I was lucky enough to recently attend a session run by Claire Sutherland for the Alannah and Madeline Foundation around the topic of ‘safe schools‘. I have worked with AMF before in regards to eSmart. Today’s focus was on the trends, policies and resources to support schools around cybersafety. Personally, I have mixed feelings about cybersafety as a topic, as there are some who approach it from the perspective of fear. So here are some of my notes and observations on the presentation …

Issues

When it comes to children and technology, there are a number of issues to consider:

In regards to schools and liability, It is important to understand that if you are aware of an issue, you are responsible. In Victoria, this is covered in the PROTECT Guidelines.

3Cs

For the Alannah and Madeline Foundation cybersafety can be broken down into three aspects:

  • Contact: Do you appreciate who you are sharing with? There is a difference between a ‘friend’ and a ‘follower’, while many of our connections come via acquaintances. We may think that we are not providing much information online, however once we work across multiple platforms, people (and computers) can easily join the dots and develop quite an extensive profile.
  • Conduct: How do you act when you are online? Do you THINK before you post, that is do you consider if what you are sharing is ‘True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind’. Research says that 1:5 students have been involved in cyberbullying online. The challenge is to look out for one another, respecting the rights of others. One suggestion is to ask before tagging, especially in regards to changes in regards to auto-tagging within Google Photos.
  • Content: What information do you share online? Is it personal or private? How authentic is it? How positive is your digital footprint? What is your response to fake news and surreptitious advertising? To plagarism, is it constructive? This can all be challenging as we move into a world that no longer forgets. Something captured by Black Mirror where everyone’s experiences are captured all of the time or we are continually judged by everything that happens in our life.

Associated with the 3C’s, there are four different types of spaces: messaging app, social media, games and dating apps. What entices students is whether they are free, accessible, social and allow experimentation. Constantly changing, these spaces are a part of the yo-yo craze where students move when adults move in.

Challenges

Some of the challenges associated with cybersafety include: raising awareness with parents, teachers and students, monitor the use of technology, building online resilience and empathy, celebrating the positive, as well as empowering bystanders to stand up by providing anonymous reporting systems. To be proactive, schools need to be as explicit as possible when it comes to policy. This means it does not matter which teacher is consulted. Associated with all this, it is important to document issues when they arise.

Resources

Here are a collection of resources – both from the session and some links of my own – to go further in regards to cyber safety and digital citizenship:


So what about you? What are you doing to make school safer? Are there any tips, tricks or resources that you would share? As always, comments welcome.


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The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies
“The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies” by mrkrndvs is licensed under CC BY-SA

Often when supporting teachers with the integration of technology, it is easy to start with a notion that people are beginners. This leads to a process of unpacking applications bit by bit. I wonder if rather than knowledge, the challenge associated with so called ‘beginners’ is confidence. This challenge though takes many guises. For some it is the confidence with the mechanics, while for others it comes back to purpose and intent. A useful framework for working through some of these idiosyncrasies is Doug Belshaw’s essential elements of digital literacies.

Rather than one singularly unifying notion of digital literacy, Belshaw argues that there are eight interlinked elements, each informing our understanding and application of digital literacies.

The 8 Essential Elements of Digital Literacies #digilit
“The 8 Essential Elements of Digital Literacies #digilit” by mrkrndvs is licensed under CC BY-SA

Thinking about an application like Hapara is interesting. It provides an added layer on top of GSuite, which allows teachers to organise and manage learning in the classroom. Using digital literacies as a lens provides an insight into a number of aspects to which a teacher may lack ‘confidence’.

  • From a cultural perspective, Hapara posits that teachers are largely in responsible for creating the conditions for learning. Some teachers may have different pedagogical beliefs.
  • Cognitively, it involves new ways of working. Although it may be more efficient, these are still habits to unlearn and relearn.
  • Constructively, there is a blur between empowering students with the power to participate in actions and the dangers in excessively moderating learning using Highlights. Finding a balance can be challenging.
  • From a communicative point of view, GSuite allows a number of ways to engage, Hapara provides the means to manage and moderate this within different cultural norms.
  • Connecting with GSuite through the use of APIs, Hapara has the ability to both hinder and help the creative process, for on the one hand applications like Workspaces can be used to scaffold learning to support originality or to structure it in such a way that it could  a construed as no more than a digital worksheet.
  • From a critical and civic point of view, it is important to consider the why there is a need to manage learning and the consequences associated with such actions.

