Steve publishes the Learning with E's blog. The articles are not only very thought-provoking, they often also include references so you can follow up the reading for yourself. At the moment, Steve is writing a great series on learning theories. I asked him to tell me about his current research.
Michelle Liga writes...
Mr. Freedman uses his extensive experience to write a clear and concise booklet on the different ways he has observed teachers instructing their students straight into boredom purgatory. But, he also explains how the lesson could have been changed to make it more interesting.
Over the years I’ve become almost inured to the inanities of the online world, and especially their manifestations in the world of education. So when I received an email declaring “Congratulations, you have won an award!” my first thought was “Oh yeah? I suppose all I have to do is submit my bank details and complete a 38 page questionnaire over a premium telephone line.”
I thought it would be interesting to dig out my scheme of work for Information Technology – as it was then then – from 1997. It was based on the Informatics scheme of work published by the now defunct organisation Acitt. Acitt was a subject association for ICT Co-ordinators. I helped to shape the Acitt scheme of work, but the one I used myself was a variation, adjusted to meet the circumstances pertaining to my school. I’ve reproduced it below.
When I was crazy about film-making as a teenager (see I was a teenage geek) I never liked using fully automated cameras. Yes, they were convenient, and they saved you the bother of having to think too much, and the results were passable. But they left no room for exercising one’s professional judgement. Using a camera with a manual override button enabled you to find out what the camera “thought” the aperture and other settings should be, and then use them as a basis for your own decision.
I have already looked at the data you need in your role as leader of the subject Computing or ICT or similar. What sort of data do you need as e-learning co-ordinator or similar? Here’s what I think. Not every item on the list will be applicable to everyone’s situation, so take the bits that work for you and ignore the rest. I hope you find this list useful.
Although I was good at statistics at university, it’s not an area that I especially warm to. However, even if terms like “grade point average” leave you cold, I think you have to collate some data to be an effective leader of education technology.
When I was in my teens I wanted desperately to get involved in television production, especially the filming and editing side. So I was delighted when one day there was a the start of a new behind-the-scenes series about how television studios operate. Well, the presenter started off by saying, “This looks boring, all these cables and wires everywhere, but…”. Then, a few minutes later, “This is a boring part, but…”. After 15 minutes I switched channels. I’m not even sure that the series was completed. Who wants to be told that the thing they have given up their time to watch is ‘'”boring”?
Bett 2015 kicks off in a few hours' time, so this is just a reminder that my guide to Bett 2015 is now available. It contains over 200 hints, tips, suggestions and opinions. It even contains a detailed floor plan -- the first such guide to do so! It's in pdf format, but as it's quite hefty I suggest you download it onto your phone or tablet and read it on the screen.
Unless you’re fortunate enough to be able to have carte blanche over the design of your school, your technology budget, how Computing or ICT is taught, and who teaches is, you are going to be the inheritor of someone else’s legacy.
As an education technology leader you need to have a vision, you need to have goals. But once you have established the vision and goals, it’s a good idea to forget about them.
Now that a term has elapsed since the new Computing curriculum was introduced into schools in England, how are things going? I’ve been collating the responses to a call I made a few months ago to readers of my newsletter, to find out how people were preparing for the new curriculum. The results are very interesting, and I intend to share them very soon – I just have to tidy it up and make sure people are happy with any changes I’ve made to their submissions.