In a recent email, from one of my Diigo groups, I saw the follwing site bookmarked: Be Very Afraid.
On the BVA (Be Very Afraid) site “Prof. Stephen Heppell and his team bring together some of the best examples of Digital Creativity from schools, colleges and Higher Education in the South East (UK).”
You will see that along the top of the page there are links to the various year’s events. BVA1 thru BVA5. I have only looked at about 1/2 the videos available for viewing. There are some very amazing examples of schools using technology to support student learning. It is worthwhile spending time watching these videos from all the various years.
Each year Dr Stephen Heppell also does a reflective summary at the end. These are on the website, but can also be found on YouTube. Here is the one from 2008
Do have a look at some of the videos, you will be inspired.
It is the end of the week and I have begun a number of posts that are still drafts. The topics include my thoughts on Twitter and also Cloud computing and what they offer, if anything, to the world of education and libraries.
I have been considering the use I make of the different digital and social media in general. I followed a tweet about Twitter and Facebook to a blog post containing a great photo with captions. I liked the humour although one commentator did not.
I also had a 2 meetings today. Both discussed the issues around the idea of where our school is heading, trying to articulate the plans for learning and teaching and looking at where technology fits into the greater scheme. We will be working on this for the next few months, both as part of the PLP program and our internal audit. The idea that technology will simply make it cheaper and easier (eg. we don’t need to buy books anymore because everything is on the internet and everyone can just use that) is slowly changing. People are beginning to realise whilst there are wonderful learning opportunities, there are also many issues that need to be considered if our transition is going to be successful for our students and our teachers.
- And (2 random thoughts) thinking about the future, there are two quotes I like on this topic:
John Sladek “The future, according to some scientists, will be exactly like the past, only far more expensive.”
and William Gibson “”The future has already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”
I also wonder what the current the economic state will mean to the parents who send there students to our school. Our fees are more than other schools near to us because we have our notebook/laptop program. I believe our program can offer great opportunities to our students as well as our schools other advantages of the fantastic grounds and the pastoral care set-up.
Anyway it is now the weekend.
What to do this weekend. I don’t sleep in, sleeping isn’t everything! I have set myself some jobs to do this weekend, they will be the first two days I will have had without at least a whole day committed to others. It is going to involve some exercise (a long walk along some tracks I haven’t used for a while) and then I will be getting my house in order. Tasks include:
- Complete a cleanup of my email accounts, both my school and my home accounts. Preferably doing it reasonably quickly.
- Clean up my RSS feeds – both the outlook and Google reader accounts
- Listen to or delete the podcasts I have loaded onto iTunes.
- Either watch ar delete any television programs I have taped more than 2 weeks ago but have not watched.
If I can complete these tasks, I will be very pleased with myself.
We have been back at school for a few weeks now and all the students have their re-imaged notebook computers back. The year 7 students have had their first “technology immersion days”, where they learnt the basics about their new tool and one of the software tools (photostory) that is available to them. Maybe it is now time to ask about the availability of some of the Web2.0 tools I used last year. This year a number of sites seem to be blocked.I don’t think there has been a reversal in the thinking on these tools. They probably just slipped through the net when the servers were up-graded (or some such- I prefer to belive this)! It is however, really irritating that I cannot get to and use these simple tools. I feel a bit like the students. Many students have been living in the high social, digital world over summer. They have been messaging, sending each other photos, using podcasts and vodcasts, sending each other information about all sorts of things and now they are back at school. At the moment they cannot use their phones, ipods, etc. and so. at the start of the year especially, feel isolated and shut away from a lot of what is important. Many had an interest in the information about the bushfires. As a teacher I had news feeds and twitter to get ready and up-to-date access to information, they did not. After a meeting and some long discussion, some teachers were allowed to experiment with facebook for the year 12 English students. Many of the more strident questions came for those who abviously have not taken the time to look at/experience this tool. Some concerns were valid and worth discussing but there was the impression of fear as well. As teachers, we need to understand atleast the basics of these common digital tools. In our schools, we must acknowledge their existence and help our students understand them. If we are to help them become responsible digital citizens, the ones who have power over the tools, not those that become it’s victims, we need to teach our students how to be safe and how to be responsible. I copied this quote from a longer post by Chris Lehman about some legislation in the US but the argument holds anywhere.
…the more we ban, prohibit, regulate and legislate, the less we teach. If we want students to learn how to manage their lives, we have to let them live them. Chris Lehman calling for action and using facebook
What do students really understand about the difgital media they immerse themselves in? From classes I have been going into, and some individual conversations, some know quite alot others know a bit and some understand almost nothing. We need to help them make decisions that may have an effect on their lives now and in the future.
Below is an interesting little video on how we all have a digital identity, whether we like it or not. Certainly makes you think.
What are you teaching students about their digital identity?