October 12, 2006

Kids will teach us everything? Really?

In the industry panel we have a group of mainly non-educationalists, all men and an uncharacteristically quiet David Baugh - the voice of reason in this thing. With the exception of David and the ever-silent man from Samsung the man from Samsung who did speak - once - about how it was all about people, not tools [nice one]) they are trying to get away with telling us that computers will teach computers to teach us in 20 years, not teachers teaching teachers. I hope I got that right, but think I did hear that. Which planet is this guy on? Oh, sorry. He works for Sony...

Also, on the basis of a fleeting visit to his daughter's school, Sony Computer Entertainment MD Ray Maguire tars all educationalists as founts of knowledge whose only interest is to transmit stuff into the heads of the drones in front of them. Has he been in a half decent school in the last 15 years? Derek reckons it was a slip of the tongue - I'm not so sure MDs make that many huge slips of the tongue.

Kids might know the nuts and bolts of the handheld tools they possess, but they do not know how to educate themselves about the world around them by using them. That much is apparent when one does take a look at a technology poor school and how its students (don't) use their technology. This is where teachers come in.

We can learn what these tools can do - without necessarily having to be able to do it all the time by ourselves. We can then use our teaching professionalism to discern what handheld and social media carries worth educationally and we can guide our kids to making the most of those opportunities. User-generated content will be a major focus of learning - it already is when we take a look at the amount of podcasts, digital videos and written blog work which is already published around the world. Do we need industry leaders to tell us this or did we already know? But this user-generated content produced with the guidance of a teacher is very different from the content produced by learners, alone, with only a computer for guidance.

Computers teaching the teachers... that wasn't on my horizon this afternoon ;-)
Is it ever going to be on yours?

Update: Sony Man Ray Maguire is now looking like he can't get out of the room fast enough - as David predicted his previous statement came back to bite him in the behind. No, Sony and businesses will not provide content for our children to devour. Children will create the content of the future and, with teachers who understand the principles of constructivism, their content will tower above anything else that the Sonys of this world will ever produce. And Sony won't be teaching the teachers...

Would love a chat with Ray but he seems to have scampered off home.


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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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