Keeping up with Technology #3

This is the final of the short series of guest posts looking at the use of technology in schools. Here are Part One and Part Two.
We return to Michael Shepherd for our third reflection where he shows how far ahead the children may already be! The Original article is here ‘The New Currency’


The principle goal of education is to create people who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done – people who are creative, inventive and discoverers’Piaget
The use of new technologies in education enables us to move beyond traditional boundaries, to do things we’ve never done before and to do things we have, in a faster, more convenient way.  It has helped us blur the distinction between home and school, between formal and informal learning and to empower learners, using their preferred tools for learning rather than those dictated by tradition.    In a short few years ICT has moved centre stage.   From a discrete subject, taught in IT suites – much like science in science labs – to something that permeates every aspect of the curriculum. Children see technology as an essential, natural tool for learning.   Indeed they are learning constantly, testing the capabilities of any device they use, not necessarily in our presence but learning all the same.   In certain areas of new technology many of us have to accept that our linear approach to learning might be at odds with children’s more experimental approach.  I often share a story from a few years ago (pre iphone!) when I was with a group of Y5 children at a dance festival.   One of the pupils asked if she could have a look at my phone.   I gave it to her and within minutes she had returned it to me with a strangely morphing animation playing across the screen.   ‘That’s amazing Chelsea,’ I exclaimed.   ‘Have you got a phone like this?’  ’No’. she replied!
Prakash Nair states ‘creativity is the new currency’ and its up to us to develop this key quality in learners.   As Piaget stated ‘the principle goal of education is to create people who are capable of doing new things’ our job is to bring out the creativity, to encourage children to take risks, to explore, discover and get excited by where their learning might take them.   They start out in life with such an inquisitive nature,  its up to us to make sure it isn’t knocked out of them by the system.

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One comment

  • You are so right, Michael. That happens also in my classes. Parents think it’s me, but it’s the wide open minds of my students, ready to problem solve in any techie situation. We as teachers provide a framework and they leap forward from there.

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