There is no one element that captures confidence and confidence in itself does not capture the full picture. Doug Belshaw’s elements provide a means of representing the assemblage of connections associated with technology. Something that Ben Williamson attempts in his own way in his work on Class Dojo. That being said, the answer is not to cover all elements each and every time in a checklist fashion. Instead, they provide useful provocation to go further in defining how we engage with technology.

So what about you? What strategies have you used to take the conversation around tech beyond the tool? As always, comments welcome.


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EdTechRations
“EdTechRations” by mrkrndvs is licensed under CC BY-SA

 

I came upon David Hopkins’ curation Emergency Rations via a image on Instagram from Amy Burvall. I think that this is important. Although it was on social media where I discovered it – a regular ration throughout the book – it was my connection with and trust in Burvall’s judgment that lead me to read it.

The basic premise of the book is a collection of posts, thousand words each, on what it is you would not leave home without. There are a range of responses. Some familiar faces, others new to me, each adding their own twist on the question. For some their response bordered on a listical, while others were more circumspect, using it as a reflective opportunity to stop and assess.

What is important is that it is a technology book about people. Whether it be Maha Bali’s use of her smartphone to study while raising a child, Amy Burvall’s advice that if you are to apply one piece of makeup that it should be lipstick, Joyce Seitzinger’s warning that she does not like to receive random voice calls or Steve Collis’ revelation that he only has one pair of shoes, each decision provides a glimpse into another world.

So to continue the conversation, here is my contribution:


There are a number of devices which make up my setup. Whether it be my Chromebook, iPad Mini, Dell (work) laptop and an inherited old MacBook. However, the one device that I would not leave home without is my smartphone. A part of me wished this wasn’t the case, but while I live with my iPhone 4s while my Nexus 6P is being fixed, I am realising how much I have come to depend on my phone for so much of what I do.

I am not necessarily interested in the latest and greatest, nor wedded to a particular digital ecosystem. I am more content to bide my time in order to spend my money on other things, such as books and holidays. Instead, what interests me is the potential and possibility of the technology I have, that is, finding the edge of the page. Rather than being constricted and cajoled into a particular way of working, I would like to thing that I find a balance betweening programming and being programmed.

When I think about what I use my smartphone for, I think that it comes down to three aspects: reading, writing and responding.

READ

There are so many different forms of media which I regularly engage with on my phone, spread across a number of applications. The most important one though would have to be following posts via Feedly. Subscribed to over two hundred blogs, this is usually my first port of call. From there I share out to various social media and bookmarking sites, such as Twitter and Diigo. Sometimes with longer reads I will save them to Pocket, particularly as there is the option on Android for the app to read these out loud to you. (Note: you need to use a third party app on iOS). In regards to other texts, I use Kindle for digital books and ezPDF Reader for PDFs. With the Kindle, I often use my old iPhone or iPad to read them aloud to me via the accessibility settings (the Android experience is frustrating). I like digital texts as I can often quickly and easily come back to my highlights and annotations. In regards to podcasts, I use Podcast Addict. It is adequate, but does have nuances that can be frustrating. To be honest, I do not really watch a lot of video as it is hard to drive while watching, while if I do listen to music it is usually via Google Music as I am never organised enough to connect with my computer to update my playlists.

WRITE

Gone are the days when using a phone meant depending on text messaging and making calls. Instead, communication is spread across a range of applications. David White and Alison Le Cornu talk about the difference between personal and institution when mapping out digital presence, however just as our identities are complex, so to are the ways we digitally connect. My dominant form of communication with work is still email. Personally, email brings in a range of updates and newsletters. Whether it be sharing a post or engaging in discussion, my most frequented application is Twitter. I do not pretend to keep up with the noise and instead focus on serendipitous side of things. Some other spaces where I connect include Voxer. Google+, Google Hangouts. Slack and Instagram. I must admit that my participation in these spaces can be a bit more ad hoc.

