Monthly Archives: August 2014

Robots to take take control in the future

Robots to take over. The New Zealand Herald recently ran a headline that wouldn’t be out of place in a bad Sci-fi movie. The headline did; however, remind me of a presentation I once heard about the different jobs that experts predict will be automated in the future.

Mark Osborne presented at the L@S Roadshow in Palmerston North about jobs that are likely to be automated in the future. The below graph makes for interesting reading.

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With this idea in mind, I believe it is long over due that schools begin to challenge the traditional paradigm that many have been following. We need to equip our students for a future of change. The key to student’s success in the future will be around their EQ Emotional Intelligence – things that robots and automated programmes can’t do. Along with this students will also need to be able to apply, analyse, evaluate, create and collaborate on a level where machines cannot. As students change how they learn, we, as educators, mustn’t be afraid to change the way we teach.

iPad Pedagogy

The danger, when thinking about iPad pedagogy, is to fall into the trap of looking at a range of apps and consider how they might be used in the classroom. While this is very important I think it is important for schools to get their ‘Why’ right. Why use iPads? Why not use another device?

Fundamentally, I believe that iPad pedagogy stems from your pedagogy about education and where you think it is heading. I believe that we need to prepare how students for a future where everything will be changing rapidly. People will no longer worry how much information you can contain but what you can do with the information that is available to you.

I believe that Education 3.0 is where we are heading.

3.0

With this in mind, as educators, we need to ask ourselves which device is going to best meet the needs of this type of environment. An environment where students will be required to create, evaluate, analyse, apply, remember and understand. I believe that the iPad best suits this approach to education.

The biggest benefit to using iPads, that I see, is the ability to be able to create and construct more effectively and easily than you can on other devices. Students can also connect with others more easily as they have two cameras instead of just one, like many other devices.

Once you have a clear vision about ‘Why’ iPads you can then begin to look through this Education 3.0 lens at the plethora of apps that are available to meet your teaching and learning needs. Below is an excellent ‘pedagogy wheel’ to help you decide which apps most effectively meet your requirements.

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Managing Change

As I was preparing for a Professional Development session I came across this interesting diagram. I think it sums up brilliantly the processes that need to be considered if changes are to be made.23010261I also think that we need to constantly remind ourselves of the following quote from Frederick Douglass – “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”

 

Flipping the Flip

Toward the end of Term One I was leading some Professional Development with the staff around using MyPortfolio, the ePortfolio that PNINS Senior Management had chosen to adopt.

Many members of staff who are late adopters of technology began to grumble that they didn’t see the point of using MyPortfolio as they were too difficult to use compared to what they had always done. And yet other members of staff were disengaged because they found the technology extremely easy to use and didn’t see the point of the Professional Development when they thought they knew it all already. My initial thought was, I guess you can’t keep everyone happy all the time… and as Nelson Mandela once said “It is a grave error for any leader to be oversensitive in the face of criticism.”

As I rode my bike home I began to think, would I have been happy if that were a lesson in my class?

Of course not!

I decided that differentiation was the key. The next time I led a Professional Development session I asked some of the earlier adopters to lead small groups. Staff could then choose which ability group they would attend. This worked extremely well! Staff were much more positive about the session and the progress that individuals made was far greater.

As I thought about this approach some more I wondered if there were other classroom techniques that could be applied to Professional Development and staff training.
As I began to research this train of thought I came across the following fascinating article: Continue reading Flipping the Flip

A fitting way to begin…

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Mark Osbourne quoted Seymour Papert, an MIT mathematician, computer scientist, and educator, during a presentation he made at an L@S Roadshow. It stuck with me ever since.  The danger with the rapidly changing world that we live and teach in is that it becomes increasing easy to ‘jump on’ the latest elearning ‘band wagon’ and think that it will change teaching and learning. It won’t.

One must consider a range of factors when implementing new elearning initiatives in schools but student learning must be paramount. If the technology isn’t used by teachers to effectively shift learning then the technology becomes redundant.