About Thinks

Sometimes good thinks happen and sometimes bad thinks happen. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two.

Some thinks need immediate action and some thinks may remain as thinks forever. Thinks can be angry and heated. Thinks can be joyful. Thinks should never be cold.

These thinks are linked to many other wonderful thinks and I like to attribute these.

These thinks do not necessary reflect those thinks of my employer.

Think long, think on.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Orewa Debate

At the beginning of the holidays the Orewa media circus was a fantastically entertaining event. The story broke that Orewa had made the iPad2 a compulsory item on the 2012 stationery list. It was soon reveled, however, that they only recommended the iPad2 and that any wifi device would be acceptable. But as many people have commentated it is not about the technology or the device. I suggest we stop getting wound up and wowed by the iPad and think about what it is that Orewa are trying to achieve (1:1 devices). Schools have the freedom to make choices regarding equipment. While I wouldn't prescribe an ipad, I certainly wouldn't stop others doing it.

I believe the crux of the argument is:
Is 1:1 where we are headed?
And my thoughts are, Yes
Once we can agree on this then we can start to consider the underlying issues that have been debated and discussed by educators in online forums.
1. - Who pays (BYOD? School? Government? Corporate?)

2. - Will 1:1 create more eWaste and how can we responsibly manage it?
It is important to note that if managed properly 1:1 could actually reduce the amount of devices we have. For example as a worker I had a computer at home and a computer at work.
As a teacher in the Tela laptop scheme I now have a computer that travels with me to school and back. Surely we can create a system where children are doing the same thing? Then we will not require as many 'classroom computers', 'computer suites', or 'COWS'.
School computers lie dormant at night. Home computers lay dormant during the day...

3. - Will 1:1 destroy group learning pedagogy?

This is of course up to the individual educator. I believe, however, that I would continue to use Self Organised Learning GROUPS even in a 1:1 setting. The beauty of 1:1 is that learners can continue to contribute to a group's learning - even when they are not physically present.

4. - Who should we be buying our products from (from an ethical, sweatshop point of view)?
This is a question for ALL of our consumer choices and should not be used as a barrier to 1:1. If you know me, you know that the children I teach do learn about such issues. We have questioned the origins of our sports gear, clothes, computers, toys, mobile devices, carpet, furniture, chocolate, pencils, school uniforms ....
I will not accept that children's learning should be compromised by an ethical debate. Not when they are trudging to school in sweatshop shoes, wearing sweatshop uniforms, kicking soccerballs and being rewarded with chocolate produced from child labour. Our children need to learn about it and take action where they can. Isolating our children from these very issues by the banning of ICT equipment in schools is NOT the answer!

Working Child Brickaville Madagascar

By Harald Kreutzer Madagaskar Vision e.V. (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

And that's my two cents...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Watch The New School - 30 Minutes Well Spent

This has many of the ideas that we have already negotiated with the famous RSA animate of Sir Ken.

I enjoyed the discussion regarding creativity being integrated into what we are already doing rather than having a separate 'creativity hour'.  Get creative with Maths and Literacy!

"Creativity is the process of having original ideas" Sir Ken Robinson

 I also enjoyed the sensible stance in relation to standards - using them as a diagnostic tool rather than the purpose of education.

And of course making changes to rectify the problem that:
The current education system works for the benefit of the providers and not the consumers - Joel Klein

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A year today

Thank you to all my visitors - I was going to write something pertinent but it's school holidays and time to do some Real Life stuff and spend my time with people F2F.

So I'll leave you with these guys...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ignite evening at ASHS

This was yet another great gathering organised by the good people at Albany Senior High School. All the speakers were awesome and topics ranged from Evolution to Augmented Reality. I got my comeuppance for being a little silly on my registration form and ended up doing mine on 'giggity' - a catch phrase by Glen Quagmire from Family Guy.

I used this to highlight the importance of finding the goodness... in everyone

Ignite Talk | Tara Taylor-Jorgensen from Emerging Leaders on Vimeo.

Still insanely nervous - but feeling more comfortable in this welcoming group of educators. Thanks everyone :)