Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Students in Qatar discuss the Horizon Project

This podcast started as a discussion based on the Horizon Project keynote 2008, given by Don Tapscott last week. However the Grade 10 class 'strayed a little' into also discussing and reflecting on the Horizon Project so far and their experiences with it.

Could I also commend one of our partner classrooms in the project, Glenbrook Academy for International Studies in Illinois, and their teacher's Chris Morgan and Ryan Bretag, for organising this wonderful student podcast in response to the keynote last week, 'Our discussion and Don Tapscott's keynote'. I really enjoyed hearing the student responses.

Summary of Qatar Academy student podcast along with the questions/conversation starters that I used to promote discussion -
1. Don mentions that the changes we are seeing are not about the technology but about the change in relationship between teachers and students in the learning process. What changes have you seen? What changes do you want to see?
Interestingly the use of email as a communication tool between teachers and students is relatively new at Qatar Academy. The students are finding it a great way to reach out to teachers, submit work and be in touch. We also discussed evolving this into using IM across the school aas well as the implications of developing a school-wide Ning
2. In Wikinomics Don refers to 'our network being our filter'. Do you have a network to support your learning? How important is your learning network?
This was a difficult question for the class. The concept of having a personal learning network and using peers as filters is still quite out there, however some responses indicated an understanding of the concept and practice.
We digressed here into a discussion about the intensity and distractive nature of being online and how we can all discipline ourselves to be focussed and not waste time.
3. How important is it to you to be a creator of information? How can we turn that information into knowledge and what 21st century skills do we need to do this?
The importance of originality and collaboration and the way these can enhance creativity.
4. What is one aspect of the Horizon Project that you find exciting?
Communicating, exploring technology, collaboration in general to create something new.
The revelation that Social Operating Systems actually has meaning in the real world!
Creating a wiki page with other people, interacting with them.
Peer relations. An interesting blog on the Ning about sleep that was shared by another student. The fact that everyone is different and unique and being able to interact helps us understand these differences.
5. What is one aspect of the Horizon Project that you find threatening or difficult to do?
Uncertainty of what to do in the project, time-zone difficulties, being on the Ning everyday for updates, the pressures of being a Project Manager and keeping everyone on track.
Project Managers need more training before the project starts
7. In 20 years from now what do you think the 6 emerging trends in educational technology will be?
Social networking within the school
Evolution of Facebook .....it will not exist
Connecting people through the network even more - education and business online
Use of devices to facilitate learning and communication
E-books will be prominent, purchase books online.

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1 comment:

Clifton Standard Six said...

A wonderful validation of the work being done at QA, Julie. The thoughtful responses of the students, and their clear commitment to their work is most impressive. Thank you for sharing the podcast. Nerine Chalmers