Gill Robins

Writer & Teacher

Web Design by: JMR          Hosted By: 1and1          Created/Updated: Nov 2011

News and Views from the education circuit:

 

National

 

This month has seen a developing debate around the use of touch screen technology in schools, after BBC News picked up on one school in Penzance which has spent £100,000 equipping every pupil with an iPad. The Taxpayer’s Alliance argued that this does not provide value for money: the school replied by saying that money would be saved on future purchases of text books and that lessons were now ‘much more exciting’.

 

This makes various assumptions. Firstly, it assumes that books are dispensable. Secondly, according to the principal, lessons before iPads were less exciting, which is something of an indictment of the teaching in her school and a sweeping assumption that technology improves learning.  

 

Apart from the rather tenuous anecdotal argument about preparing children for the 21st century, there is little empirical evidence that tablets (and iPads rather than androids) are enhancing education.  Expensive technology plus poor teaching is still poor teaching. And outstanding teaching need not use technological tools to be outstanding.

 

 

International
 

Quest to Learn is a New York digital school which opened in 2006. Instead of bolting technology onto existing teaching as it evolves, Q2L has completely rethought the function and purpose of learning, designing a pedagogy to deliver a rigorous and challenging curriculum for the digital age.

 

 

In sharp contrast, a DailyMail article profiles the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, in Silicon Valley, California, which is popular with executives from Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard. There are no computers in the school and children are not encouraged to go online at home, either. One Google exec said, ‘The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that’s ridiculous’.

 

For more information on the Waldorf Schools click link

 

This caught my eye too..........

Quadblogging is a rapidly growing example of social networking being used to motivate and enthuse learners. It involves four schools forming a partnership. Each school in turn is the focus of attention for a week, during which the other three schools in the group visit and comment on blogs. This sharpens the focus of pupils, who will make an extra effort to get their work online ready for the increased visits. During the following three weeks, they have an opportunity to see what children in other schools are doing.

 

The partnerships are worldwide and growing fast. To find our more, read comments from existing quadbloggers or to sign up, go to http://quadblogging.net

 

Explore the potential of collaborative learning on Twitter by joining in with the Time Travel News Project. To find out more go to: http://inside.bltnorthhants.net/2011/06/21/time-travel-twitter-project