Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Things That Have Me Thinking This Week...April 2, 2012

Here are some of the things that I read in the last week that I think are worth sharing...Enjoy!

#1
This post from David Truss, a school administrator from British Columbia, highlights an exciting new school that David is creating called the Inquiry Hub. I am so excited to follow the progress of this undertaking and I can only imagine how exciting it must be for students who will be attending this new learning environment. Here are a few of the qualities of the Inquiry Hub as described by David in his post:

  • Our teachers will be spending a lot of time conferencing with students, rather than ‘in the front of the room.
  • Students will often work in groups around themes of interest and not their grade level. 
  • it is highly likely that even in the first year we will have students across grades working on the same subjects at the same levels.
  • We are currently developing two ‘requisite’ courses that all students will take: Principles of Inquiry and Applications of Digital Learning.

#2
This post from Tina Barseghian focuses on the increased role that mobile devices are playing in classrooms.  The article points on that the most recent data on cellphones in schools (from 2010) shows that 62 percent of schools allow cell phones to be used on school grounds, though not in classrooms.  Harvard professor Chris Dede, an ed tech guru, notes the following about the increased use of mobile technologies in schools:
“We’re going from districts fearing it and blocking it off to welcoming it and making it a major part of their technology plan. We’ll be surprised if a significant portion of districts aren’t using mobile learning inside and outside of schools soon.”
But the bigger question with this whole technological shift comes from Eliot Soloway, a professor at the School of Education at the University of Michigan.  Soloway's question concerns how the technology is being used and the fact that we cannot just simply throw technology in classrooms and get the changes we need from a pedagogical standpoint. 


#3

This post from Edudemic's Executive Editor highlight's a slideshow presentation from Alvaro Gonz├ílez-Alordaa professor of Innovation at ISEM Fashion Business School.  While the focal point of the presentation is on what colleges need to do to remain relevant, I feel that the sentiments are good for high schools as well.  As Dunn states:
"Basically, it’s decision time for schools who have been clinging to best practices from the past and not paying enough attention to future trends."
I encourage you to check out the entire presentation by Gonz├ílez-Alorda on slideshare.

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