Embedding Technology in Teaching and Learning
by Beverley Paine
Education.au recently published a presentation by CEO Greg Black on 'Embedding Technology in Teaching and Learning'. This is an area most governments are continue to invest heavily in, with mixed results. Lack of appropriate professional development and provision of time are two of the greatest challenges facing the school sector. Digital information and communication technological skills fall into two categories - according to Black "the easiest to teach and test are also the easiest to digitise, automate and outsource". However there is high demand for people able to work collaboratively, synthesise and personalise information, problem solve, explain and use it, working across different disciplines and boundaries. Evidence shows that the best performers in the digital education revolution integrate opportunities, devolve responsibility, focus on personal learning and avoid streaming. Buzz words to describe digitally switched on students include "creative and ingenious, surprising, collegiate, engaged, inspired" who want to learn in groups through practice with friends, not from "copying stuff from books and teachers".
The report recommends that educators consider that "furniture, lighting, security, comfort and location are just as important as the space" learning occurs within. "Learners need space for instruction and presentations; spaces for talk and private study; spaces to access resources; room to move; technology that is 'just in time' and flexible; tools for communication and flexibility in space location and resources." Wireless and mobile devices need to be part of the mix, to accommodate learning in any environment.
"Spaces shape and change practice. Engaging, adaptable spaces energise students, teachers and the community. Well-designed learning spaces inspire creative, productive and efficient learning" MCEETYA Learning Spaces Framework
"In today's interconnected, technology driven world, learning typically takes place in physical, virtual and remote places. It is an integrated, highly technical environment in which learners learn. The new learning spaces incorporate technologies, engage the learner, creating new learning possibilities, enhancing achievements and extending interactions with local and global communities." 21st century learning spaces, education.au 2009
Home educators are well placed to help their children embrace and use digital information and communication technology in all areas of the curriculum, without the hindrances and assessment regimes imposed on the school sector.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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