Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why our Young Embrace Technology to Engage in Learning

{Blogged live... Quotes may in fact be paraphrased!}

Stephen Heppell: Just bought an new boat. It is 100 years old. "Technology that takes 100 years to refine is pretty good!"

Focusing on the younger generation today. Children are starting to use their own kit in school as schools realise "A turned off device is a turned off child." We are galloping along and educational structures are struggling to keep up. "We need to stop talking about preparing for 21st Century education - we're a tenth of the way through it!"

Talking about very large classes. It works but only if teachers act as a team. One teacher leads, one manages differentiation and one intervenes for "repair" work. Children are self managing and self and peer learning.

"Dick Turpin teaching: Stand and deliver." - This is bad! Rule of three:
  1. Never more than three walls
  2. Never fewer than three points of focus
  3. Space for at least three teachers and three classes.
Post-Google generation - email is what your dad does. When you give children space, trust, technology,... they always astonish you. YouTube is their principle search engine. "Technology will infest them. Like head-lice; but smarter." In times gone past, educators have tried to appropriate the technology - standardise and control. Technology in school will be personal and rightly so - the learners will bring the technology and schools will just have some "spare plimsoles" in the cupboard for the ones that have forgotten their kit.

There is a mismatch between educational outcomes (success in external exams) and what society and business want and need.

Twentieth century delivery - scarcity (lawyers). Millennium - Scale and domination (geeks). Membership and trust (learning professionals).

John Holt (1968) The Underachieving School.

Education used to de-populate rural areas but technology means that work can be done online and could therefore help re-generate rural areas. The high streets in towns/cities are collapsing. Do we just let the cities die? In Alaska, they have re-purposed shopping malls into schools elementary to post compulsory in the one space... and a food hall on the top level too!

Stage not age. What are the sensible upper and lower limits? When should children do workplaced learning? When should they learn about parenting? Give children the right tools and opportunities and they can surprise. Examples given were of very young babies swimming or balance bikes that allow two year olds to learn to ride a bike very easily. How will people play with data? See Mapumental for one example. Chat area in facebook already does real time translation. Translation tools allow easy translation of websites.

Facebook in school leave your teacher's common sense turned on. Common sense must be turned on at all times. E.g. Green schools were built with things like small windows and low ceilings but this sort of thing creates poor learning environments. Problem is "We have a meter that says we are wasting energy but there isn't a meter that says we are wasting learning."

"The world is a broken place; but we can mend it with learning." Good learning doesn't have to be expensive. We have to believe that learning can empower people.


BalancebikeFan said...

Love that quote at the end. Thank you for writing this!

David said...

Hello BalancebikeFan

My problem, as always with Mr Heppell, was keeping up with the quotable phrases and challenging ideas that just seem to pour out whenever he talks!

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