This weeks topic was much larger than the first week and due to having a lot of my assignments due over a period of 2 weeks didn’t help me in getting around to it in any hurry…
Alan November’s work aims to reduce the misconceptions of technology in the classroom. His home town was once a global trading hub pre the industrial revolution which relied upon travellers to sustain it’s people. He argues that schools should try to become open to global trade in the form of knowledge via the internet. With a well informed teacher and the students having access to classrooms all over the world, they can make more of a contribution to their own education. He supports a very student centred approach rather than the teacher being the holder of information. Alan also suggests that schools which allow free thought of ideas helps to innovate and come up with more new ideas rather than the well structured classes of today.
Alan warns that technology is currently polarising people rather than unifying them as there are more and more ways to connect but people will choose to listen and interact with the content they want to and over react to people who oppose them. Critical thinking needs to be focused on to prevent the next generation of students from blindly listening to what they’re being told without comparing it rationally to the reality of the world.
Methods to produce this critical thought are to get students to constantly reflect what they are learning about and to focus on a larger body of work with an end result. The current method of several assessment tasks during the term can actually reduce learning ability as they lack context for out of the classroom endeavours. Allowing students to choose what they want to do for their assignments and the teacher then structuring the syllabus around it, helps to get students thinking globally to work on a local scale.
The idea that we can change schools from being places of top down learning into collaborative workers that are constantly learning is an ideal shift which must take place to bring us into the 21st century work place. Many of the other resources also mention that the current use of technology can be rather distracting to achieve learning in the classroom, what might need to change is the classroom environment itself. Personally I think it’s a very tricky thing to suggest as we know that the current system isn’t the best one for the future as students grades tend to be on the decline, could removing the structure hurt them even more? Or would it allow students to become more independent thinkers and better prepare them than what our current marking system does?
(This blog isn’t really complete yet as I’m yet to add references but feel free to comment still)
- Chapter 2 Schools and Computers: Tales of a Digital Romance in Bigum, C. (2012). Transformative Approaches to New Technologies and Student Diversity in Futures Oriented Classrooms. L. Rowan and C. Bigum, Springer Netherlands.
- Cox, M.J. (2012), Formal to informal learning with IT: research challenges and issues for e-learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.
- Voogt J., Knezek G., Cox M.J., Knezek D.&ten Brummelhuis A. (2011) Under which conditions does ICT have a positive effect on teaching and learning? A call to action. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. 15 November 2011