55 posts categorized "Constructivism"

October 14, 2010

Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms with RSA Animate

I've been a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) for nearly three years now, and have spent 2010 on the advisory board for its Opening Minds Curriculum, which relaunches this year and next with added support for those seeking new models for the new education paradigm.

It is therefore timely, with a first relaunch event this Tuesday in Birmingham of the Opening Minds Curriculum, that Sir Ken Robinson's seminal (but probably not viewed enough in education circles) RSA Vision Talk has been transformed into a shorter RSA Animate sketch.

He delves into the myth of ADHD, the importance of the aesthetic senses, waking up learners to find what they have within themselves, and how we collaborate. Go on. Watch it.

 

September 20, 2010

Discover first-hand and shape the RSA Opening Minds Curriculum

We all want a curriculum that ensures the key skills for tomorrow's entrepreneurs and employment are taught and caught, but which empowers children to direct their own learning, don't we?

For the past year I've been part of the Steering Group for the RSA's (Royal Society of the Art, Manufactures and Commerce) Opening Minds Curriculum, a competence-based curriculum that is perhaps finding its moment as "organised education", whereby big institutions that do things for people, are being replaced by organisations that empower people to do great things for themselves:

Opening Minds aims to help schools to provide young people with the real world skills or competencies they need to thrive in the real world. It is a broad framework through which schools can deliver the content of a national curriculum in a creative and flexible way so that young people leave school able to thrive in and to shape the real world.

Opening Minds was developed by the RSA at the turn of the millennium in response to a belief that the way young students were being educated was becoming increasingly detached from their needs as citizens of the 21st century.

It is based on five sets of competencies, including Citizenship, Learning, Managing Information, Managing Situations and Relating to People.

What is the impact of Opening Minds?

Opening Minds is now being used in over 200 schools across the country and is growing rapidly. In 2008 the RSA opened the RSA Academy in Tipton which is the first school to be designed around the principles of Opening Minds.

You can get more information on the impact of the RSA Opening Minds Curriculum in this pdf.

One of the reasons I'm particularly fond of this curriculum is its genesis, summed up in the introductory conference video from a couple of years ago by RSA Chief Executive, Matthew Taylor, above, who points out that parents, politicians and even teachers seem to be under the impression that a "bad" school will always be a school for which improvement can never happen.

There has also been a near worldwide acceptance, with the occasional ignorant backlash as yet another test or stricture is thrown in by the politicians, that learning competences is arguably more important than learning 'stuff', and the RSA Opening Minds Curriculum is all about learning the stuff through these very competences that make professionally and personally successful individuals thrive.

Find out more and shape the Opening Minds Curriculum at our October 19 Conference at the new RSA Academy

To help teachers, head teachers and those managing curriculum better understand the small revolution that's been happening over the past few years with this way of working, the RSA Academy in Tipton, near Birmingham, UK, is hosting in its new building a one-day conference. It's a superb opportunity to experience, at first-hand, how Opening Minds works at the RSA Academy and gives you a chance to help shape Opening Minds as it moves forward into its next phase of assuring quality and useful assessment in a school-owned curriculum.

It could be a first step towards having the support and mentorship from successful partner schools in rethinking curriculum and learning across your whole school. This is not an event for an individual maverick to go off and innovate on their own. This is a whole-school innovation process.

The morning will be classroom based, working directly with our Opening Minds Team Leaders and students. The afternoon will focus on how the RSA and the RSA Academy are working together to move Opening Minds forward.

We will be launching the Opening Minds accreditation system and the Opening Minds Award at this conference.  These are initiatives which are vital to the future of Opening Minds and we hope you will want to be part of these exciting developments.

The event will be useful for schools already developing their Opening Minds practice; those considering Opening Minds as a curriculum framework;  together with those schools who have built up a number of years of Opening Minds experience.

If you would like to attend then register your interest in advance.

August 17, 2010

Cross-curricular planning: The Learning Wall

How do teachers in high schools know where their subject crosses over into another subject area, where learning moments might be better coordinated and more in-depth projects formed? You invite teaching staff to construct a learning wall.

