Another great example I found on the web via the Dangerously Irrelevant blog, in this post. It’s a short video by Consuelo Molina, UCLA student, videographer, and graduate of the San Fernando Education Technology Team (SFETT), called Digital Kids @ Analog Schools. Consuelo is but one of an increasing number of young people who really get it when it comes to using technology for learning, work, and life.
The content of the video is centered around the idea that colleges and universities are not preparing students for the world beyond because pedagogies are backward instead of forward looking. According to the video, what students want:
- more than just lectures, papers, and problem sets; no more teaching with yesterday’s tools
- to be able to connect with what they learn
- choices in the way they can express themselves, e.g. having control over how they represent what they’ve learned. The phrase “visual learner” comes up over and over again
- access to technology to personalize learning
- to be prepared for the jobs that our available NOW, jobs that require creativity, intellectual capital, communication skills, coming up with ideas
- to get value for their tuition
- to apply technology to learning
- for professors and instructors to listen to them
- colleges to break the norm, be different, and start looking to the future
Pay attention to the ending as well, it’s very cleverly done. However, as discussed in the video, a picture (or in this case a video) is worth a thousand words. If you like what you read here, watch the video, and you’ll really get the message.
Finally, this quote from the video sums up the feelings of more and more students these days, at all levels of education:
If this place isn’t perfecting my skills for the new business world, then why am I here?
Image credit: serafini:
Great article from the BBC today: ‘Tower of Babel’ technology nears. The article discusses Software Defined Radio (SDR), which is able to translate and understand any kind of radio wave signal, such as 3G or wi-fi. As a result,
wireless devices that previously understood only one or a few languages, or standards, will suddenly be able to talk to each other freely regardless of frequency or conflicting protocols.
According to the article, widespread implementation of SDR will happen in the next 5-10 years. More information on this technology can be found in Technology Review and wikipedia.
Imagine the potential implications for education with mobile, connected tools! This is the type of thing I’ve been looking for for a long time, as it means that we can REALLY take advantage of existing technology for teaching and learning. This is especially the case because SDR is software driven, while “currently, most devices rely on hardware, rather than software, to get at the information in radio signals.” What it could mean for teaching and learning:
- No more worrying about tech budgets for schools, as students would be able to use their own devices, regardless of standard or protocol. And the fact that SDR is software-driven makes it even better (think upgrades, rather than replacements).
- True anywhere, anytime computing (especially anywhere).
- Collaboration across devices will be much easier, because it doesn’t matter if I have a smart phone and you have a handheld computer.
- SDR should make it much easier for mobile devices to interact with other technology, increasing the opportunities for the use of context-aware computing, and digital overlays on top of a physical environment.
The possibilities are almost endless…
Image credit: Wikipedia:
It was two years in the making, but the edited book I’ve been working on with my colleague Karen Swan is finally in print! Here is the official citation:
van ‘t Hooft, M., & Swan, K. (2007). Ubiquitous computing in education: Invisible technology, visible impact. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
It’s odd how excited I was to actually hold the first paper copy in my hands, considering how much I work with digital sources. No matter how cool technology is, there is still something about reading a book…
Image credit: http://www.rcet.org/ubicomp/images/ubicompbookcover.jpg
Jeff Utecht is a teacher at the Shanghai American School whose students are doing some amazing things with technology. Here is the latest example: Teentek.com. Jeff describes the origins of this site in this blog post. The site is run by kids and is for kids. While I could go into great detail about how this is a great example of student-centered learning and technology as a tool to eliminate the barriers between school and world, what really struck me about Teentek is how some of the kids involved with it are talking about what technology means to them. For example (from Jeff’s post):
Once upon a time, technology was a way of using tools to solve problems. Now, in the 21st century, it’s way of communication and information gathering that is central in almost every part of our lives. Economy, entertainment, communication. Without technology, the rate at which these things happen would slow down to a snail’s pace. So what exactly IS technology, you ask? Technology is the way we use tools to communicate and gather information, at a basic level. These include cellphones, video games, and most importantly, computers.
Another example of technology use by kids for kids is Tony Vincent’s Our City Podcast, where kids (with some help from their teachers, as this one is more classroom-based) can submit podcasts about their hometowns.
It’s amazing what kids are capable of doing when we let them …
Image credit: One of Jeff Utecht’s students 🙂 : http://www.flickr.com/photos/63444054@N00/246321151/