Release the devices, release the learning...
University of Bristol’s Angela MacFarlane sums up the morning:
Teachers will never have the time that the experts in the classroom – the kids – will have to get to the bottom of the possible uses of technology. These handheld learning opportunities will change drastically the way that we teach. But they change things in the same ways as social media does, too:
- The curriculum needs to accommodate the attitude that the approach to learning is the learner’s responsibility.
- Projects allow students not only to access content but also to create their own media and share it – lessons are planned around reception and publishing of information.
- There is an initial “speculate to accumulate” with technology. Once the uses of the devices or social media have been explored there is more time (than before?) for wider and deeper learning.
- Mobile devices integrate with other technologies – IWBs, software… Social media interacts with these ‘traditional’ new technologies, too.
Doug Brown finishes off the session by outlining what I was chatting with Derek about at the break: all this goes against the grain of the curriculum and the people who created it, who themselves did not have experiences with this kind of learning. They are afraid and, if they fail to grasp what is going on, they have every reason to be afraid.