RESPOND

One of the biggest changes that the smartphone has made in my life is the ease to which I can create and respond. Although I could keep a physical journal or record ideas on scrap paper, using the phone not only allows me to jot down ideas at any moment, but also easily edit pre-existing ones. This allows me to work on the train or while cradling my child. Although I have used both Evernote and Google Keep in the past, the improvement in Google Docs to work offline means that, whether it is developing a presentation or writing a post, I do most of my work there. I am interested in moving to a markdown editor, especially in light of my experience with Wikity, but for now my Docs workflow works. In regards to video and photography, I do enjoy using Instagram. Although it is private account as I am mindful of making the open decision for others. I have dabbled with recording the audio associated with presentations using my phone. However, I have yet to get this workflow down pat.


As I reflect on my experiences with mobile, I am reminded again and again that mobile devices have their limits. For example, I still finish my blog posts on a computer, relying on Flickr for images and Alan Levine’s Attribution Helper to embed them. I am also left considering the temporal nature of these conversations. Five years ago my rations would have been completely different based on how I work and what was available. I am therefore left with the knowledge that this description has a used by date. Maybe it will involve a move away from mobile? Considering the environment and sticking with devices and relying less on the cloud? The technology we wear? Or more control over our mobile experience? Whether it be the content we consume? Whatever it is, it will be interesting to note how it all unfolds.

Inspired by Kevin Hodgson, I created a summary with Lumins5


So what about you? What are your edtech survival rations? As always, comments welcome.


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Clash of Ideas @dculberhouse
“Clash of Ideas @dculberhouse” by mrkrndvs is licensed under CC BY-SA

There have been a few posts of late highlighting that technology in the classroom can make a positive difference. For example, Simon Crook states:

If teachers and students use technologies to capitalise on the unique opportunities they provide, rather than as a gimmick, it has been demonstrated that teaching and learning will improve.

Jane Hunter explained:

Common to all four of these teachers was a deep fascination with technology. They did not use it for all learning, but most of the time over the school week. Their approaches varied, but they ended up in the same place: engaged classrooms where students are empowered and given a voice to take control of their own learning. Teachers stepped out of the way.

While Jose Picardo explains that,

Using technology well to support teaching and learning is a feature of great teachers, yet there appears to exist the commonly held notion that digital technology and teaching are mutually incompatible.

The challenge seems to be about getting technology in the hands of the right teacher, those ‘great’ teachers who confidently capitalise on the potential of technology. This raises the question, should our focus be on the right teacher or in developing the right teacher?

It can be easy to argue that sometimes a certain teacher is not the right fit for a particular school. Maybe they have pedagogical beliefs that are in competition to the wider organisation or they seen to hold certain values that may not fit the particular status quo. Associated with this perspective, it is often claimed that there is no point ‘watering the rocks’. The solution for such a situation is to get another teacher. This time, the ‘right’ one.

The problem with picking the right teacher is that there is no definitive means of finding such a person. This right teacher implies that we are fixed in everything that we do and think. In addition to this, the ‘right’ teacher for today, may not be the ‘right’ teacher for tomorrow. Another alternative is to provide the conditions for the right teacher to develop and grow.

Focusing on the right conditions has its own challenges, the greatest being time and commitment. See this post from Paul Browning for some insight. The problem with implementing any technology, or pedagogical practice for that matter, is that they cannot simply be taken off the shelf and placed into a school, let alone a classroom. This is my concern about arguments around ‘best practice’. Too often they are picked up and placed in schools as panaceas, yet I have seen schools spend years forcing teachers to fall in line. When it comes to technology, the answer is often SAMR, with the question being why every teacher is not ‘redefining’ their practice, when ironically the idea of redefinition is continually changing.

The challenge seems to be to develop systems that begin with context, starting with the learners in mind. One way to do this is using something like the Modern Learning Canvas to create a picture of practice, which then starts a conversation that provides the means for teachers to take control of their on craft. This captures some of the complexity involved in the educational assemblages, where difference is celebrated and ideas are engaged with to make them better.

Claire Amos recently wondered whether schools have failed to show enough empathy in starting where the learners are. While in a post on innovation, Katie Martin suggests that schools that show the most movement are those that work around common goals and involve sharing strengths and weaknesses. Zachary Herrmann argues that if students are to flourish then it needs to start first with teachers flourishing first. Although this flourishing is often bottom-up, it is often made more possible when given the right conditions, a point made by Cameron Malcher in regards to the often unrecognised acts of leadership.


