Does ICT assist learning?

The latest report from the OECD titled Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection has attracted lots of attention in the past week. The report’s main claim is that computers do not improve student results, and news feeds around the world have picked up on this using headlines suggesting school technology struggles to make an impact and  schools are wasting money on computers for kids. Lying behind the headlines are revelations that technology in the classroom leads to poorer performance among pupils is that it can be distracting and that syllabuses have not become good enough to take make the most of the technologies available. … Continue reading Does ICT assist learning?

Teaching in a digital age

Tony Bates has done it again – completing an extremely useful volume on ‘Teaching in A Digital Age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning for a digital age’. It’s available online in a range of formats and its FREE! It’s an excellent resource. There's something in this book for everyone involved in education in the digital age – from an examination of the drivers of change in education and the changing nature of knowledge, to an analysis of the pedagogical benefits of particular technologies, an overview of MOOCs and online teaching and a few chapters designed to translate all of this into … Continue reading Teaching in a digital age

Priorities for a better world

Continuing with my learnings from the DEANZ conference in Christchurch – we've been hearing a lot about how the use of open, flexible and distance learning strategies can assist in achieving global connections that lead to meaningful and pursposeful change for a better world into the future.  One of the morning's speakers has been Dr Jonghwi Park, programme specialist in ICT in Education at UNESCO Bangkok. She provided us with an excellent overview of initiatives that are in place to address UNESCO's Millennium Development Goals, with an overarching emphasis on education as a way of addressing this.  The importance of engaging … Continue reading Priorities for a better world

Motivating and retaining learners online

I've had the privilege of participating in the DEANZ conference, surrounded by a veritable smorgasbord of national and international experts in the field of open, flexible and distance learning.  This morning we had Curtis Bonk join us by video conference for a short presentation as a part of the SITE panel presentation on teacher education. Curt introduced us to the book that he has co-authored with NZer Elaine Khoo from Waikato University titled Adding some TEC-VARIETY – 100+ activities for motivating and retaining learners online.  This book has been released just today as a free download viat the TEC-VARIETY website. … Continue reading Motivating and retaining learners online

Innovating Pedagogy 2013

This second report written by a small group of academics in the Institute of Educational Technology and the Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology at The Open University proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education. The list includes many of the same technologies identified in similar lists and trends elsewhere (inlcuding CORE's ten trends), which of itself is indicative of the fact that we ought to be at least mindful of what these things are and the potential impact they may have on what we do as educators.  Like … Continue reading Innovating Pedagogy 2013

Blended learning guide

The term blended learning appears in so much educational policy and literature nowadays, but with so much variation in the way it is interpreted and implemented.  The Blended Learning Implementation Guide recently released by Digital Learning Now (DLN) is designed to guide school and district leaders through the process of successfully shifting to a blended learning model with a strategic and comprehensive plan. A couple of key drivers behind this shift are (a) the developments in technology that are enabling far greater reach in terms of where and when learning occurs, and (b) the increasing focus on personalisation of the learning … Continue reading Blended learning guide

Thinking strategically about technology in schools

I had the privilege of attending the NZ Christian Schools Educ8NOW conference held at Elim Christian College today, where I presented a couple of workshops and hosted two 'connect' sessions for general discussion. My workshops focused on strategic issues – the first around how we can strategically plan our school's professional learning and development programme so that it caters for both personal needs and helps us achieve school wide goals. The second workshop was on using a pedagogical decision making model to support our thinking about technology investment, to ensure anything we do actually supports the teaching and learning in our … Continue reading Thinking strategically about technology in schools

Why blended learning can’t stand still

Blended learning is certianly the buzz-word at many levels of our education system at the moment. Seems that students in both the school system and in tertiary insitituions are being offered 'blended' approaches to how they can engage with their learning. Plus there's also the whole area of professional development which is becoming more 'blended'.  So how are these approaches working – and are they really helping take us forward towards the visions for 21st century learning tht we are seeking to acheive? The study from the The Lexington Institute titled Why Blended Learning Can't Stand Still: A Commitment to Constant Innovation … Continue reading Why blended learning can’t stand still

An Introduction to Technology Integration

[youtube Edutopia have just released the video above to illustrate how effective technology integration is achieved when its use supports curricular goals. I'm always on the lookout for clips like this that may be helpful in my work with teachers, and like so many I've watched, this reminds me of how difficult it is for us as educators to constructively and effectively find the words to explain and describe what's being acheived with technology for a broad audience.  The video begins with Salmar Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, describing his excitement about how technology is now transforming what we … Continue reading An Introduction to Technology Integration

ICTs and Teacher Workload

I've been in a number of meetings recently where I hear a lot of the same old comments from teachers and school leaders about the use of ICTs in school, and the fact that this whole area seems to absorb so much time and thinking – and for what? Much of the conversation appears to be focus on the imact on teacher workload than student learning. This sort of issue often goes un-resolved in staffrooms, with the 'evangalists' on one side gushing with enthusiasm and assumptions, and the 'stick-in-the-muds' on the other, complaining of no time for PD and too … Continue reading ICTs and Teacher Workload