Thursday, September 06, 2007

Recently I was in a Grade 3/4 classroom discussing the possibility of setting up some new blogs and adding them to the class wiki. As part of the activity we decided to explore the blogs of other students in other schools. My purpose was to have students consider why we blog and to hopefully see their value. One of the student blogs we looked at used an avatar that moved and spoke and looked pretty cool. Thinking I would be teaching something new I asked if the students knew what an avatar was and to my surprise some students not only knew what they were but had created them. A little further probing revealed that they had been taught how to create an avatar by older siblings. It made me wonder what else they knew how to do (many of them knew about myspace and youtube) and once again it forced me to consider the challenge we all have as teachers to keep up with the changes that are occurring in our students lives even as we read this article.

Talk about the Being green activity. Planning with skype

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ubiquitous technology

When I went to South Korea earlier this year to run a workshop in Intel Teach Thinking with Technology I remember talking with one of the participants about the notion of ubiquitous technology. At the time I really had no idea what he meant and he explained that it was the notion that technology will become such a part of our lives that it will sit in the background working for us; available to us at anytime, anywhere.
The reason I thought of this conversation is that I am presently travelling on a school bus with Year 8 students from Wedderburn College going down to the Pixar 20 Years of Animation display at ACMI in Federation Square. While travelling I've logged into the internet via a wireless connection which means that I can do a little bit of work (or blogging) as we head to Melbourne. Every second kid on the bus is texting friends and family and we are listening to music via an FM transmitter that one of the kids has brought on their Ipod.
Serendipidously (it seems to happen to me alot) I was reading John Pearce's blog and one of his posts was about m-learning called Today Two Years is Tout d'abord in which he discussed in part his progress along the continuum of ICT capabilities. He concluded that in some sense he wasn't as far along as he thought when comparing himself to Alex Hayes a senior Education Officer with TAFE NSW who writes about m-learning in a very interesting presentation that he is presenting at a conference in Canberra very shortly. According to WikiPedia as of August 22nd 2007, M-Learning is "learning that happens across locations or that takes advantage of learning opportunities offered by portable technologies"
Check it out here:

But Alex's point made me think again about the fact that ubiquitous technology, m-Learning or whatever you want to call it is changing the way we work, think, communicate, share, talk, learn, manage, reflect. But has it yet changed the way we teach???? I think in your case John, the answer is a resounding yes.