Moblogged Thursday NECC06
I love Gary Stager and just needed another dose of inspiration from him to lead me into the next academic year.
Gary has been leading PD in Australia and the USA for 16+ years. He has a programming background and a general fascination with the potential of technology to improve learning and thinking about thinking (My comment: De Bono's Blue Hat). Uses the word 'computing' as a verb.
Quote from Daniel Hillis: The Magic of Computing, The Pattern on the Stone
Gary intends to share his vision and focus on what kids DO with computers
Handouts for this session: www.stager.org/necc06
Articles available on Stager website: Learner and Student outcomes, 1:1 School self-assessment
What is the world like for the children who have not entered school yet??
Laptops: time, appropriation, ownership (kids will always exceed expectations if given time)
Instruction vs Construction
Problem: we do not have a language for what we believe or a way to communcate it
Liberation vs Maintenance of the Status Quo
Convey one idea today in particular!! Not a program pilot program etc implies failure
Should everyone learn programming?? Well, we all learn Haiku.
A Learning Renaissance (1989-1995) after this schools came online and imagination with use changed
False assumption: Computers are hard and worthy of study (why are teachers afraid of computers??)
Rational response to computer literacy: Anna and her Nanna (cross-generation learning), A hole in the wall (India), Giant Pandas get broadband (BBC article!)
Why is the computer the only medium worthy of suspicion? (Where is the evidence that SmartBoards are improving learning??)
Why laptops: See Gary's website for the usual rhetoric. But not a matter IF but WHEN for ubiquitous computing.
Three kinds of laptop schools:
- The pioneers e.g. David Lauder and MLC in Melbourne
- The marketeers
- Their neighbors
We need to:
- have the courage to share a more compelling vision
- change everything
- reduce the dominance of information in our rhetoric
- and a lot more.........see the handouts
Rhetoric shifted from construction to information
The real power of the Internet:
- Democratisation of publishing
- Unprecedented opportunites for collaboration
Widespread availability of construction material: what we DO with computers (digital devices, mobile devices)
Need constructive learning software: e.g. microworlds
Authentic problems, real construction materials: e.g. historical speech downloaded from Internet and multi-tracked with music/sound effects using Audacity
Raising the bar on kindergarten (robotics with young children)
Computationally-rich learning: LEGO and building a phonograph
Step-by-step curriculum is not needed when you have time and tools to be constructive
Gateway to literacy: building a vending machine that detects temperature...subsequent communication with Coca Cola....
Authentic problems, real construction materials: Gingerbread house with music and lighting
Composing music: able to realise it instantly using technology tools
New opportunities for musical performance and composition e.g Melissa Higgins came from a laptop school
Gary's ultimate message as I see it: technology makes learning in different ways possible. We should not be restricted by standards and compulsory testing. We should not be restricted by strict timetables and we should be providing access to tools when they are needed. Put the needs of the children and the constructive curriculum first...doing comes first.
Final message: Make memories and define your own teachable moments! (my paraphrase)
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