It was my privilege to attend the Building Learning Communities 08 conference in Boston this past summer. My New Year's Resolution (amongst others) is to blog about my experiences there. I start with the first keynote address to the whole conference..
WED 16TH JULY KEYNOTE ADDRESS
“NOT ALL NATIVE WIT: FROM CREATIVITY TO INGENUITY”
Ewan's blog can be found at edu.blogs.com. His talk included references to Twitter, del.icio.us, Flickr and Facebook, of which the only one I had experience was the latter.
Why should we use web 2.0 tools? Ewan stated that in the UK, kids spend 60 mins/week in school on computers, and 400 mins/week at home on their computer. When a pupil takes more pride in setting up their Bebo page than in doing their coursework, we need to take a look at how we are teaching these pupils. What we do with technology is key in the classroom. Of course, we can try to move forward, for example by setting up a school blog. The problem with setting up a blog in school is that their Bebo page more important to them. It causes them no stress, there are no deadlines, and they are publishing to and interacting with a large group of friends. We also need to look at the use of mobile phones in the classroom as the way forward for the future.
What did I take away from Ewan's talk? We need to have a “shared awareness” i.e. seeing things the same way as our pupils. Use the interests, knowledge and skills that they have to engage them and advance learning.