Thanks Jeff for the link to Marc Prensky’s article. These 4 lines are killing me:
- Doing old things in old ways.
- Doing old things in new ways.
- Doing new things in new ways.
Prior to doing this course I would have thought that 3 out 4 is pretty good. NEW THINGS IN NEW WAYS?? Impossible. Every good idea I have ever had has been totally stolen/borrowed from someone else. Ok… maybe with a little bit of the “everything is a remix” mentality as there may some subtle tweaks but essentially it’s not new.
I LOVE THE CHALLENGE.
So what might be a model that a school could use to get to the final stage of new things new ways? Below I have listed some of the attributes that I find helpful in my own environment. As always, the purpose is most definitely not to blow our own trumpet but the aim is to put it out there and gather feedback so the cycle can continue.
1. RESOURCES: We have them. Not just the hardware but also the people power that goes with maintaining a successful 1:1 program
2.FREE AND OPEN ACCESS: The number of blogs that I read with complaints about not being able to use various tools available because they are blocked is frightening. We of course have a web filter that pops up when inappropriate material is detected but the general consensus is if it’s on the web you can use it.
cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Stuck in Customs
3. PEOPLE: We are lucky enough to have the services of rockstar digital technology teachers. They are very talented and work very hard. They have no classes to speak of but are literally a learning support teacher for EVERYONE (staff and students). There are some very important aspects to their job that makes the model of integration we have successful. THEY DON’T FIX COMPUTERS. Whilst they probably could, the function of these coaches is to help staff integrate technology throughout the school. They come to planning meetings and listen and suggest ideas to incorporate into a unit or lesson. They actively train staff in the latest web 2.0 tools and offer to support the implementation in classes. The model of coaches I believe stems from the primary school model where having these coaches attend year level meetings and Unit of Inquiry planning sessions meant that it was ALMOST team teaching.
This has a number of benefits. It takes the focus OFF the technology. The core of every session is related to learning experiences and providing quality educational experiences for students. It is not about what fancy piece of flash software can we use to make everyone sit around a marvel at amazing sites. If the technology doesn’t fit don’t use it. No point in using technology for technology sake.
Whilst having these coaches has meant that across the board general technolgy skills have been lifted so has the CULTURE of the use of digital technology. Hence we have so many people interested in the COETAIL course.
Of course this is luxurious for most schools but I have to say that I am happy with this model of integration. In the process of checking that digital standards were being met I believe that these coaches, given the position that they are in, would be able to ensure that across every year level those standards were being met in classrooms, not computer labs.
Back to the new things new ways? I want to set this up in a school. Cool prezi but the idea of creativity at the core of innovation for this design school is one that I think should be happening in schools very soon (and probably is).