Thursday, November 23, 2006

Learning in the Future

The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."----Alvin Toffler

I've been thinking about last week's link to the texting (txtng) article. Actually I've been thinking about texting and cell phones for a while. A lot of our senior and not so senior boys have them and of course we ban them from use in class. "Keep them in the bottom of your bag!"

Is this what we should be doing?

Aren't they a widely used communication tool which in fact we should be helping children use effectively and appropriately? Isn't teaching about appropriate use a better way than banning and zealous confiscation?? As phones get smarter, it is likely they will be able to be used for more purposes than text or voice communication. My phone lets me browse the internet and check my email and it's a cheapie! Maybe we should encourage children to use the technology appropriately and in a way which benefits their education. Rather than assigningt them the same status as chewing gum.

If you disagree, let me know (!) but also read some of the articles below which discuss the emerging shape of the learning environment.

As little as we know about the future for which we are preparing our students, it is clear that it will be a place that is governed by information. Accessing, processing, building with, and communicating that information will be a major part of our daily personal and professional tasks.

Being literate in this future will certainly involve the ability to read, write, and do basic arithmetic. However, the concept of literacy in the 21st century will be far richer and more comprehensive than the 3 Rs of the one room school house.
Building Digital Communication Skills for the 21st-Century Workforce

Classroom of the Future??? The virtual worlds of Second Life

Or how about this concept. Think about it for a few minutes. The thought that putting 9 year olds in a class of 9 year olds encourages them to think like a 9 year old whereas putting them in charge of a Zoo in a Zoo Tycoon makes them think like.... Very much like what Dorothy Heathcote was trying to achieve through role play. Could there be something in it??

The quote below prefaces an article in Edutopia called: Take a Chance . . . Let Them Dance Well worth a read!

"I heard a great story recently about a six-year-old girl in a drawing lesson. The teacher said this little girl hardly ever paid attention in class, but during this lesson she did. The teacher was fascinated. She asked the girl, "What are you drawing?" And the girl said, "I'm drawing a picture of God." The teacher said, "But nobody knows what God looks like." The girl said, "They will in a minute."

One reason for using Google Safesearch:

Our school internet browsers default to Google safesearch. If you don't use safesearch and look for information on Martin Luther King, the second site in the Google rankings is - looks ok from the url but is in fact a site maintained by White supremacists and is fundamentally evil. Now, most of our children will be using this version of Google at home. This is why we need to put enrgy and time into getting children to think about where they are sourcing information and critically analyse and verify what they find. BEWARE!

Moviemaking online here!
Online video editing

An interesting use for google earth! Try it. Anyone got a house shaped like a question mark?

And what do you think should be the 7 wonders of the modern world. Vote now before they decide on 7 July 2007

Blog of the Week:

Russell Brown's long running blog

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Web 3.0 and other stuff

Have a look at the picture above. What do you think it is?

This week's blog is titled Web 3.0 although most of us are still grappling with Web 2.0. I will be doing some intensive sessions on blogs in and out of the classroom in January; but meanwhile have a look at the article on Web 3.0 below.

CNN picked up on the news article that NZ students be allowed to use txt speak in NCEA exams. What do you think?

Another take on young'uns He's talking about young people and newspapers, but he could be talking about young people and education.

So Web2.0 is all about Blogs Pods and Wikis and reading and writing - what's Web 3.0? This article suggests it's where the web gets smart. No more sifting through 10 million hits... A Web guided by Common Sense..

Do not be afraid! Needs to be read by any baby boomer feeling technologically challenged.

Social bookmarking. Everyone keeps their favourites, but if you want to share hyour bookmarks - you know - sharing caring web! - one site you can use is . Have a look. I have a Wellesley bookmark site here. If you want to share a site let me know. Another web 2.0 application really, and I can imagine a class having its own site for sharing bookmarks related to wotk being done.

Papers from the Future Schools online conference

I like this - original advertising idea:

And if you are sick of email spam, here's a list of some of the people who are sending it to you.

#1 in a new series: Blog of the week:

Dishwashing 101 (sigh!)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Space Boggles

I know I have used this Carl Sagan quote before, but it relates well to the two links below.

'We live on a hunk of rock and metal that circles a humdrum star that is one of 400 billion other stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy which is one of billions of other galaxies which make up a universe which may be one of a very large number, perhaps an infinite number, of other universes. That is a perspective on human life and our culture that is well worth pondering.'

I used the first of the links below with my maths group this week and it generated a very good discussion - some maths, some science, some philosophical.

It is really worth waiting for it to load up and viewing it - gives you a real appreciation of your place in the general scheme of things.......

Images from Hubble or alternatively, a tiny glimpse.

Interesting Websites:

Rona Books Blog [Eastbourne Book Shop]

African Art from the Jean Pigozzi Collection.

After watching the video clip above, you might want to do use the NASA Kid's Club with you class.

Maths Problem Solving.

Try Thinking Blocks online

Google has an educators area with lots of resources for teachers. Google for Educators

Oracle Education Foundation sponsor Thinkquest 2007 an international website competition for students from 9 to 19 years. Worth a look, but so are the archived Thinkquests from previous years. Great online learning modules. For example here's maths. More general catalogue here. This is such a fantastic resource!

Exploratorium site on Ancient writings featuring Archimedes. Another great Archimedes site here.