This is a lovely idea coming through from St George's School for Girls in Edinburgh in order to stimulate the kind of cross-curricular thinking that takes place in their junior school throughout the senior area:

There was talk at that time of de-cluttering, of repetition, of excess overload on the curriculum and the need to actually slim that down, so we thought it was a good place for us to start. Ultimately, we came up with this thing called ‘The Learning Wall’. It's based on the capacities from a Curriculum for Excellence - that's the main aim of it, and it was thought that for the personal and social development, the actual student had to be the focus and therefore had to be the main frame of the wall. Each of these represents what one year group does within one subject area. Many departments focused on colour and used colour within the bricks to highlight different skills or different things within what they were doing. It may be investigative, it may be trips, it may be numeracy, it may be literacy - even within a different subject content. They have recognised that there is overlap, they have recognised that there is repetition, they've recognised that we are doing things at the same time and then we've found out we're doing them slightly differently. 

Watch the full video above (about 3 minutes) to see how it works.

August 15, 2010

Book Review: Changing fixed mindsets (one by one)

Will Richardson's blog, of late, has featured dozens of posts pointing out the impending doom one might feel as we realise learners (and tomorrow's workers) need to be self-starting, entrepreneurial people with passions they know how to exploit, but our education systems seem largely incapable of teeing them up for this way of thinking and learning. It's getting harder to see how we can motivate DIY learners. I'm always slightly disappointed that the posts finish just as the thought process should kick into action. There's never an easy path to beat out (or blog out) in changing our systems, it seems. But what if we consider that the problem is not systemic: it's just a challenge with individual teachers.

The notion that the world cannot change, and that we can't change within it, is more widespread than any of us can imagine. This is the fixed mindset, according to Carol Dweck, and it's not just stultifying if you work in an environment where questioning the present and changing things for the future is rare. It's fatal.

Colleagues who had heard Carol Dweck speak at the Scottish Learning Festival raved. They all said to buy the book and get my Dweck fix. If I wanted to understand why any stubborn students, teachers, parents and business colleagues were the way they were, then Carole Dweck's 'discovery' of the fixed mindset and growth mindset would explain all.

First of all, let me get the negative out of the way - this drug was a little too sickly sweet for more than a brief encounter - the writing style is indeed intended to be relaxed, accessible for a parent, coach, business person or teacher - and I think it is -  but for me comes across a little too much like a self-referential "our theory will cure your life of all ills" bible.

That said, the assertion is a useful one, a handy framework for beginning to think about how as a teacher you might handle a particular group, or as a dad you might handle the Terrible Twos.

For Dweck and her research team a fixed mindset is about non-learning, taking delight easy unchallenging tasks. It's about having at least once proven that you are great at something (the degree, the gold medal, the "we did this first… ten years ago"), but then not taking the risk to show that your knowledge has grown, evolved to keep apace of the times, your competition or your peers. This is the very mindset I see more than a few times each week when highly successful teachers who have, say, twenty years of experience are loathe to create changes in the way they work for fear that they'll shake out all the reputation they've built. What Dweck's mindset research reveals is that twenty years doing the same thing twenty times over is a fixed mindset approach to work.

I recognise bits of this fixed mindset in myself and in plenty of my peers. To have it spread over a few chapters really makes you realise the elements of thinking on which it's worth taking a moment of reflection in the future.

She points out that the ultimate in modern day fixed mindset benchmarking - Alfred Binet's IQ test - was designed to be a summative tool, to help show what work needed done to improve the learner's aptitude. I also began to wonder how many of those curating examination systems around the world also intend their examinations to act as summative tools, as assessment as learning or for learning, only to see their devices in the hands of policymakers and politicians turned into yet another Binetesque test.

The reason, Dweck asserts, that this fixed mindset is plain wrong, is that humans have for long shown that, with effort and desire, we can turn our hands to pretty much anything. Take a look, for example, at Betty Edwards' Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain, to see how people with about as much artistic ability as, well, me at the moment, were able to produce what I would call semi-pro work after merely five days of effort and tuition:

Drawright
We also know that negative labels harm children (e.g. calling a child 'stupid' will generally reinforce their self-image as being stupid. That is why, in the long term, and certainly in the short term, it's not a great idea for an educator to do this.) Yet teachers use these 'stupid', 'incapable' labels on themselves all the time. I hear teachers call themselves stupid or incapable almost weekly, without a thought in the world that this may be causing harm to their own chances of learning a new skill or approach to learning and teaching.

