Learner Orientation

The latest of CORE's Ten Trends has just been released, focusing on the issue of placing the learner at the centre of all decision making and activity in our education system.  A learner oriented system requires reversing the “logic” of education systems so that they are built around the learner, rather than the learner being required to fit with the system. The video above is available on EdTalks, and provides a useful introduction to the issue – great for use in staff meetings or other gatherings of educators interested in re-conceptualising how our educational institutions and programmes may better serve the … Continue reading Learner Orientation

Thinking about engagement…

It's official… excellent teachers, supported by gifted and visionary school leaders, keep students engaged in the learning process and hopeful about their future. These are two of the crucial outcomes the recent Gallup Student Poll measures. I was speaking with a school principal yesterday who is working to develop his school's strategic focus for next year. Placing student achievement as the overarching priority for the school, his focus moved to student engagement as the critical success factor for the cohort in his school. Our discussion then moved to what the indicators of engagement might be that he and his staff could … Continue reading Thinking about engagement…

The conflict continues…

It had to happen… after decades of pursuing 'modern learning practices' in developed nations, the pendulum appears to be swinging (in the UK at least) back to adopting the age-old approach of 'chalk and talk' as the pedagogical approach of choice. And the reason – that this is the approach found in China where the students are achieving on average at a higher rate than their western counterparts.  It all seems a quite straight forward argument really – particularly when eminent educational researchers are quoted thus.., Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham … Continue reading The conflict continues…

Murdoch: education failing

Here's a gem from Digital Learning Now with the text of News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch's address to the e-G8 Forum in Paris on 24th may this year. Murdoch urged Internet companies to pull out the stops in developing digital education programmes to revolutionise the world's classrooms, complaining that pupils are still condemned to dreary "Victorian-age" classrooms despite the potential of the web for revolutionising education. I haven't often felt aligned with what this chap has had to say, but there's some compelling stuff in this talk. He holds nothing back, accusing schools of being the last holdout … Continue reading Murdoch: education failing

Pedagogically driven…?

Over the past few¬† years I’ve frequently heard the comments; “It’s not about the technology, it’s about the pedagogy”, or in relation to the advent of ultrafast broadband; “we’ve got to drive it from the teaching and learning.” These are well intended sentiments, but why is it that the technology still dominates much of the discussion, and so often becomes the starting point by default? And just what do we mean by letting the teaching and learning lead? How would you explain that to someone outside of education – or, for that matter, someone inside? I’ve been thinking about this … Continue reading Pedagogically driven…?

School has OSS success!

Very pleasing to see the latest Education Gazette featuring a story about Albany Senior High School and the success of their decision to run all of their school’s computers on open source software. I had the privilege of being involved with the school during its establishment phase and know just how much of a challenge it presented to principal Barbara Cavanagh and her senior team, including Mark Osborne, DP in charge of ICT and the person who has driven this process. The challenges weren’t just the technical ones. Some of the biggest challenges came through the change that the use … Continue reading School has OSS success!

Using ICTs to support the key competency development

ICT and the Key Competencieshttp://static.slideshare.net/swf/ssplayer2.swf?doc=competenciesict-090323153852-phpapp02&stripped_title=ict-and-the-key-competencies View more presentations from dwenmoth. I was in Reporoa last week speaking to staff from five different secondary schools involved in an EHSAS contract about the ways ICTs can be used to support the development of key competencies as described in the New Zealand Curriculum. I’ve included my presentation above and embedded in the “Presentations” tab on my blog. The ideas I shared are very practical, and draw heavily on web2.0 tools and other online applications that can be easily accessed by students from home or wherever they have access to the internet – so … Continue reading Using ICTs to support the key competency development

Ten Trends at Learning@School09

The Learning@School conference is rollicking along in Rotorua at the moment, with keynote speaker on day one, Andy Hargreaves, setting the scene with challenges to us all about the need to take account of the whole context and culture of our school when considering change and development. Pam Hook had the audience spell-bond also with her “Hooked on Thinking” ideas and strategies. Unfortunately for me I am missing the conference, and have had to rely on my Twitter feeds, text messages and the odd call to keep me posted. Having made it to the opening of the conference I’ve had … Continue reading Ten Trends at Learning@School09

Personalising learning and collaboration

I’ve just spent the day in Wellington at various MoE meetings – a couple of long term projects kept surfacing, the Ministry’s Personalising Learning initiative and the work of the Virtual Learning Network – both are things I’m pretty passionate about, and in an interesting way, both are inextricably linked. writing for the national College of School Leadership in the UK, Charles Leadbetter explores the link between personalised learning and collaboration in a publication titled “The Shape of Things to Come“. I’ve found this publication very helpful in the development of my own thinking. As I’ve participated in the development … Continue reading Personalising learning and collaboration

The Power of Presence and Portability

I’ve been reflecting a bit on my experiences here in Malaysia this morning – particularly in terms of what it has meant for me in terms of working away from my home and family for extended periods of time, and have realised just important a number of the technologies that I now take for granted are to me. For instance, on my computer my Skype and iChat windows automatically open when my computer is switched on, thus I have to make a conscious decision NOT to work with them running rather than the other way around. This provides me with … Continue reading The Power of Presence and Portability