So what about you? How do you go about developing pedagogical practice? Are there teachers who just have it or are there things done that allow teachers to develop? As always, comments welcome.


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Productivity

“Productivity” by mrkrndvs is licensed under CC BY-SA

I have written about Trello before. Regarding supporting an instructional model and my workflow. However, I have written little about how it works or some of the different ways you can use it.

  1. Boards, Lists, Cards: Trello supports project management. It has several layers, starting with teams and collections, then boards. Once inside a Trello board, you can create multiple lists and cards. The proper model used to set up a board is the Kanban method, focusing on three lists: to do, doing and done. However, you can set a board up however you like. Once cards are created, they can easily be moved between different lists and archived when no longer required. Regarding a team situation, Trello allows you to work more transparently.
  2. Making Cards: There are four key elements to a card: description, attachments, checklists and comments. The descriptions and comments allow you to record regular information, and embed links and content. However, one of the most useful elements are checklists. You can either copy the checklist from another card or start your own.
  3. Filters: One thing you notice quickly with Trello is that things can get busy quick. One way of easing this is organising cards around members and tags. When you go to add members, you can add anyone within the team. Regarding tags, these are coloured and can be customised. I have used tags to sort between different focuses, however I also know people you use them to organise cards around priorities. Within the menu there is the means of filtering by both tags and cards.
  4. Collaboration: From a team point of view, Trello supports collaboration in several ways. The obvious way is to add someone as a member to a card. However, another way of connecting with others is by tagging people using their @username. This can be done in both comments and checklists. The other means of collaboration is sharing a link to a public board.
  5. Attachments: Whether it be from Google Drive, Microsoft Office, a PDF or a link from the web, cards provide a useful way of collecting together a range of items around a topic in one space. Attachments can be added directly or via a comment.
  6. Updates: Whether it be the checking off an item in the checklist or a comment being added, Trello provides several ways to update team members. When subscribed to a card, whole board or tagged into something, you are notified when things change. Initially this is through the application, but if unseen this summary is pushed out via email. Although you can not adjust what notifications are shown, there is the option within your personal settings to adjust the frequency to which you receive emails, with one option being never. For a different perspective, you can scroll through the various activities to see what has been happening. There is also the means of integrating updates into Slack, which can also be useful.
  7. Multiple Points of Access: Although the most obvious way of accessing Trello is via the web, there is a mobile application. This means you can add content and information wherever you are. Must of the functionality is the same across both platforms. However, there are elements such as filtering that are only  available on the web.
  8. Markdown: Regarding formatting, Trello allows you to use Markdown to change the text. One catch is that different fields involve different options. You can bold, use italics and add links. While for both comments and descriptions, you can add horizontal lines and block quotes, and regarding the description, there is the means of embedding images and adding headings. For a great introduction to Markdown, John Gruber provides a useful application which allows you to see what the markdown text would look like as HTML.
  9. Shortcut to Creating a Card: Whether it be using a Google Chrome extension or using  the email address associated with each board, there are different ways of adding to Trello. These can be useful when forwarding on various links and resources.
  10. Customisation: There are several ways to go further with Trello. This includes adding various power-ups, which often build on the APIs to help personalise how things work for your team. I must admit that these aspects are nuanced, but they provide other options none the less.

For more information, I recommend the following video to help get your head around everything.

On a side note, Trello was sold to Atlassian. The promise is that this will only make Trello better, but time will tell. It is also important to note the limits of ‘free’. Like with so many different applications, Trello provide access to a certain limit and then push you towards a premium model. The basic difference is that you can add larger file attachments and activate more Power-Ups.

So what about you? Have you used Trello? How? Or maybe you have used something different? As always, comments welcome.


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Not About the Tool? @peterskillen

“Not About the Tool? @peterskillen” by mrkrndvs is licensed under CC BY-SA

In a recent post, George Couros warned that technology in and of itself will not redefine education. Instead he argued that what really matters is agency. This got me thinking about all the things that get discussed as possible solutions. Maybe it is student action? Maybe relationships? Maybe passion? Maybe pedagogy? Maybe learning? Maybe trust? Maybe empathy? Maybe being a PIRATE? Or a champion? Or REAL? Maybe being based on evidence? Or being evidence-informed? These are just some of the solutions that seem ripe for the picking, but do they each in themselves redefine education?