The professional non-learner

Since 2005 I've spent most of my time not looking at how young people learn, but at how teachers and parents learn. Or don't learn. Dweck cites one of her professors Seymour Sarason (p.201) -

"There's an assumption that schools are for students' learning. Well, why aren't they just as much for teachers' learning?"

I often feel this way about educational conferences and seminars, especially those where, at some point, we see a group of impeccably dressed and rehearsed coathanger-smile students share with us their "learner voice", so well briefed by the teacher beforehand. This form of learner voice can end up being more of a distraction away from the deficiencies in the teachers' learning of the subject in hand than a genuine effort to take students' views and bake them into teachers' actions. Notable exceptions, by the way, are the Be Very Afraids, Becta X (disclosure - I helped bring that together) and, by word of mouth, Lehman's Educons - must get myself there next year.

This fixed mindset mentality is, I believe, probably at its most unashamedly visible in the teaching population in one specific area: understanding technology, both in terms of the clicks (how to) and the smarts (why to). The moment someone utters the phrase "digital natives and digital immigrants" they are simultaneously putting themselves into a position that runs contrary to their job description (teacher as learner, continually developing professional) and unwittingly tarring their profession with the same static, fixed mindset.

"Digital immigrants" as a phrase seems to come straight out of the "fixed mindset" - the inability to become fluent in something. But likewise, calling anyone under 35, 30, 25… a "digital native" is also forcing the fixed mindset on them. If anyone were to believe that an expert web programmer in 2000 were today of the same standing they'd be laughed out of the room. Likewise, a 10 year old in 2005 did not have the skills they require aged 15 to cope with the technologies they face today (from a pre-YouTube era to a Facebook and 3D television era), and unless they operate within a rapid growth mindset they will be unable to cope in 2011 when one in five British television sets alone will be internet and web browser enabled.

Might it just be that young people tend to be more likely to be of more of a growth mindset than over 30s, over-35s? Are we more likely to find teachers that are non-learners than those who pride themselves as being the Learners In Chief?

January 31, 2010

Tips For Better Ideas


A pop-up book guide to (un)structuring your thinking to have better ideas. The one I have to think about more: think first, execute later. You?

January 25, 2010

TapTale: Bringing literacy to a (iPhone) screen near you

Child and iPhone
TapTale is a new iPhone and iPod Touch app designed as a prototype to help learners build confidence in their creative writing. The Times Education Supplement talks this week about the app, one of the newly launched products whose development I led as Commissioner at Channel 4's Innovation for the Public Fund, working with Derek Robertson at LTS and the clever chaps at Six To Start.


The proposition was a simple one: experiment to see what the iPhone and iPod Touch could add to the reading and writing experience. Making it was a genuine challenge for us, for Learning and Teaching Scotland and the award-winning developers SixToStart, whose work on Penguin's WeTellStories made them the best choice to give this groundbreaker a chance:

“Readers have to work out what they have to do in the story to progress,” says Adrian Hon, who created the application and co-founded Six to Start with his brother Dan. “The story might say something like ‘the witch went up to the door and knocked three times’. The player would then have to tap on the phone three times in order to advance. Or they might read that the house fell to the right and they have to tilt the phone to the right to read about what happens next.”

The goal is to encourage young people to write their own stories and include their own “gestures”.

Once a tale has been created, users can upload them to the TapTale website, where other registered users can download and read them. Registered users can also provide feedback on any tale via the website, by slotting pre-written statements into a form.

Naomi Alderman The app helps students get started by modeling what it expected, with none other than an award-winning writer to get the creative wheels greased. In 2006, Naomi Alderman won the Orange Award for New Writers, and she now offers a growing selection of exclusive taptale stories, written just for the screen space and gestural potential of the iPhone. They're also available to read on the Taptale website.

She's also offered up a selection of free-to-view writing challenges for educators wanting to use the app in their classrooms, or assign challenges for homework on the iPod Touch or iPhone.

Brian Clark, working with LTS on trialling the project, describes how it might be used in practice this term:

TapTale’s primary goal is to promote literacy through the reading and writing of tales using the tap, tilt, shake and swipe functions of Apples touch screen devices.

When creating a tale, pupils are asked to write chapters using the touchscreen keyboard on the device. In order to progress from chapter to chapter, the reader must use one of the tap, swipe, tilt or shake sequences. It is up to the author of the tale to decide what action must be taken for the reader to see the next chapter.

