Tech-enabled personalised learning

I've just been browing a new report A new report tiled "Technology-Enabled Personalized Learning: Findings and Recommendations to Accelerate Implementation," from the US. The report is based on the recommendations and observations of over 100 educators who gathered last year for the TEPL summit at North Carolina State University's Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. It summarises advice and insight on how to use technology to facilitate personalized learning, and seeks to help users work towards goals based around: data, content and curriculum, technology architecture, research and development, and human capacity. It's always interesting to read this sort of document, particularly as it has been developed … Continue reading Tech-enabled personalised learning


A colleague, Dr Paul Lowe, sent me a link this evening to this intriguing project called "Pocketlab" Before he left NZ to take a job in Abu Dhabi, Paul was a leading science teacher here in NZ, and I remember well his experiments with using geo-location technology to monitor the downward movement of a parachutist, measring acceleration, velocity, and the size of the arcs through which the parachutist moved as he descended. All of this intrigued me – physics in the real world instead of the traditional trolley on rails in a lab – and measured through the imaginative use … Continue reading Pocketlab

Thinking about BYOD

The topic of BYOD continues to be a hot topic in schools, with many schools I visit looking at investing in wireless technologies to support students (and staff) bringing their own device to school. While there appears to be agreement that the notion of BYOD is something to be pursued, there isn't a shared understanding of what that might mean in a school context.  For instance, in one school I visited there was a tension between the view of students who wanted to be able to use whatever device they had in their pocket, and the view of teachers who … Continue reading Thinking about BYOD

The ubiquitous age is upon us.

A video report from the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin (featured in the NZ Herald today) confirms what we've all suspected – tablet technology is taking over. From the perspective of education, this heralds new challenges and new opportunities for those seeking to integrate ICTs into life at school. Firstly there's the whole issue of shifting thinking from the use of the keyboard to touch as a primary way of interacting with the device. Secondly there's the big issue of 'who owns the device'?, with increasing numbers of schools moving towards a BYOD policy.  Certainly, the combination of (a) … Continue reading The ubiquitous age is upon us.

Policy guidelines for mobile learning

  I spent two days last week in a school in South Canterbury, reviewing their ICT strategy and implementation. Unsurprisingly the matter of mobile devices was raised by both staff and students, including questions and concerns about ownership, cost, equity, access, safety etc – all really useful and professional discussions from a group of people genuinely looking to find a way forward in this regard. Their discussion reflects what I find is top of mind in pretty much every school I visit, and highlights the need for some strategic thinking and policy development within schools (and nationally) to address these … Continue reading Policy guidelines for mobile learning

Building an Effective School BYOD Plan

Building an Effective School BYOD Plan   View more PowerPoint from Sam Gliksman I had the pleasure of attending the seminar hosted by TorqueIP in Wellington recently where Sam Gliksman shared his thoughts about building an effective school BYOD plan. The event was extremely well attended, as were similar events in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch, which illustrates the amount of interest there is in this topic. Gliksman spent some time establishing the context for considering BYOD (perhaps could have glossed over this bit more quickly as most of the crowd would have heard this already) before moving on to make … Continue reading Building an Effective School BYOD Plan

Arguing the case for ICTs in education…. again!

My last day of camping at the beach for my summer break was interrupted by a phone call from Andrew Patterson at Radio Live wanting to interview me regarding an article in the New York Times titled Teachers Resist High-Tech Push in Idaho Schools. (unfortunately their 7-day Catch-up feature isn't working so a recording of the interview doesn't seem to be available.) The interview helped 'lurch' me out of holiday mode and begin thinking about some of the issues that are bound to face me as I return to work in the new year.  The NYT article reports on the overwhelming decision of the state … Continue reading Arguing the case for ICTs in education…. again!

iPads in Education

The increased focus on BYOD in schools has certainly generated a lot of discussion and debate in recent months. The idea of student-owned devices being brought to school as a matter of course is no longer the perogative of the exclusive private schools, with an increasing number of schools I deal with in NZ now considering or embarking on schemes to accommodate students being able to bring their personal, internet-capable computing devices to school to be used for learning.  At the recent ULearn conference in Rotorua I conducted a workshop and panel discussion on this topic – it was one … Continue reading iPads in Education

Laptops for students

My work has taken me into a number of schools over the past few weeks where a common thread of the conversation in each has revolved around the issue of laptops for students and student access to the online environment. Having taken almost a decade to achieve the goal of seeing all of our teachers provided with a laptop as a per of their basic toolkit for doing their job, it seems schools are now facing up to the fact that we need to be doing the same for students. In the past few weeks our news media has been … Continue reading Laptops for students

… and system transformation is essential

My colleague Malcolm Moss in the UK sent me a link last week to an article in the MailOnline with the headline shown above – "School orders parents…"  Interesting to note the emotive language and how polarizing the issue of students being asked to bring their own devices (BYOD) to school can be. The article quotes UK Education 'expert' Sue Palmer as saying, " The school is shamefully giving parents the impression that buying an expensive iPad is in their child’s long term interest… in reality parents are being asked to invest a small fortune in something that is little … Continue reading … and system transformation is essential