphoric mood”).
  • Internet ‘addicts’ have 10-20% smaller brain areas responsible for speech, memory, motor control, emotion, sensory input, and other information = brain atrophy.

Being totally open here how many of us have noticed some of the above traits? I have – in recent months I am aware that my memory isn’t as quick as it used to be, I often find myself hunting for the simple word or two that is on the tip of my tongue.  I have just put it down to working too hard, being over-tired (I do have two young children, that’s my excuse), being stressed, etc., but perhaps it’s more than that. Perhaps I’m online too much (and here I am thinking “get off this blog post and go to do something more important instead! Anyone in the UK remember “Why Don’t You?” will remember the theme tune) and perhaps I need to go and find something to do that doesn’t include PC, tablet, phone, Internet, eBook, power lead, etc?

And what of the students? If we start to bring more and more online and social tools and networks into our ‘toolbox’ are we encouraging this kind of degraded ability to think and work? Do we need to consider how (and why) we introduce tools and computer systems to the students if they do or don’t “have” to have them, or do we take the view that as they’re more than likely online anyway we can make the most of that time and direct it properly into academic endeavours?

The BBC commented on the ‘web addicts’ research in that web addicts have “brain changes similar to those hooked on drugs or alcohol” (mind you, this research is based on a group of 35 students – not exactly comprehensive cohort?). This is not something that will go away, research will continue and what will we find?

Internet English (video)

The Open University have produced a series of great animations and published them under the title(s) The History of English in Ten Minutes (voiced by Clive Anderson). This one is number 9 (of 10),  ‘Internet English':

YouTube: Internet English

The rest of them are just as good … hint hint!