Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Critical Challenges from the Horizons Report 09

Wordle: Horizon Report 09 Challenges
Just for the fun of it I put the text from this years Horizon's Report into Wordle - just the Critical Challenges section. The words that pop out to me are New Learning Content and Students. When reading this section my favourite quote is "students are different, but a lot of educational material is not". Whilst the technology around us is changing the way we work and communicate in our daily lives why don't all teachers take this into the classroom?
Recently I queried a teacher who is reluctant to use her new laptop in the classroom. When I asked her if she could live without her mobile phone she said "No!" I asked her why then she expected kids to learn without technology, when it permeates their lives so much......

Critical Challenges indeed.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Filling the Bucket or Lighting the Flame?

Yesterday I was listening to David Warlick's most recent podcast from the TRLD conference in San Francisco. He was talking to people at a workshop on Podcasting about "What is Learning?" and "What is the purpose of Education?" One of the quotes from a member of the workshop has stuck with me "Are we filling the bucket or lighting the flame?" I love it. It encapsulates so much of what I'm trying to achieve with my role as Learning Technology Coordinator, in that I want students to use technology as a vehicle for their learning, not just learn about word processing and spreadsheets etc...

One of the problems with our content driven curriculum (yes we suffer from this in HK as well) is that we are driven by the 'need' to cover the curriculum and prepare students for their examination. Yes we can always use the exam as a cover for not changing our pedagogy -- but the research is out there: students that learn to think do well in exams! They are able to apply their knowledge, not just regurgitate the content that they have covered. We don't have to wait for assessment to change we can start lighting the flame now!

Flickr Image: Closer to the Flame by mscaprikell