Posts Tagged “learning”

No, not me… although I might give it a go soon…

Five Things I've Learned

“Showcasing great examples of the best in education, Five Things I’ve Learned is a collection of personal reflections from education leaders devoted to improving the fortunes of others through learning.”

These are great insights from some smart people.  Have a look.  You’ll be glad you did.

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Last night I was at an open evening at my kid’s primary school.  Their work was on display and I was finding out what the ‘not much’ and ‘nothing’ they do all day is.

Two things struck me.  The first that there seems to be little room for initiative.  I mean real initiative beyond using a  different colour for something.  Castles, islands, knights, maps… all slightly different but essentially the same.

You get good marks for meeting the set criteria.

Seth Godin talks about this:

Compliance is simple to measure, simple to test for and simple to teach. Punish non-compliance, reward obedience and repeat.

Initiative is very difficult to teach to 28 students in a quiet classroom. It’s difficult to brag about in a school board meeting. And it’s a huge pain in the neck to do reliably.

Schools like teaching compliance. They’re pretty good at it.

On the wall in each class was a chart asking parents the elements they think should be present to make the school a successful learning environment.

It was an interesting list and I wish I had taken a quick photo of it.  Coherent curriculum, rewarding success, respect, justice….

and also creativity, transferring skills, initiative…

I put my stars there.  But I was almost the only one.  Most parents preferred compliance.

I wonder if church is the same?

‘That’s not how we do that’  ‘That’s so-and-so’s job’  ‘We tried that once and it didn’t work’  ‘This is what the parable means’

Are we teaching compliance?  It is easier after all.

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Sir Ken Robinson talks about his new book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything in the film of a talk at the RSA below.The book dropped onto my doormat yesterday morning and I’m really looking forward to reading it.  But for now have a look at a man who has clearly found his passion talking about how others can be helped to find theirs, and why that matters.

For further and probably much more informed thought than you will get here have a read at Ewan’s great post on the issues raised in the book.

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You know that there are loads of cool new webtools around but you forget where they are, who they might suit or what situation they might be useful in?

Well college@home have a very helpful list of 100 Helpful Web Tools for Every Kind of Learner.

What is great about the list is the ‘every kind of learner’ bit.  The 100 tools are listed under learning preferences so you can see quickly which of your young people / group / you / whoever might enjoy using the tools.

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I’ve decided to use the other blog I’ve had lying around doing nothing for a year to record my research and reflect a bit more on my Masters in Research.  I’ve written a little about it here and will still post things that are relevant to my work but I think keeping a separate blog might help me to focus a bit more on the one area, using digital tools to engage in and enhance learning of young people.

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Jack and I have been talking technology today. More later…

Sorry John…

I spent the morning talking about how the college (Scottish Congregational College) could make use of some of the very nice free tools that are around now to enable the college and its learners to share their thoughts, their work and communicate.

We like the look of PBWiki (a free wiki that is set up for education), Buzzword (free online word processor so students can collaborate on projects)  and Skype (the free video /audio / phone thing).

We talked Moodle for a bit but I have to admit I don’t know that much about how to host it, although I’m thinking that the nice big server sitting in the office might be able to double up as a  web server (is that nonsense?).  I think having a go with PBWiki is probably the best way to start and when we get to the point where we need more features or I get a chance to use it in another context (news of that soon) then we’ll have another think.

Suggestions, help and general comment would be great!

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If you read this blog regularly you’ll know I’m doing a masters in research.  I’ve come to the point where I need to decide what I’m going to research!

Any ideas?  I was thinking something to do with church youth work and technology use.  Would that be helpful?  Does anyone care?  What would be the point of knowing if and how churches use technology in their informal education with young people?

Any help gratefully received!!!

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