On the question technology, I wonder if we need to reconsider what it might mean to talk about ‘technology’ and the ‘redefinition’ of education. I don’t think that the SAMR model has necessarily helped this. As Peter Skillen points out, the possibilities provided by technology have the ramification of inadvertently redefining the world that we exist in, whether we realise it or not.

Tools shape cognition. Tools shape societal structures in both intended, and unintended, ways.

The question then becomes about how technology changes things. It becomes a question of edtech ethics and technical democracy. For example, although a device like a Fitbit may provide instant feedback, that feedback in the form of data is a public commodity. Importantly seeing technology this way, it becomes a discussion about impact and influence. More importantly though it becomes a part of a wider conversation about education.

This all has me thinking, rather than worrying about the one thing, what if our focus was what constitutes a ‘good’ education? What if we considered choices more holistically? Although each part may play it’s part, maybe they all have some part to play in redefining schools of the future?

So what do you think in regards to schools of tomorrow? As always, comments welcome.


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Flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

One of the perks of my job is the opportunity to not only support a wide range of schools but also to see some of the awesome things that are already happening. Today I visited a school and in the process was shown around one of the most remarkable learning spaces that I have ever seen.

It would be easy to call it ‘a garden’, but it just feels like something more. Just as calling an innovative learning space a classroom sometimes misses something as it encompasses all of the most traditional notions.

With a strong focus on the environment and sustainability, the space included the following:

  • Fully fledged indoor kitchen, including a pizza oven and outdoor seating
  • An amphitheater built out of recycled materials, including tires
  • Huge water tanks that not only supporting the plants and waterway, but also the school toilets and sporting fields
  • A waterway meandering its way through the space
  • A wide range of wildlife, such as ducks, lizards, sheep, fish, turtles, and chickens.
  • Various plants, ranging from herbs, vegetable beds and fruit trees.
  • Organic waste used as fertilizer, including compost heaps, worm farms, and an aquaponics system.
  • Propagation of plants in a greenhouse.

What was most interesting to me was that the learning seemed to stem from the space, rather than dictating how the space was to be used. The space provides numerous opportunities and beginnings, whether it be lunchtime clubs, regular cooking, and gardening classes or teachers using the space in their own way to provoke learning. Whereas some learning opportunities dictate the environment, what stood out from the conversations was that learning often evolved put of the space.

This focus on the learning made me wonder about the possibility and potential of technology to further enable learning in such an environment. Some of the things that came to mind included:

  • Telling the Story: I am a big believer in documentation as a means of owning the learning. I think that it would be amazing having a collective blog bringing together all the different stories and updates in one place.
  • Automating Processes: I have lost count of the amount of apps that promise to teach you how to code. Yet to me there is nothing better than trying to solve a real life problem. Whether it be creating a time-lapse or collecting data with senses, I wonder about the potential of a Raspberry Pi to make this happen.
  • Showing the Story: I recently stumbled upon a 360 school tour. What struck about the experience was that you could watch it again and again, each time taking in a different perspective. As I walked around the outdoor space trying to take everything in, I could see the potential of a virtual tour.

I remember a few years ago there was a push in the school I was at to investigate permaculture. Beyond getting my head around the concept, one of the challenges at the time was imagining such a space. Today I saw such a space.

What about you? What dynamic spaces have you.been a part of? How was technology incorporated? As always, comments welcome.


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flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

I remember when I first came upon the work of Bruce Dixon. An article in Education Today titled ‘Whatever Happened to the Revolution?‘ was raised as evidence as to why educational technology had failed. What stood out then and what runs throughout Anywhere Anytime Learning is that it all comes back to planning, preparation and vision.

Written by Bruce Dixon and Susan Einhorn, the book is a compilation of their work with Anywhere Anytime Learning Foundation supporting schools with the integration of technology to aide learning. It is split into three sections: planning, implementation and resources. Planning encapsulates setting a vision, knowing what is possible and developing a culture of change. While implementation involves addressing the various steps and stakeholders that need to be considered.

