Tag Archive | Learning

What Are We Doing With All These Devices?

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Apparently on Christmas Day there were more than 17.4 new iOS and Android devices activated. On Christmas Day 2011 there were 6.8 million device applications. At the same time there were 328 million app downloads on Christmas Day. This information is taken from the ‘Flurry Blog’ who reckon that:

Looking forward to 2013, Flurry expects the trend of one billion download weeks to become the norm, and that the industry will surpass the two billion download week during the latter part of the year.

I wonder how many of these devices Santa delivered to our children? Many of the children in our schools will have access to sophisticated technology while at home but not at school. Who will be teaching them how to use this technology to get the most from them? Who will be advising them on the best apps to enhance their learning?

“We are not going to build better learning for our children; we are going to build it with our children.”  Stephen Heppell

Teacher Predictions – What’s In Store For 2013?

Mind map of questions on blackboard

The Guardian asks, “Will 2013 see us wave farewell to the local authority, a rash of strikes and more teachers on Twitter?” Some interesting ideas put forward by different professionals involved in our schools:

“2013 will be the year when everyone says we need to teach programming and computer science in primary schools but very few teachers will be bothered to learn how to do this.”
Ian Addison

“I predict that more and more teachers will turn to Twitter as their first port of call for ideas, resources, inspiration and personalised CPD.”
Eugene Spiers

“In 2013 the digital divide between teachers will reach a critical level.”
Adam Lopez

What are your thoughts about what might happen in our schools in 2013?

Read the full article – Teacher Predictions: What Will 2013 Bring For Education

Batman Or School?

My 5-year-old nephew was visiting us today, first day of the half term break. He was keen to tell me about his new game for his Wii – Lego Batman. He was extremely pleased with himself because he had got to Level 5 but was having difficulty getting to Level 6. He then gave me a detailed and animated account of the game so far and more importantly what he thought he needed to do next to get to the next level (something to do with battle shields, I think!)

His resilience shone through as he catalogued what he had failed to do so far and what he intended to do next to overcome these failures. His problem solving skills were evident as he explained, in minute detail, what he thought he needed to do to get these battle shields and how he had come to this conclusion. His language skills were great as he recounted the adventure so far. He was obviously learning a great deal and having tremendous fun.

I then felt sorry for him, though I didn’t say so. Next Monday he goes back to school. Will he have this much fun – I doubt it. He certainly wont be problem solving at anywhere near this level nor being asked to recount such a complicated story. Those developing resilience skills will not be challenged to anywhere near the same level. His learning will ‘power down’ until he gets home again.

Marc Prensky in his book, ‘Don’t Bother Me Mom – I’m Learning’ says,

……it’s obvious that we are in the midst of a huge period of invention and innovation. Not so much by us, the Digital Immigrants, but by the Digital Natives for themselves. Our kids have recognised in this new digital technology an incredibly powerful tool, and they are making the most of it, using it in ways we can’t even imagine. So why not let them reinvent school?

Now, is that a frightening thought or an exciting one?

Only 15% Of Learning Happens In School

Here we are, half way through the Summer holiday, and it got me wondering just how much learning is happening now that schools are closed?
 
Did you know that only 15% of learning takes place in school. It makes you wonder where and how the other 85% is being achieved.
 
Anybody interested in education and I would argue, we should all be, would enjoy reading  John Holt. He was an American author and educator. In his book, ‘How Children Fail’, which was published in 1964, he suggested that the academic failure of children was not despite the efforts of the schools but actually because of the schools. 
 
As you can imagine, he upset a lot of people.
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I was struck by these words,

“…….. children are passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of the world around them. Children observe, wonder, find or make and then test  the answers to the questions they ask themselves. When they are not actually prevented from doing these things, they continue to do them and to get better and better at it.”

Does school ‘prevent’ them from doing these things? Will more valuable learning take place during August while children are away from the constraints of school? 
John Holt uses the metaphor of the assembly plant to describe schools, where rows of empty containers pass along the assembly line and the workers try to fill them with various amounts of substances – reading, writing, maths, history, etc. 

Upstairs, management decides when the containers should be put on the assembly line, how long they should be left on and what kinds of materials should be poured in and what should be done about those containers that have smaller openings or no openings at all. He goes on to say,

“No one seems to ask the obvious question. How come so many of the containers, having had these substances poured into them for so many years, are still going out of the factory empty? If students don’t know enough, we insist, it is because we don’t start pouring soon enough, or didn’t pour the right stuff or enough of it.”

 
Education is, I believe, at a crossroads. On the one hand we have politicians and educators who want to take us back to ‘the good old days’. They want to dictate exactly what should be ‘poured’ into children and want to start doing it an even earlier age. On the other hand you have the technological revolution that surrounds our daily lives and is having a profound impact on how we all learn. 
 
At the moment, many of our schools are not using the sophisticated, technological tools at their disposal to help our children make as much sense as they can of the world around them. Take a look at this video, see what the children of today think.

 
 
 
What do you think? We would welcome your thoughts.
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