I really enjoyed watching this video: Creating a Digital Ecology that Works. It brought together major concepts from my different coursework and introduced me to some new (to me) ‘thought thinkers’ in education. Some, I was already familiar with. What concept that came out loud and clear was RELEVANCE. This is close to my ‘professional heart’ as I endeavor to point out its significance to my students in my information literacy sessions for when they are searching for information. Is it relevant? Does it meet your information need? With so much information at our fingertips, it is a skill that our students need to know. I must admit, I was taken with Sugata Mitra’s suggestion for the 3 curriculum necessities:
- reading comprehension
- information search and retrieval skills
- teach ‘how to believe’ as an armour against doctrine (I would add, ‘how to question’)
However, here are some more:
- kids will teach themselves, given the technology, to interact with each other and the absence of the teacher ( (Sugata Mitra).
- video games as powerful learning tools – start, fail before they succeed and master (learning along the way)
- ecosystem of technology and the classroom
- students active and engaged – working with faculty to create knowledge – getting information ‘when you need to know’
- the blur between play and learning.
- dimension of collaboration
- “I just created something i wanted to play” (I wonder if teachers, and educators create lessons that we also want to play or inquire into – along and beside our students?)
The next introductory slide to this module was Pedagogy and School Leadership (O’Connell, J., 7 May 2015). This again brought familiar and new content to me. It reminded me of the Future Workskills 2020, which I had read in my first subject of my studies.
So with so much information at our fingertips, what should we do? O’Connell reminds us to:
- Find the right thing
- Get the best summary
- Go broader and deeper
and to remember that technology can also skewer the information we receive. Additionally, my own teaching practice was reinforced…yes, I am talking to my year 5 students about Google, advanced search, primary sources, using visual tools such as Instagrok, and others that are available for us in our learning and becoming a core element of our daily life. Social media is perhaps the one thing that I have not used within my teaching practice due to school policies, and I feel our students are being disadvantaged as a result. They need to see these collaborative, participatory and social apps as essential not only for their social and recreational wellbeing, but as tools for learning and connectedness.