Learning Technology Forum

Wednesday and Thursday this week saw Learning Technology teachers from primary and secondary schools in the Parramatta Diocese gather for a two-day forum.

The presentations from this forum will be made available via podcast – and I hope provide the links for you when they are available .

The forum was opened by Kevin Jones, and as Head of Curriculum he was able to provide some clear insights to ‘set the scene’.

Kevin focussed on the beliefs that underpin/enable/epitomise 21st century learning, and the approaches that will enable (if not ensure) quality 21st century learning. Some of the key points were about the beliefs that must drive our understanding and the staffroom approaches that help us be more effective.

The Beliefs
Learning in the 21st century is about

  • student “centredness”.
  • Student ownership
  • Student choices
  • Student responsibility

The Approach

Collaborative work practices (staffroom approaches) will help us meet the learning needs of our students.

These practices must include use of technology that enhances collaborative work practices for:

  • Programming Organisation of assessment
  • Marking to standards
  • Evaluation
  • Cross-curricular approaches

As Kevin explained, “Our approaches and practices have to reflect our beliefs about individualised learning”. “We need to think about our own approach” “We need to think about what our current practices indicate about our beliefs about learning”.

Then we will engage more effectively in how to use the tools.

I followed with a presentation on Engaging the google generation through Web 2.0. For this session I drew from the article of the same title published in SCAN, Vol 25 No 3 August 2006.

2 thoughts on “Learning Technology Forum

  1. Graham, I think you have a point. Semantics are important, as is the context in which words are used. I believe that Kevin’s choice of term means the same as ‘personlised learning’ for him ….. and therefore I didn’t think twice about it really. However, perhaps it depends who is arguing the toss about the words and their meaning. As a struggling Doctorate student myself  I would counter the views of my fellow academics. I feel that the ultimate goal has to be individualised learning, even if what struggle to achieve now is only personalised learning. That is the direction that technology is taking us – i.e. we are going to have the capacity to individualise – and some work in learning management systems is about just that – how to use technology to individualise learning.

  2. Interestingly, at the Middle Schooling Conference a few speakers warned against the concept of individualised learning because it suggests that we will create something new for each student that we teach (highly impractical) and preferred the phrase personalised learning, indicating that a core curriculum can adapt for different learners and their needs. It might just be semantics but it was interesting to note that the speakers (researchers, doctorates in education, education leaders) went out of their way to make this point.

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