Image: D Dickinson October 2010 ‘Mellow Fruitfulness’
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)
Hindsight is a wonderful thing … for a long time now vast amounts of money have been spent on providing infrastructure and kit so that ICT can have a place in the development of teaching and learning. Time will perhaps show that the strategy of doing this was more than wasteful ; it was flawed … but perhaps we did not recognise it as such … and is now no longer (if it ever was) fit for purpose. Educational institutions cannot keep up with society’s rapid pace of technological change and money is draining away in the trying.
It is time to rethink.
The technologies are already there in the hands of the users (but we must make sure about the inclusivity of it all) and we need to make sure that we take onboard the proficiencies of use and the availability of these technologies. We need to concentrate the spending of time, effort and money on education not replication.
In a very recent ATL article Ian argues similarly:
Our schools are now a desert swept with the winds of yesterday’s technology; meanwhile our students can be found drinking from an oasis of smartphones, smart apps and smart interfaces. They have answers to questions we haven’t even dared to ask. They outsmart us at every turn.
Schools don’t need ICT. It’s coming through our doors every day.
The article is well worth a read and arguing about … even if it is only you that you argue with …
Have just read this in a blog post by Bill Lord:
At the same we have seen a massive rise in ICT hardware purchasing and use but to what end? I have spent the last 11 years arguing that technology should be a key driver in combatting the under achievement of boys but despite the massive investment there is still an issue. This points to chronic problem in the use of the technology (not a new argument I know) – to be blunt we have invested millions of pounds in giving cutting edge technology in Primary schools to people who are not trusted with the remote control by their own children in their own homes.
It could be argued that we have made it worse – for those of a certain age who remember the games show Bullseye in the 1980s – this is like the end of the show when contestants failed to win the star prize and they would wheel out a speedboat or car with the legend “Look what you could have won” coming from the lips of host Jim Bowen. We present the children with a dynamic, vertical, visual tool in class and then often leave it in the hands of people who don’t use it to anywhere it’s full potential.
I posted in some detail on the Storytyne blog post about attitudes of teachers towards children driving the technology. It is important that teachers hand over the use of the technology. I posed the question Have we spent millions of pounds on putting technology in classrooms and leaving it in the hands of people who are not even trusted with the remote control in their own houses?
In Independent sessions teachers should be aiming to use the IWB whether it be to continue from the shared session working with a targeted group for guided work or giving the access to the board to an independent group who then feed back in the plenary. (The use of the screen recorder comes in handy here)
Teachers who are not confident using specific applications should consider simply handing it over to the pupils whether it be screen capture, the recorder tool, Kodu, Photostory, Audacity, Google Maps, Podium, Voicethread etc – these are all applications which don’t get used sufficiently widely because of teacher confidence issues but all of which simply require an understanding of how they can support learning. The children will do the rest!
Chapeau Bill … also seems to follow Sugata Mitra’s research on self organised learning groups.