Live 2 Learn

A few thoughts and ideas

How well is technology used at school?


The SAMR model.

A colleague from another school shared a link to the article What are the Biggest Mistakes Teachers Make When Integrating Technology into the Classroom? This gives a summary of mistakes made in considering technology use in schools.

While reading this article I thought of a compounding issue that relates to these types of concerns. The problem, I posit, is that some types of technology are so ubiquitous in everyday use that there is a ‘technology so what!’ attitude that is developing. I think many students, parents and, unfortunately, some educators think that because they use their tablet, laptop, phone, and now wearable technologies, often in their everyday life they are ‘using technology’.  Well of course they are using technology, but as Allan November tells us regarding 1 to 1 laptop initiatives, we are often not using our technologies above the level of the ‘$1000 pencil’. Read More

Discussions with pre-service teachers on ICT use

NetworkThis is a link to a forum I recently contributed to which discussed the use of ICT in classes and how to manage the use of computers in schools. The scenarios were well presented by the students and the discussion was very useful.
Fellow contributor was John Oxley and the forum was run by MIchelle Williams.

Image modified from Zigomitros Athanasios work at Wikimedia Commons

Do we need coding in school?

MatrixIn a recent Guardian article (See Here) John Naughton gives us some ideas about how to approach the problem of educating our kids in the technology saturated world that is only going to get more-so in the future. A great deal of what Naughton says I agree with but he then resorts to some good old-fashioned rallying cry stuff like 
”The biggest justification for change is not economic but moral. It is that if we don’t act now we will be short-changing our children. They live in a world that is shaped by physics, chemistry, biology and history, and so we, quite rightly, want them to understand these things. But their world will be also shaped and configured by networked computing and if they don’t have a deeper understanding of this stuff then they will effectively be intellectually crippled. They will grow up as passive consumers of closed devices and services, leading lives that are increasingly circumscribed by technologies created by elites working for huge corporations such as Google, Facebook and the like. We will, in effect, be breeding generations of hamsters for the glittering wheels of cages built by Mark Zuckerberg and his kind.” Read More

Some thoughts on the effects of ICT on our society

Now I love technology, but the following is related to an email I received from one of my colleagues who is similarly technological but yet concerned with detrimental effects of modern technology use on our students. This is an email I was writing to him in response. It’s a bit rough and needs more work but contains some important thoughts (if I may say so!!)

Computers and phones in bedrooms will become more and more of a problem. I think a large number (I would guess the majority) of parents have no idea what their kids are up to online. I have always told parents in newsletters and meetings to have the computer in a family area and to make bedrooms a technology free zone where possible. I also tell them to set up these expectations early as it is harder to convince a Secondary age child than a Primary child of where the computers in the house should be. Read More

Using web filtering as classroom managment

For some reason teachers who ordinarily are comfortable with managing students in their class, find the management of students within a computer area such as a computer lab, extremely demanding. One response to this is that teachers ask for technical staff to block websites citing that the sites are a distraction.
Here is a good response to this issue

Within my experience I would say that one of the reasons for students being distracted when in class is due to the trivial and/or unengaging nature of the work that students are set. The cure for this is differentiated learning and the use of powerful questioning techniques. A good reference for this is

Educators coping with or embracing change – attitudes to learning

For part of my Masters course at QUT I am doing a reflective unit. While doing this I wrote the following. It may be of some interest.

“Many educators, for many reasons, often develop coping mechanisms when faced with innovation and/or change in the educational environment. These teachers repackage, resist or sometimes ignore the change, rather than engaging with the thoughts and actions that need to occur. Some have even been known to ignore the changes that are required with the rationale that if they wait long enough the innovation will either be cancelled or the frequent changes that occur in education will mean that eventually the system will revert to the ‘old way’. Unfortunately, sometimes these educators are right. Read More