Okay so in order to get more mobile with my blogging I am trying Blogsy.
This really is a test, nothing inspirational, just saying...
Interestingly, I thought i would see if I could insert photos.
Are you still driving with the windows down and the air conditioning blasting?
For so many years we spent the hot summer days at the beach. And the trip on the way home we always did the same thing...jump in the car, blast the fan and dream of life inside a refrigerator.
But then I remember my first trip in a car with air conditioning! What luxury! Absolutely incredible to think what was possible with technology.
The introduction of devices in education is very much like the introduction of air conditioning. Both require a change of habit and practise in order realise its full benefits to the environment.
If we still jumped into the car on a hot summers day wound down the windows and blasted the air conditioning we would not fully appreciate the change it could make to the environment. If you but your hand close enough to the vent you would feel that the air was definitely cooler, but over time someone would realise that the new technology (air conditioning) was costing more to run and sucking the energy from the car, the financial costs and the energy sapping factor would simply make air conditioning a waste of time in cars!
However in schools this has been the experience of the introduction on devices in education. We have spent a ton of money and effort on getting the tools into the school and learning how to use them but have not changed our practises within the classroom. We still drive around with the windows wound down. However, if we took the time to wind up the windows and change some practises within the school now the technologies are available we would reap the benefits of the changed environment.
If you settle on implementing new tools in the classroom on at a substitutive level (eg, use the tools to do what you have always done in books) people will give up and not see the point.
Can you imagine buying a car without air conditioning now a days? It's success in the automobile industry was only because people changed their habits to maximise its benefits! The same will eventually happen in education across the board, when will it happen in your school?
Life has happened . . . I have moved into a new role at my school, my family has grown, and I have taken up triathlon . . . as a consequence, blogging about the world of eLearning has been moved to the backburner. However, as we in the North American school system approach our summer holiday, I would like to blog about eLearning again. Perhaps more than just eLearning.
I have been privileged to attend the Vancouver Symposium on Christian Education for the 21st Century. It has rekindled the interest I have in the integration of technology in education, and it has broadened my definition of technology. We live in a drastically different world (as Shaun's PowerPoint shows - check it out on the eLearning home page on this website). How is the Christian school community going to respond? We want to prepare our students to be disciples of Jesus Christ, and world-changers. Is our present educational model achieving that? I plan to blog on that more later.
I came across a really cool link on my Twitter feed. If you are wondering what are some of the online learning tools available out there, visit http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/2011.html. A very interesting list . . .
It's the questions you ask that make all the difference.
Recently I was discussing with a teacher in the secondary school about the SMAR model of technology in education and how cool it could be if all our students had a device such as an iPad.
After about eight minutes of my raving she cut me short with the following comment, 'it would be no good to me because I need big computers with big screens for spreadsheets!'
Wow! I understood where she was coming from straight away. While I had been asking myself, 'what could be possible if each of my students had an iPad?' she was asking herself, 'how would an iPad possibly work in my syllabus?'.
While some would say it would be completely suitable to use an iPad to create and analyse spreadsheets in high school accounting, I agree with her that the tool is not perfect. However this does not mean the tool could not completely transform her syllabus.
She could dump the 100 page PDF inspired workbook and copy and paste the text into an iTunesU course. The text could be supported with dozens of videos from the Internet. It could have numerous check point quizzes and questionnaires which are emailed to the her. She could reference websites showing examples and exemplars till the cows came home. The world was her oyster if she only took the time to ask the right question!
Due to several requests I have just put my powerpoint from the recent NZACS conference on this website. It is quite big so I will not not be able to keep it there for ever. Please feel free to comment on it and contact me if you need any clarification.