Rather than a ready made ‘step-by-step methodology’, Dixon and Einhorn provide a framework that is as much about asking the right questions as anything else. As they explain:

This is not a textbook or a checklist. Nor is it an Ikea®-like set of instructions to build an easy-to-assemble 21st century school. This guide delves deep with the expectation that you and your team understand a transformation of this size takes effort and an investment of not only money, but time and commitment to an outcome that will be reflected in the learning experiences of your students, not simply as a number that reflects device ratio or density.

To support this commitment, the book is littered with a wide range of references and resources.

Anywhere Anytime Learning could easily have been a tome full of solutions, instead it is priceless provocation providing the starting point to a collegiate conversation. Many of the ideas seem to be common sense, however they are all collected in one place. The strength in the end is that it is one of those resources you could come back to again and again to support further investigation and inquiry. To me, it is the one book which every technology integrator, let alone school leader, should read and reflect on.


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flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

In a recent post, Diane Kashin shared a series of quotes associated with Reggio-inspired learning. After being inspired and provoked, it got me thinking about technology and provocations that could be used to help dig deeper into digital pedagogies. This lead me back to my collection of links housed in Diigo, as well as various visual quotes kept in Flickr. So here then is a collection of images to get you thinking deeper about technology:

Why Technology Alone Won’t Fix Schools


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

In this extract from Geek Heresy published in The Atlantic, Kentaro Toyama makes that point that technology merely amplifes pre-existenting pedagogical capacity and only emphasises differences in wealth and achievement.

Why Coding is the Vanguard for Modern Learning


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

In a response to the debate about coding, Richard Olsen makes an attempt reposition the way we see coding and why it truly matters. I wrote a response here.

Invent to Learn


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

In their book Invent to Learn, Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager unpack everything from Project Based Learning, to Reggio Emilia, to makerspaces, to coding, all with the focus on learning through the act of making.

Parents: Reject Technology Shame


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

In her post in the Atlantic, Alexandra Samuel argues that there are three distinct styles of digital parenting: limiters, mentors and enablers. I wrote a post wondering if the same distinctions could be applied to teachers.

(Digital) Identity in a World that No Longer Forgets


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license
In this post, Alec Couros and Katia Hilderbrandt ask the wicked question about life when we are no longer able to forget. There answer, empathy.

Visitors and Residents


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

In response to Marc Prensky’s notion of native verses immigrant, David White and Alison Le Cornu put forward an alternative with the idea of visitors and residents.

Computers in Education – Great Machines, Wrong Results


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license 

A central figure behind Wolfram Alpha and Wolfram Mathworld, Conrad Wolfram questions the way we use technology.

Delayed Gratification


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

A continual inspiration in regards to play and experiential learning, Adrian Camm highlights the importance of developing resilience and moderation, rather simply banning devices like Sydney Grammar.

Creative Learning is Relational


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

In this post exploring creativity, Tom Barrett provides an explanation for social bookmarking as a means of resurfacing ideas.

Scaling Creativity and Innovation


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

In his book exploring the idea of creativity and innovation, David Culberhouse outlines the challenges associated with being a connected educator. Along with The Changing Face of Modern Leadership, Culberhouse’s books are a useful resource for addressing education in an ever connected world.

Curation as a Tool for Teaching and Learning


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

Along with Robin Good’s post, Heather Baille’s essay offers an excellent discussion of all things curation and its place within education.

Too Big To Know


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

In the book that produced the saying that the smartest person in the room is the room, David Weinberger provides the warning that being in the room is not enough. It is what you do that actually matters.

OPEN


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

In his book on the modern world, David Price coined the notion of ‘SOFT’. Central to this is the power of sharing.

From Master Teacher to Master Learner


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In his book From Master Teacher to Master Learner, Will Richardson provides an outline for what is required with modern learning.

Why I’m Giving up on Creative Commons on YouTube


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

In a post aimed at Youtube’s confusing CC licences, Eddie Kai highlights the purpose of such licences and where this has gone wrong.

How to Get a Job at Google


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license
In an article exploring modern employability skills, Thomas Friedman explains what you need to do to get a job at Google.

