Friday, 21 October 2011

ECOO germination

Whole responses on each to follow, but right now here's what the ECOO 2011 Conference germinated for me:

  • thanks to a question during my Dancing in the Datasphere presentation (which almost 500 people have viewed now!): "has anyone thought though this from a how it harms the students perspective?  Or are we all just rushing to ipad up each child?"
I'm now going to research into how tablet displays affect people, especially children, after long term use...

If using these devices is physiologically hurting children, then people need to settle down on the 'ipad is our savior' angle and start pushing for a healthier alternative; I know Apple (and others) will deliver.

The ipad at high magnification:

ereader at high magnification:
Late night screen time with children.

We need to pay attention to what long term screen use does to children... especially if we're going to push for it on a one screen per child basis, which most people at ECOO seemed to be longing for.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge screen geek, we have no less than... 9 screens in our house, but some intelligent analysis can guide us to best use policies with this stuff.

There is a solution to this, but not if we think the ipad is the second coming. A tablet with a screen that can alternate between the benefits of a tablet touch screen and an e-ink screen for ease of reading on the eyes is what we should be demanding in education; if we care about the health of our students.

  • The mini-lab still has a lot of interest behind it.  If we're going to de-centralize school board IT access, this is a great first step that puts digital literacy back in the hands on teachers.  We need to reclaim digital literacy if we're going to own and direct it in the future.

  • Diana M's digital footprint seminar provoked a great deal of discussion.  Someone said that they aren't going to give the internet to lunatics and perverts in Royan and Zoe's seminar on a similar subject, and I'm all in with her.  Fear will not guide us in developing coherent digital pedagogy; something I think we need to seriously develop if we're going to meaningfully adopt social media in a useful manner.

  • The idea of decentralizing school teaching and using technology to adopt student focused and driven learning is divine.  But we're never going to have it mean anything if the ministry keeps mandating standardized testing and the strictly adhered to curriculums that feed into that testing.  Finland, the number one school system in the world, doesn't use standardized testing but sets very high standards for its teachers.  Until we do the same, we're going to stay stuck in third place looking for ways to cheat test results rather than teach students meaningfully.
I've still got a lot of ideas swirling around.  More will pop free as the weekend opens up my mind.