Interesting times in ICT

ICT RIPThe phrase “May you live in interesting times” is usually cited as a sort of curse, but can you imagine the opposite, ie living in boring times? Fortunately, especially here in England there is no danger of that for a while, at least in the world of ICT. Here are a few snippets of news which I won’t comment on at the moment because I like to cogitate, reflect, and then cogitate some more before pontificating. As I said in a previous article (10 Obligations of Bloggers), quoting Salvator Rosa, I believe in the adage “Be silent, unless what you have to say is better than silence”.

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EDUsummIT 2011 Report: The Digital Divide

Did you know that there are now more mobile subscriptions in the developing countries than in the (so-called) developed countries? I didn’t either. That was  a fact pointed out to us by Dr Paul Resta, of the University of Texas at Austin, USA. Yet our appreciation of how such technologies can be used to support learning (both formal and informal) is still in its infancy.
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The school where students MUST have a mobile device

#edusum11 Mike Searson is the President of The School for Global Education & Innovation at Kean University in the USA. I met him in Paris the day before the EDUsummit 2011 conference which took place there. He headed up our small, intrepid band of social media folk.

Something Mike related really made me think.

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Authentic Learning and ICT

To the casual listener, stride piano, boogie woogie piano and rock-n-roll piano all sound pretty much the same. Yet Fats Waller, perhaps the most famous stride pianist, detested boogie woogie. And nobody could deny the hint of menace in Long John Baldry’s voice as he sings his song:

Don’t try to lay no boogie woogie on the king of rock-n-roll!

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Didactic teaching or discovery learning?

According to a study reported on by The Economist, 4 and 5 year-olds not told what could be done with an unfamiliar object explored it for longer and came up with more ideas than control groups who were shown, to varying degrees. The Economist states:

The researchers’ conclusion was that, in the context of strange toys of unknown function, prior explanation does, indeed, inhibit exploration and discovery. Generalising from that would be ambitious. But it suggests that further research might be quite a good idea.

Does this imply that the advocates of discovery learning (and their associated preference for “guide on the side” to “sage on the stage”) are right?

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UNESCO EDUSummIT2011: Brief update

#edusum11 The conference is now in its final hour or so, with brief addresses from an international panel followed by "Next steps".

I started to write a blog post earlier, but realised very quickly that I need to do more reflecting. It's been a very rich experience in some respects, and I need to assimilate what I think I may have learnt. I've had the opportunity to meet with some of the organisers, representatives of Ministries of Education and researchers.

You can follow the conference on Twitter, using the hashtag given above. There will be video podcasts later (I'm told Monday).

More soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad