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Emerging technologies & transforming learning in schools

Westley Field

Skype: westleyf

Part of opening remarks ‘MLC aims to grow strong, eminent women. I’m not sure they’re the marrying type, but if you want to find someone to run the country, MLC is the place you’d want to go.’ Sigh.

Field opens by comparing the way businesses and schools react to change, and advocates the open (rather than filtered or restricted) access to technology.

He also says that schools should question the research that they are basing the decisions to change, and recommends something like Revolutionizing Education.

His top trends in education:
Personalized (independent) education (older/female)
Collaborative learning (networking)
Technology as a critical friend.
Process to replace content.
Global connections
Mobile learning (cyber safety)
Online learning

He recommends a high-trust model. MLC has a LMS which looks like Facebook which according to him allows the school to help students learn about using social media in a responsible manner.

He also talks briefly about gaming and how it is changing, in particular with motion controllers, like Wii. Everything is personalized, except during school. But is this really true?

He talks briefly about using collaborative spaces, breaking down the walls. I think this was called team-teaching when I was doing teacher training? And I’m pretty sure that a lot of primary schools work in this way.

Technology as a critical friend. He dismisses the idea of the difference in competence and confidence with technology being related to age (digital natives), but with EXPERIENCE. He says that it should be re-phrased as ‘digitally inexperienced.’

Check out Kevin Kelly online.

Field talks about amalgamated technologies, giving the example of very thin, flexible screens (Sony) and QR codes, perhaps they could be looking at the answers on the insides of their glasses or through their clothing. His question is Should we be testing them on information they can look up on a Google (or any search engine)? It is no longer sufficient to ask people to do things from one to ten, or regurgitate stuff. We have to change the questions that are being asked.

Global connections
He promotes his project Skoolaborate. This is a MUVE (multiple-user virtual environment), ie: Second Life.

Mobile learning. Future may be projected images next to the phone. (Will this be an interactive projection?) Field thinks that soon students will be able to access their own providers, as well as using the school’s Internet, so this means that students need to be socially responsible.

He gives the example of apps like Qbooks and Wikihood.

Online learning enables students to work at their own pace AND to get more time with content by re-viewing through the coursework, through video, podcast, notes, materials created during class, etc.

Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning is a good study to look at to guide adoption of online content.

Field repeatedly says that technology should be integrated deeply but STRATEGICALLY. In other words, he advises using an LMS structured like social media, but with the purpose of teaching students about using it in a responsible manner, as well as for access to and organization of content.


October 7, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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