Book ‘Em Danno

hawaiiHere is a reflection on the Irish education system and the impact of ICT as a disruptive force which can potentially be positive but which teachers can also find challenging and need support in order to fully take advantage of its potential (IRISH TIMES ARTICLE). Nothing new here in one way, but at the same time a different perspective on the same issues we all face.

My kids can zip and zap through technology and outdo me in two seconds when it comes to downloading, resetting, changing preferences etc. At the same time, while quick to click, they have no patience or real skills when it comes to reading, scanning or analyzing what might be useful to click on: they are banned from my computer because otherwise it would be jammed, blocked and probably virus ridden.

When it comes to school, tasks set for homework do not necessarily help … “Find information about ….” with no guidance and no training as to how or where to find the information (apart from presumably googling it), evaluate or summarize it, are false friends in that they encourage kids to expose themselves to technology without any guidance as to how to dress appropriately. Maybe it will come naturally, they will learn it all by themselves, through the process of surfing itself as Sugata Mitra claims (Google or Wikipedia the name 🙂 or try www.hole-in-the-wall.com). Kids learn to read with help and they certainly develop both their reading skills and interest in reading with further encouragement from educators and family: I don’t think technology can be all that different but I am increasingly suspicious that it will be the next generation of educators who will really know how to involve their students with and through technology.

As an avid fan of Hawaii 5.0 my son wants to learn how to surf … real surfing, not virtual. I might just throw him out to sea with a board and see how he fares. Probably works for some but I suspect training and couching will also be useful. I’d hate to see him catch a virus or even go viral without thinking about it first.

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