Tag Archives: Technology

Changing Education Paradigms … Online Digital Communites?

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This is one of my favourite videos on Youtube and Ken Robinson is an amazing speaker. I love how the animation on this video clarifies what is being talked about. I am definitely a visual learner.This video will make you think.

I was reminded of this video talking to a friend about the virtues of blogging, how technology and education are changing and why our school ‘needs’ to be a virtual online community. It got me thinking just how much technology and its presence in education has changed even just in the past 10 years. I’d consider myself to be pretty young, heck, I was at school taking my GCSES just 10 years ago and the most digital my school was was in the form of a website. Facebook didn’t even really exist then. At least I don’t remember it being so. Perhaps it was but considering Facebook has over 350 millions users today (and who knows how many by next month), that’s huge.  I only got my first mobile phone at 15. Now it seems everybody has one and not just any phone, a smartphone most probably, capable of doing a zillion things … internet, instant messenging, satnav, bluetooth, Twitter. Things are changing so fast, where will we be as a society be in just 2 or 3 years? How will education change? Will most schools be online, with ehubs and digital communities? Is it as important as it seems to be? Will it be as valuable as it seems to be right now? Is it all hype? I’m not even kidding you, today when I used the ‘Clean My Mac’ application on my MAC, it asked me if I wanted to ‘Tweet’ my result! Why on earth would I want to do this? And why would anybody care to know the results of whether my MAC was clean?! Really, ridiculous. How much of what we post online is meaningless or excessive?

When I consider the work I do each work at school in terms of communication with parents with Newsletters, Friday Feedbacks, creating videos of my students and class to share with my parents on Youtube, email reminders …  I feel confused. I love sharing our news with them. I don’t mind putting in all of the effort (most of the time!) but how much do they really read? They get infobytes, Infoflashes, ‘The Buzz’, letters home, emails about important notifications almost daily.. how much do they need and how much do they actually read? Is it information overload? Can all of my parents understand what I write, considering most of them speak English as a second or third language? Is the job of a teacher to be an online narrator, a digital citizen? How many teachers out there are not technology savvy? Some teachers surely will not feel comfortable with using technology so profusely. Will these teachers be judged in their future by their ability to use technology? Surely the main function of a teacher is to teach?

I, myself consider myself savvy enough with technology to be able to use IT effectively. I use Imovie regularly to create movies of my students. I can set up and use a blog. If I need to figure something out, I can work it out on the computer. I am looking forward to beginning my class blog .. it will simplify what I am already doing and everything will be on one site. I am looking forward to being creative, to sharing our class community to those who matter … but I keep wondering where will these changing technologies take us?