Once a tale has been created, users can upload them via the device to the taptale website. This allows other registered user to download and read their tales directly on the device. Registered users can provide feedback on any tale via the website using a ‘fridge magnet’ style form. Anyone can read the tales created directly from the site, but of course the tapping and tilting functions are not possible in this view.

Taptale Feedback System 2 Fridge-magnet peer-assessment

My favourite part of this exercise may not even be the iPhone app itself. Rather, the online peer-assessment community we've developed is, I think, a first (though I'm happily corrected). I wanted to see a fridge-magnet approach to student feedback, something that would allow structured feedback to take place but not just in a "tick-box" fashion. I think I also wanted to hark back stylistically to the days of scholastic readers that I had when I was aged four in primary school, learning how to read for the first time. The result is quite a delightful way of helping students - and the general public who stop off by their writings - to learn new ways to provide "two stars and a wish" type feedback to each other anonymously, while maintaining the integrity and safety of a learning site used by young people.

The system prompts you to use one of the many critiques that Derek and I thrashed out over a boring train trip or two, to accept it, before pushing up the next set of options. Go and have a play on one of Naomi's stories and you'll see how challenging some of the vocabulary is yet how easy the interface is: struggleware if ever there was any.


Criticism of the iPhone for learning

As development work began in the early days of summer 2009, we hit criticism straightaway: "kids don't have iPhones, schools barely allow mobile phones, and in the current straightened times we shouldn't be investing in the most expensive-per-inch handheld technologies around". It was the same criticism hurled back in 2004 when I was making podcasts with and for the students in my secondary school. Fittingly, it is my old education district, East Lothian, that is the first to put itself forward to try out these devices and see what, indeed, they might add to the learning process.

We're ready for a resounding tumbleweed to be heard on the question of any educational advances here - no-one's done this before, and we just don't know what it has to offer that paper and pen don't. Likewise, I'd be curious to see what the tactile approach to story reading and writing brings to those kids who have less motivation to read, who have trouble structuring their stories. I also think the online writing community platform we've developed offers a creative, supportive environment that, in brilliant classrooms may well exist, but which is hard to achieve well all the time in every classroom with the timetable constraints we all face.

One final really interesting point is that one of the first criticisms of the app from a student has been: "it doesn't allow me to add pictures to my story". Interesting, and perhaps valid in a world where apps are laden with features, features, features.

Taptale is relatively simple. It's about making writing and reading as simple as possible, while forcing the hand of the writer into doing certain things: providing constructive feedback, reading for inspiration before writing, thinking about timing and story structure through the gestures.

Above all, though, it's about the written word, not the graphic, the design or the picture.

If anything, the lack of features is what makes this app special, what's going to make it work well. Children will, lo and behold, have to think about how to describe what's in their mind's eye, not just photograph it with the cellphone camera or Google it, right-click it, save it and insert it. Stripping all that away is, if anything, at least one educational advance we'll have made.

TapTale iTunes Graphic Taptale stories are free to view on the website throughout the pilot. The app is free in the UK from the iTunes store.

Pic from Anthony

December 21, 2009

Your Brain Deals With 34GB Of Data Every Day. Time To Reboot?


Glasgow Art School graduate James Houston's Big Ideas (Don't Get Any) on CentralStation.

Every day our brains deal with 34 gigabytes of information. But, contrary to what technosceptics will lament as we enter the decade of who-knows-what, scientists in California and England don't believe that this will have any negative affect on our brains. Indeed, it might be changing them to cope better with handling increasing amounts of spoken and written clues. In the Sunday Times:

"The speed of modern life is 2.3 words per second, or about 100,000 words a day. That is the verbiage bombarding the average person in the 12 hours they are typically awake and “consuming” information, according to a new study.

"...We are faced with the equivalent of 34 gigabytes of information each day — enough to overload the typical laptop inside a week.

"The total amount of words “consumed” in the United States has more than doubled from 4,500 trillion in 1980 to 10,845 trillion in 2008. Those estimates do not include people simply talking to one another. Total information consumption from televisions, computers and other media was estimated at 3.6 zettabytes (3.6m million gigabytes) in 2008.

"...Colin Blakemore, professor of neuroscience at the universities of Oxford and Warwick, said: “One of the things we have learnt over the past 20 years is that the brain does have a capacity to grow and increase in size depending on how it is used. Perhaps the personal experience of having to deal with all of this information will cause new nerve cells to be born and create new nerve connections in the brain.”

