1:1 computers in the classroom

On tuesday I was in the city attending a professional learning dayrun by the education department, related to the NSSCF (National Secondary School Computer Fund) grant and the goal of 1:1 computers in classroom for Yrs 9-12.  The keynote speaker was Bruce Dixon and here are some somewhat random notes I took during the session…

 The way we should be aiming to use technology in the 21st century classroom is to CREATE!  Technology as a “medium of expression”.

 What are some of the challenges of a tech rich environment? (responses from audience)

  • Balancing between engagement and academic rigour
  • Re-contextualising good teaching and learning
  • Tech support
  • Human resources
  • Ownership
  • Sustainability
  • Meaningful use
  • Adjustment for teachers
  • Network capacity

Need to understand the difference between engagement and entertainment.  (Engagement is not a dirty word!)  It is important to have critical conversations with all areas of the school community.  The myths and fantasy’s regarding technology (ie fears of internet) distract from the job at hand and need to be dispelled.  Educate staff, parents, community etc. 

It is imperative that staff understand the possibilities, not just emulate what they have seen – must use themselves and understand , to have authenticity, which kids see. (ie only someone who Twitters can decide on its merits – or lack thereof).

What changes in a tech rich environment?  There is a continuum between total transformation and nothing happening, and while the extremes are unlikely, most people’s expectations seem to sit on one end or the other. What can 1:1 achieve?

  • Pedagogical innovation
  • Anytime, anywhere learning
  • Individualised learning
  • Re-imagine curriculum
  • Global collaboration
  • Meaningful use of technology
  • Effective assessment
  • Accountability
  • Increases capacity to innovate

Where, what, when and how we teach must change!!!

 The challenge of re-imagining – How do we become aware of our reality beyond our concepts… and then take time to reflect on what we see.  “Imagination increases with experience.”

Technology in schools allows staff to teach more and administer less. 14-19th centuries was the print era, 20th century the broadcast era – we are now in the collaboration era:-

  • Community generated experience
  • Mixed media
  • Social networking
  • Virtual environments
  • Real world feedback/authentic assessment

Construct – Collaborate – Create!!

The internet challenges traditional approaches to teaching and learning, challenges assumptions about classrooms and teaching, challenges assumptions about knowledge, information and literacy.

You tube example – Video made by 10 year old trying to learn how to make and successfully use a bow drill set to make fire – asking for feedback etc.  Learning as he creates, authentic feedback, not asking for answers, but for constructive criticism.

Technology can Sustain, Supplement and Support learning.

The more powerful the technology the MORE indispensable teachers become.



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