Kaos and Control

The second session I attended at this conference was a workshop exploring the level of control (Internet filtering, access to phones and other devices etc) and the consequences for the classroom and beyond . There seem to be as many approaches as there are schools. It returns us to the basic questions about how much structure you put around students to enable/encourage/expect/demand appropriate behaviors. The preferred approach needs to link in to the (changing) culture of the entire school community. My thinking on this tends more toward an “open access” approach where the students have to take more responsibility for managing their own appropriate use of ICTresources. BUT, this has to be achieved through a carefully negotiated social contract involving parents, students and the school within the broader social/legal framework we operate in. Do you help students learn appropriate behavours by filtering out innapropriate ones during school hours? Or are you just displacing the problems so that they occur elsewhere? I can hear these questions echoing through centuries of education.

Presentation 2: Why Bother with Social Media

In this session I look at why we should seriously consider Social Media. Yes Facebook, Twitter etc often has a bad name but as Ross has stressed it is not the tool that is the problem. Brother Michael Green in the latest MSA Newsletter said:

—”As Educators we (should) intuitively go into the territory of the young, because it’s where they are”
Yet for many reasons most teachers just do not want to go where the students are. This session looked at safe “closed doors” social media solutions so you can encourage student engagement and learning in a social media environment that is safe.

First keynote Ian Jukes


A thought provoking talk. Jukes presented a passionate case for matching activities to the needs of the “digital generation” re:
1. Speed of interaction. DigGen are conditioned to much faster exposure to info, higher frequency of decision making and action plus instant feedback
2. Visual learning : highly developed visual spatial skills?
Light and sound trained rather than text trained
Shift from Written to visual info processing
3. Different reading strategies
DigGen scan text in F pattern starting at bottom of page
Trad readers scan in z pattern
Social comment on use of media to meet belonging needs:
Digital social experience and connectedness and involvement
Resources worth looking at:
Some familiar themes but the fluency project is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Teaching and learning in the digital age reflections…

Friday 15, June 2012
This quote seems so relevant to adjusting to the ever changing “digital learning technologies” as a teacher in the “digital age” (note to self don’t use the now redundant term “21stC learning”… It’s so last decade…)it even applies to the WiFi not working as fast as I want!

“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life.”

— Mary Manin Morrissey