"It may be infuriating but it is no threat to the brain itself, say experts.

"In some ways, he adds, what has changed is the nature of information more than quantity. Where we now stare at a computer screen, once we studied faces, which may involve absorbing just as much data."

Just bear that in mind when your inbox is labouring under 300 emails, 1400 feeds and relentless Twitter friend requests.

October 01, 2008

Looking two times the distance back to forecast the future

Paul_saffo "Hunt for Bin Laden: Experts Agree: Al Quaeda leader is Dead or Alive". Yossi Vardi's photoshopped CNN reportage was certainly amusing but was, above all, a completely accurate forecast. What forecasters mustn't do is try to eliminate the uncertaintly from our futures.

Paul Saffo, formerly of the Institute of the Future, shares some of his secrets and insights from his main job: forecasting the future.

The Information Revolution is over. This is the Media Revolution
Everything in the knowledge and information world is uncertain. The information revolution is done, gone, in the past. We are now gripped by a media revolution - media is information that goes deep down and makes a difference in our life. It's also a shift within this field, from mass media to a very strange new world of personal media. Indeed, it's what my new job is all about - making the convergence of media count and make amplification have a new, almost reversed sense.

Even the information devices of old are now media devices. 1998 saw the first ring tone sold, and 2005 it had become a $2b business, accounting for 10% of the music business. Cell phones are entertainment media devices that happen to be communication devices. They are not information devices.

As Jane McGonigal, still at the Institute of the Future, has repeated: you need to look back twice as far back to see what's ahead. It might not be repeated, but the future will rhyme with it. If we peer back to the 1950s we see huge experimentation in mass media, in ways the television could be used, developed, enhanced. Today's use of the web is probably not even a bump on the landscape compared to what we will use our discoveries today for tomorrow.

Technology_and_time_scalesWhen television emerged in the 1930s, it took some 20 years until it began to take off. Time-sharing (through email) took time from its first developments in the late 70s to become accepted in the 90s. Technology takes time to take hold, but in recent history technology is taking less and less time to make an impact:
This means that email and internet apps are nowhere near the peak of their activity.

S_curve_of_failure Never mistake a clear view as a short distance
The challenge for those trying to predict the future is that, at one stage on the uptake curve you're made to look foolish as no-one joins you in the adoption of the technology. After a while, you give up on that bandwagon and think about what is worth betting your efforts on next. Just as you give up on it everyone else starts to adopt. You therefore look foolish twice over. I've written off many a fashion faux pas on that S curve theory.

SecondLife is one such maligned technology - I've managed to hit the middle part of that S Curve about a dozen times in the past three years, and have kept on it; something's afoot in this space. Paul believes it has a smell of the 20 year S Curve in it. He mentions the Cisco SecondLife meetings that my now-Cisco colleague John has talked about before. Likewise, in the nineties publishers would have scoffed if you said that something like the MacBook Pro Nano would make reading books online or on a computer doable - and enjoyable.

The changing nature of innovation
The next big thing is not the semantic web - it's sensors and robots

1950s TV - Broadcast
1980s Time-sharing - Email
1990s Cient sharing - WWW
2000  P2P - Napster
2010  Sensors - Smartifacts

Sensors will lead to smartifacts, robots that can make life easier, more enjoyable, more connected... Think of the current indicators: Roomba, the first robots to kill a human in the war on terror in Yemen in 2002, Nabaztags, robots that drive cars more safely than us... The indicators are already in place, though I think we're probably missing it for the immediate ideas and opportunity that the web is offering in 2008.

We're moving from TV to the web, from the living room to everywhere, from watching and consuming to participating and creating, from few and large organisations to many and small individuals.

We are moving at a tumbling rate from the Consumer Economy where buying and selling rule, to, markedly in the past two weeks, an economy where there are new actors in a Creator Economy. Google makes the perfect example of the success of the Creator Economy. It costs $0 to subscribe to Google, the usage charges are $0 and every time we use it we make it better. That last part is the cost - our search string contributes to the richness of what, in days past, would have been the Manufacturer. The question is, do we care if the $ cost is zero and the [heart] cost is information?

One forecast is looking a dead cert: the future's looking like one heck of a ride.

Quinn's photo of Paul Saffo.

Paul Saffo speaking at the ebic Thought Leader conference, Berlin, at which I am later speaking on the futures panel.