Revolution or Encouragement?


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In a response to Will Richardson’s post, Dean Shareski argues that what is needed is not revolution, but support for those already doing great things.

The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies


flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license

In the book summarising his work with digital literacies, Doug Belshaw addresses everything from what constitutes technology to how we actually define literacy. I wrote an extended response here.

A Bicycle of the Mind


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Reflecting on the place of iPads in teaching and learning, Chris Betcher makes the call to let students actually utilise technology.

Smarter Than You Think


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In an extract from his book Smarter Than You Think, Clive Thompson suggests that even the worst bloggers are making us smarter by working openly in the connection of different ideas.

Keeping Teens Private on Facebook Won’t Protect Them


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Like Adrian Camm, danah boyd argues that instead of worrying about locking teens into protected communities, rather our concern should be about integrating them constructively into the wider web. This is a message carried through her book It’s Complicated.

On Best Behaviour- Three Golden Rules for Ethical Cyber Citizenship


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Although there is some dispute about the application of Kant’s transcendental principles, David Tuffley’s post provides an interesting take on digital citizenship.

Inequality and BYOD


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George Couros touches on one of the biggest challenges associated with technology, that is how we use it. This is a

What the Net Did Next


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Taken from danah boyd’s book It’s Complicated, this quote from Vint Cerf sums up much of the challenge with technology, that it is how and why we use the internet that needs to be questioned.


Here then is a collection of quotes that I have come upon. They may not be the most quotable, rather they are those moments that stood out to me as I read. So what about you, what are some of the quotes you draw on to help stretch your understanding of technology. As always, comments welcome.


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I received a request today for any research that could be used to show how ICT is improving student outcomes? To me, this is such a complicated problem. Firstly, what is a ‘student outcome’? Secondly, technology is a tool used to support learning, not something that can necessarily be measured in and of itself. The question then to be considered is what outcomes do you measure in order to ascertain the impact of technology? Here then is my list of possibilities:

  • Engagement: This is often the first place that people go to. Maybe this focuses on whether they associate with learning or participate. However, as David Price highlights, measuring it is not always obvious. That is, it is not always seen, not simply about test scores or having fun. Seymour Papert touches on this when he suggests that learning should involve ‘hard fun‘, where learning is difficult, rather than easy.
  • School Connectedness: This is often a barometer used in surveys like Attitudes to School. However, although such measurement is useful when it comes to well-being, it is not so obvious when it comes to technology.
  • Collaboration and Problem Solving: This is popular when it comes to 21st century learning and has received considerable focus, particularly from the ATC21s group. The challenge is often capturing the different facets of cooperative learning and where technology sits in this.
  • Learning Agency: Like engagement and connectedness, what agency means can be different for different people. Claire Amos has provided a detailed guide for introducing agency. In first place, she argues for one-to-one access, although how you differentiate this from the rest of the list I am not sure.
  • Creativity: Sir Ken Robinson describes this as “putting your imagination to work”. However, like collaboration and problem solving, this can be hard to pin down, especially in relation to tools and technology.
  • Digital Citizenship: Often people argue we should use technology as a model for life. An example of this is provided by Alec Couros and Katia hildebrandt in their digital citizenship curriculum for the Saskatchewan Schools District. Much of this is also included within the new Digital Technologies curriculum, with more focus on how technology works. Although tools like David White and Alison Le Cornu’s mapping of the web from in regards to residents and visitors provide a useful point of reflection, they do not necessarily demonstrate specific learning growth.

In the end though the problem that still exists beyond what to measure is the questions of how is the technology actually used and why. A more fruitful approach is to enter develop a holistic action research project incorporating the ioi process. Instead, people commit themselves to frameworks like SAMR to guide them. In addition to this, the reality is that a school further on the road towards normalisation is going to have more success with technology, than one at the beginning of its journey. Importantly, Mal Lee points out that,

Until school principals are of a mind to transform ‘their’ school the staff and the school’s community have little likelihood of changing the status quo.

The problem though as Paul Tozer points out is that at present, with the focus on NAPLAN and VCE, moving into the digital realm is not always a priority.

For those interested, here is a list of research, presentations and publications shared online:

As always, comments, links and suggestions welcome.


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