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“It Simply Isn’t the 20th Century Any More Is It?: So Why Would We Teach as Though It Was?”

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Hi. Welcome. Welcome all of you really. It's early morning here. There's a mist outside the window that suggests there won't be much wind ... um, this morning, so I ... I think my ... I think my sailing is off. But the result will be that we get a chance to sit and talk together. Uh ... for uh, um, 45 minutes or so and I hope you're patient because there's just a mass to put over in the time that we've got. I'm going to talk about three things really with you, I'm just going to talk through some history, it seems to me there are some things that we've always known about how technology and learning in the 21st century is going to be different to the last century and then I'm going to reflect a little on ... gosh ... it would be churlish of me not to reflect on the ... the new world we find ourselves in I mean the world economy apparently is gone to hell in a hand cart. You know we've got, um, banks threatening meltdown and, err, even as I speak the headlines are running, um here on a dawn morning, um, indicating that there around the world you know the the economy, we thought perhaps was, um, stable and safe is rather less um, so than we expected. And finally I’m gonna say what, what does all this mean for, for learning. You know we’re, we’re entering the new age of learning and we need new schools, new universities, new strategies. Is this a revolution? Is it evolution? Is it a different place, so that's, that's what, thats what we are going to cover and, um, and we are going to do it, err, in as gentle and conversational way as we can because we have a chance later to discuss some of this stuff. um, and so let’s start... let’s start with our history You can see I am very old. These are, these are lines, you know, the patina of centuries going on here and I’ve been around this game for a huge amount of time. Started putting, gosh, wooden computers and the very earliest computers into schools to see if there was something magical about that, that illuminated screen that would captivate young minds. Of course there was. And all those years ago, the end of the seventies, the early eighties the... the challenge for us really was, what could we make the technology do that was useful? we knew what we needed in learning we just wanted to find some way of of, of getting it to, to happen, through these incredibly primitive screens with their blocky graphics you know, do you remember those, um, those pong games of.... er. We played on our computer screens. Well, you know, given the restraints it wasn't very hard to be honest to find things that were compelling, seductive and engaging. But now... but now the technology is a whole 'nother world. Now I've got, you know, in my, in my pocket here with my little iPhone. I've got more computing power than, um, a whole school had back in the eighties. You know, storage and connectivity and processing power and the little camera on the back and the ability to run web pages. My goodness. So the challenge for us now isn't what can we make the technology do. The challenge is gosh, we're in a world where technology can do jolly well anything we want.... In that world, what do we want? And what do we want turns out to be a very different thing, I think, to maybe what we were doing in the, in the last century with those big factory schools and those economies of scale and wisdom being delivered and a curriculum being received. Children reading, learning and inwardly digesting somebody else's information. So, what were the signs? What, where, where do we look back and see, rather obviously, seemed to me, that we were moving to a different world. Well, I, you know, gosh in the eighties. I remember putting a network of children together. This is before the Internet. Where we had, we had Prestel and sort of teletext service and electronic mail, of course, which has been around for, for eons. And we joined all this together and we allowed children and teachers to communicate from and to each other in a really rather, um, compelling way and did they enjoy it? Golly gosh, they did. Was it compelling? Yes. Were there the things that they wanted to do? They wanted to be part of a community.

Video Details

Duration: 39 minutes and 20 seconds
Year: 2008
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 1,413
Posted by: k12online on Oct 16, 2008

K12 Online Conference 2008
Amplifying Possibilities

Professor Stephen Heppell
St Katherine Docks, Tower of London, England
Blog Stephen’s Phone Blog

Originally published: 13 October 2008

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