Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Backup Education?

Marc Prendky has written a very thought provoking article on how many teachers are still seeing education as preparing the kids for the past rather than the future. He has called this article Backup Education?
He says:
Communication, too, is a basic skill, with reading and writing merely the best methods of the moment. Now both reading and writing are both very useful methods, which, to be clear, I think we need to teach until better ways emerge for getting the same information. But once all books are recorded, the Web reads itself, and every child and adult has a text scanner in his or her cell phone that can read any printed text aloud, should we still spend all those years teaching our kids phonics?
Writing is merely a method for recording thoughts. Not long ago neat cursive penmanship was the best method we had for this, because it was faster than printing and universally legible. Now we have better methods, such as phones, recording machines, IM, and keyboarding. As our kids all get their own phones and laptops, do we really need to teach them the old ways?

I think he has some great points to make which are worth having a look at.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Podcasting in plain English

A great video from Commoncraft Show on podcasting.

Draft Digital Strategy 2.0

The Ministry of Economic Development in New Zealand has put forward a draft Digital Strategy 2.0 for people to comment on. This was as a result of a series of workshops and The Digital Future Summit 2.

People are invited to view this document and to comment on the proposed policies.

There are implications for the educational sector so it is important that we read this and make comments.

An example:

In Capability Actions ( 4.3)
Action: Delivering the NZ Curriculum technology learning
area (TLA):
Enable students to develop a broad technological literacy throught the
TLA (one of the eight learning areas for schools), that will equip them to
participate in 21st century society as informed citizens and give them access to
technology-related careers.

Contributes to Priorities: Developing digital literacy and
confence in the workforce and our communities
Lead Agency: Ministry of Education
Timing: 2008 - 210
Budget: Baseline

You can fill out an online submission or you can go to the Digital Strategy Wiki

Sunday, April 20, 2008


In2Ed is a site (I have used this one for many years) from a New Zealand ICT teacher. In here you will find many ideas to help teachers integrate ICT into their classroom programmes to enhance the thinking and learning.

You will also find many downloads which you can use in the classroom such as:

  • Six hats posters

  • Blooms taxonomy posters

  • Steps information literacy model

  • Thinking and learning resources

...and much more, check it out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Learning technologies and schools of the future

British Council for School Environments has an excellent report for people to download about learning technologies and schools of the future.

The report discussess Web2.0 and its impact:

"Technology enables learners
effectively to bypass the transmission mode of pedagogy which has often dominated
practice in schools. Learners are instead
able not just to find out information for
themselves, but to join communities and
discussions where facts, information and
knowledge are challenged and tested."

There is an interesting table comparing 20th century pedagogy and 21st century ICT-enhanced pedagogy.

The report discusses the needs of teachers and how professional development may be delivered as well as the shape of education for the future.

"Will learning become a continuum between locations, as the personalized learning environment travels alongside learners, linking their communities at home, at school and internationally?"

The report is well worth taking the time to read.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Box of tricks - exploring the use of ICT in education

Great web site by José Picardo - Box of Tricks.

Box of Tricks explores the use of technology in the classroom. In addition there are resources to share, tips and ideas. This is well worth a look.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Making an online quiz and Ten reasons to use blogs in the classroom

I have just been playing around with a quiz maker which is so simple to use. What a great tool for students to use on their own blogs as well as teachers to use.

This one is made at MyStudiyo.com

Have fun.

I also found a video on teachertube that decribes ten reasons why we use blogs in the classroom. Very worthwhile:

Monday, April 7, 2008

Teaching online

A New Zealand magazine for teachers (Starters and Strategies magazine - online)

which has a great variety of lesson/unit plans for teachers. You will also find many links for free resources for teachers, for example this month is a link to download a manual on Developing Fundamental Movement Skills for teachers to use with their classrooms. It is worth going to this site regularly to find resources and ideas.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Turning on the light

Marc Prensky has written a thought provoking article 'Turning on the lights'. He discusses the way children are surrounded by technology and information before they come to school only to find that teachers are not building on this knowledge and they are quickly becoming bored. He points to these children learning less in schools but that their after school activities are those that are preparing them for their 21st century lives.

In order that educators 'turn on the lights' he suggests:
  • Give children the opportunity to use technology in school
  • Find out how students want to be taught
  • Connect students to the world
  • Understand where kids are going - that is, into the future - and help them get there

This is well worth reading.