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More Preaching to the Converted August 16, 2007

Posted by davidit in Education, Education 2.0, ICT Integration, Inquiry Model, learning continuum, student engagement, Web 2.0.

I have been working on developing our inquiry model for most of the day.  I am completely over all the philosophy behind it now and just want to produce a practical model that I can take to the staff so that they can start to see what the model for our school might look like.  I have tentatively called it the “Umbrella Inquiry” model and is loosely based around Ian Jukes’ 5A’s model.  The model has five strands to it, with Literacy and Numeracy on a sliding scale of teacher intervention and two srands of thinking tools and what I call ‘thinking landscape’  These last two have a sliding scale for student expectations too with more expectations the older they get.  The fifth and final strand is the inquiry model itself.  I have to say that at this skeletal stage I am quite pleased with what I have done so far.  Even if the staff tear it to bits, it is at least something for them to bounce against, just so long as we get the ball rolling.

 Not sure if any of you noticed the Teacher Tube site was down this week?  Initially the site said that they were down for routine maintenance, but after 6 hours I had the feeling that something major was going on, coupled with the fact that when I could logon my videos had all disappeared!  They have all now come back, but the ‘viewed’ data is all wrong, shame really as one of mine was always on the most viewed list, it was getting lots of hits a day and still is.  So what is the point of all this?  Well I have to say that I panicked when the videos had all gone, it made me wonder what the implications might be for the future if we put all of our stuff online and one day it was all gone, a kind of Skynet (Terminator) and Die Hard 4.0 scenario, not good!

Well while I was on Teacher Tube today I stumbled upon the following video.  The video was made in 2005 and is interviewing University students in America.  I know that University education is not relevant to what we are doing on the Supertanker, or is it?  I found that what these students had to say had resonance with what our inquiry model is trying to address, but it also had some chilling throw away lines.  The students all complained that all that they were getting was regurgitated knowledge from one person, that the system was not flexible to their needs and learing styles.  One student noted that employers wanted flexible, creative thinkers, yet the university system was anything but that.  They all said that they were all visual learners and that they were wired for the web, but university was not.  One student said that what he was having to endure to get his degree was simply not relevant and made the point with fees being so high, why bother with a degree?  Perhaps most chilling of all was the throw away statement that you have to listen hard to hear, was when one of them complained that the careers that university is preparing them for have all been outsourced.

If these statements are not the basis for a manifesto bring about a root and branch change in the education system, I do not know what is.  When outsourcing means that 1.3 billion people can undercut your salary system and career structure. When access to a computer and Google gives everyone access to the same information, what is the point of difference?  An individual’s ability to think creatively, problem solve and create new learning from the common body of knowledge is the point of difference.   It is imperative to develop these skills within the students that we teach.  We need to change and change fast, but you already knew that!

 Currently I can not get into Teacher Tube to embed a link for you!  However if you search for ‘digital students @ analogue schools’ you will find the video.  When the site comes up again, I will put the link here.  You see, technology, you just can’t trust it.  Bring back the wax tablet I say!  Nope, I went to You Tube and found it.  Long live technology!



1. Fiona - August 16, 2007

mmm…Many a true word David….

2. Marnie - August 17, 2007

I saw that video a while back I think and found it quite disturbing but it is so true. I was speaking to a student teacher recently and she was saying that the difference between uni and teachers college has been even worse – no online marking, no IT learning options… how boring!! It means that all the teachers coming out of college have not had any exposure to IT integration. I actually had another student teacher (who was not in my class thankfully) say they had no idea what a blog was and why would they want to. Hmmm.

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