July 01, 2008

Lehmann's Philly: the same, but different.

Chris_lehmann What is learning? For the past few nights I've been enjoying my time with Marcie and her boss, Chris Lehmann, Principle of the Science Leadership Academy, taking a look inside their school's way of thinking.

Learning and teaching is about what the students can do, not what the teacher is able to do. It's about what questions we can ask together, about being inquiry-driven, through questions which are authentic, to which we don't know the answers.

It's about being passionate and whatever we're learning has to matter. Chris' students were cutting sheet metal, part of a project to create a new type of biodiesel which would be more efficient than existing methods. The class applied for two patents this year, and two communities in Guatemala are developing the product to provide fuel for real.

It's got to be meta-cognitive, everyone's got to think about what they did, how they did it, what they could do better the next time. It's got to be technology-infused, technology which is ubiquitous, necessary and invisible. We've got to choose technologies not on the basis of what's new, but what is good for a given task. It's also about being on the same page as the community with whom you wish to interact.

What do certain tools do the best?
Lehmann's approximate and reasonably false taxonomy:

Research: RSS, delicious, Google, Wikipedoa
Collaborate: wiki, google docs, moodle
Create: blogging, drupal
Present: podcasting, uStream, Flickr, iTunesU
Network: Twitter, Skype, Facebook, email.

But tools don't teach
We need strong pedagogical frameworks to see the whole learning experience, onto which we can slot the right tool for the right job. It's categorically the wrong approach to come up with an idea for a "blog project", "a podcasting project", "a social networking project", in the same way as it's wrong to approach pedagogy from a starting point of "what pedagogical proof is there that social networking improves attainment". You start with the pedagogy and use an appropriate tool to fit the pedagogical bill.

In Chris' school, every member of staff and every bone of curriculum is hung on Understanding By Design, with all the teachers using and all the students understanding the same metalanguage of the oeuvre. By doing this, students are able to reverse engineer the work they have done within the pedagogical framework the teachers have used, in the same way as assessment for learning strategies aim to promote. They are able to learn about learning.

Planning
So, planning is undertaken along these five structures:

Desired results: where do you want to go
Learning objectives
Understandings: the big ideas - why are we teaching or learning this?
Essential Questions: The throughline - what do we keep coming back to throughout the inquiry?
Skills and Content: What is the stuff that we have to know to get to those big ideas?

Assessment
If, after a period of learning, you assess by giving out a test, you are not doing project-based learning. Tests and quizzes are but a dipstick, a quick snapshot of where everyone is at. The projects themselves, the projects that are the creation of the students themselves, are the main assessment tool. They are constant, they are ongoing.

What Chris is describing seems to me, albeit in other meta-language, to be what Scotland's Assessment for Learning and Assessment as Learning programmes are beginning to achieve throughout our small corner of the world. The ambition of his school's learning approach reflects the Curriculum for Excellence. I really shouldn't be so surprised that Chris is one of those here at NECC with whom I'm the most comfortable chewing the educational fat.

April 08, 2008

The net: it's all just a fad

It was one line in Clifford Stoll's TED Talk that made me wince in particular: take the computers out of schools. But having seen what he was 'predicting' in 1995 about the future of the web, I don't think I can take much he says as seriously as perhaps I should:

“Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney”

“….Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.”

“Then there are those pushing computers into schools. We're told that multimedia will make schoolwork easy and fun….Who needs teachers when you've got computer-aided education? Bah.”

“Then there's cyberbusiness. We're promised instant catalog shopping - just point and click for great deals. We'll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month?”

“What's missing from this electronic wonderland? Human contact. Discount the fawning techno-burble about virtual communities. Computers and networks isolate us from one another. A network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee.”

Thirteen years on some of these phrases are still bandied about by the nay-sayers: human contact through social networking is viewed sceptically and people still mistaken the intentions of those integrating ICT into learning and teaching - it does not replace the teacher. Thankfully, though, we can quietly and happily giggle at this one scientist's attempts to predict our futures.

Thanks to BrandDNA for the initial kick into this post.

About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is a teacher, speaker and investor, regarded as one of Europe’s foremost experts in digital media for public services.

His company, NoTosh Limited, invests in tech startups and film on behalf of public and private investors, works with those companies to build their creative businesses, and takes the lessons learnt from the way these people work back into schools and universities across the world.

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