Food for thought

February 26, 2015 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

I went to ITworldedu7 yesterday and today and it was such a pleasure to listen to people like Roger Blamire, Richard Gerver, Jordi Adell and Boris Mir. They gave us some food for thought that we will now have to “digest” and translate into real practices.

Something that all these people have said to us is that the tool is not the answer, technology won’t transform education. Educators will. There is actually no correlation between the presence of technology in schools and its use. We should be looking for pedagogies that personalize and produce authentic collaborative learning. The problem is that most of us have not been trained to think, but to give the right answer to questions. And it is often the case that we use that same model with the people we educate as parents or teachers. It is also true that there is now as much pressure as never before on teachers, who hardly survive their jobs. Not many really have the push to innovate.

There are more expectations on schools nowadays. In the past kids went to school to learn maths, language, history, science… Today most people expect schools to help kids be happy, develop self-confidence, resilience, choose a healthy diet, be respectful and, of course, digitally literate. It may well be that many teens are actually learning more out of schools than in schools. It is urgent to overcome a pedagogical tradition of knowledge delivery. In active learning approaches the teacher does not deliver knowledge, the learner constructs knowledge. What is more, teachers become learners too. Hard as it may sound for content lovers, it is note about what kids learn any more: it is about how they learn. It is possible (and arguable) that what they learn is virtually irrelevant…

We have to re-think the role of teachers and apply deeper learning approaches. But, wait a minute! It is not like you change one peace and the rest of the building stays untouched. That is precisely what many initiatives of tech introduction in education have tried to do: add technology as if it was an innocent ingredient. In education, if you add or remove something, I think, you have to rethink the entire process: roles, methodology, assessment… This is really a challenging job and here is the fun: we like it!

As Richard said, lets act as professionals: professionals do not stop at problems, they solve them. Thanks ITworldedu panel speakers and key notes for the inspiring ideas. It was a real pelasure listening to you!

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