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Have new technologies been part of new ways of learning?

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Started by Karen Spencer 23 Nov 2012 10:57am () Replies (3)

Just a quick share of this easy-read article from the BBC:  'Costly hi-tech kit lies unused in schools, says study.'

The BBC article highlights findings from a National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) report, Decoding learnning: The promise and potential of digital education (Luckin et al., 2012).  This "sets out examples of best practice from all over the world" and summarises the impact that technology can make. 

The BBC article goes on to suggest that some uses of technologies are still 'old wine in new bottles', despite the clear impact that technology can make as part of appropriate learning experiences:

"... too often they are used without a strong understanding of their power to transform education, and many schools still use technology to support 20th Century teaching methods and learning objectives."

Have a read. Do you agree?


  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 23 Nov 2012 11:19am ()

    I certainly agree with this. I'm sure though, that everyone in the VLN is using the technology they've got to it's greatest ability and are crying out for more! Laughing

    Interactive whiteboards for example, seem to me to be one of those pieces of technology that often are not used to their potential due to the teaching methods applied.

    I don't believe it's just about training either. It's about the need of ongoing support and fresh ideas given to keep the technology alive for teachers and students. I think in a lot of things to do with technology, web tools etc, we need to make sure it's not just about the novelty factor.

    Looking forward to hearing what others have to say.

    - Nathaniel

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 29 Nov 2012 11:00am ()

    A couple of years back I visited some schools in the Newham Borough in London. I saw first hand, Interactive whiteboards lining the halls, uninstalled. The money for infrastructure was coming in hard. £15,000 every year. There were pockets of shared PLD, where teachers could get up-skilled with their new Promethean boards. What I saw then, was a focus on the resourcing rather than professional learning and development. Travel back home, our Ministry of Education has dedicated several million dollars to PD over the years (ICT PD) and continues to do so (Blended e-learning).

    I agree Nathaniel, when you say it’s the fresh ideas we need. I look at the digital examples shared this week from the Manawatu Digi Awards and think – WOW how did they come up with that?

    Some would say, we don’t need teachers, like the findings from Sugata Mitra and the Hole in the Wall, which showed children can teach themselves when motivated by curiosity. Other research shows teachers need support to understand the potential benefits of e-learning, to do ‘new things in new ways’.

    We might ask ourselves, how can technologies do things differently or better and what might that look like? One example comes to mind – The Solar System. Have a look at the following resources. How authentic are these? Which ones promote awe and wonder? Ignite curiosity and a desire to want to know more? Which resources inspire deeper learning conversations? 

    Solar system worksheet2

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