Summary of insights / skills gained on Study Tour.
There needs to be a shift of power in the classroom BUT “moving old minds is difficult” (McFarlane:2007@ BETT).
The most important change is to recognise that the students’ informal learning (out of school) needs to move towards formal (in school ) learning. Schools need to recognise that students’ skills are appropriate and relevant in a learning environment.
Key Phrases that have made an impact: “support more learner / learner interaction to move power from tutor to learner . . . the wise leader might create space where learner and tutor feel comfortable interacting and learning from each other.”
New technologies, outside the learning space are providing opportunities for interactivity. They involve:
Concepts of creativity and originality are being challenged.
Space and identity are being re-defined.
The way we solve problems and raise questions is being transformed.
Citizens can build their own communities and networks online.
In the 21st century it is necessary to look at transforming:
- Curriculum to be about knowledge creation, collaboration, community building
- Pedagogy. Who teaches? Need to be authentic, immersive and reflective.
- Institutions need to be experienced personally to understand strengths and weaknesses.
Blurring boundaries between learning, playing, communicating, socialising and working.
Learning is about relationships NOT IT.
Are we adding new tech tools onto an old system , , , or do we need to create something completely new?
Directions to be taken:
- Digital games
- Handheld technologies
- Online creative communities
- Managing face to face interaction
Web 2.0 and Learning
- creating content
- writing for pleasure support
- informal learning (digital show and tell)
- choice / voice S
- elf esteem S
- Reflection and review
- Writing for an audience
- Proof reading,
- fact checking
- Awareness of different perspectives
- Evaluation and discernment – issues of trust, ownership and authority
- Social Construction and collaboration
- Multimodal literacy
- Speaking and listening
- Lesson recording
Games are one aspect of ICT that can have a very powerful impact on students learning to be effective citizens of the future. From my observations of students at our school and of students in the UK the results are the same students are totally immersed and understanding of what they are doing. Games are:
- Pedagogically well structured
- Encourage interactivity and learning
- Active not for consumption
- Able to engender flow
- Totally engaging
- (some) are about storytelling
Three main approaches to games:
- Educators and/or game developers produce games for students to play and learn
- Integrate commercial off the shelf games (COTS) into the classroom
- Students build their own games, using specialist drop and drag software.
Most in classroom use and research into students making /
authoring their own games is in the primary context with children aged 9 to 12 years. These projects integrate the games based materials into the curriculum or are used to support and develop the students storytelling and writing skills. We had the pleasure of meeting with Judy Robertson of Heriot Watt University and talking with her and her team about the Game Authoring tool they are developing for neverwinter Nights. We visited Ancrum Road Primary School in Dundee where the use of game authoring tools has been trialled. It was inspirational.
The project we have undertaken at Belmore South Public School, in conjunction with the NSW Department of Eduction and Training’s Centre for Learning Innovation is at the cutting edge.
What’s changed for you?I did not believe there was much place for commercial off the shelf games in the classroom, after visiting the Consolarium in Dundee and talking to its Director Derek Robertson I am prepared to investigate this idea further. As a result of our experiences at the Consolarium Belmore South Primary School has a Playstation 2 with I-toy , a WII and several DS Lites with games. We will be developing learning programs utilising these consoles, recording and monitoring our findings as we go.
I am committed to the powerful nature of students authoring games and the impact it has across a wide area of the curriculum: literacy, science, mathematics. It addresses all aspects of the NSW Quality teaching model as well as many other NSW DET and Federal Priority Programs. I now believe that the only way to begin to prepare our students for the future is to teach them how to learn and that the most effective way of handling knowledge and content is through networking.
The only way to make a difference as a leader is to gather a network of open minded principal colleagues (from both primary and secondary schools) and develop a knowledge creating, sharing network where our knowledge and skills are diverse and complimentary and we are committed to the vision of preparing our students to become effective citizens of the future. Quality pedagogy, ICT and games, as an element of IT, are pivotal to this process.
The school leader is the lynchpin in any change. It is up to leaders to model and lead staff.