I am attending the Global Summit 06, hosted by Education.au, and reporting and reflecting on sessions over the course of the next two days.
The conference program has a telling quote from Marchall McLUhan which sets the framework for the Summit discussions. I’ll share it with you here:
Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s jobs with yesterday’s tools”.
A great quote, and good setting for the Global Summit.
Our first Keynote address was delivered by Keynote: Andrew Cappie-Wood, Director General NSW Department of Education. He reminded us that education is about engaging young minds in stimulating curriculum, amongst other things to develop decent, thoughtful, resourceful students. He also highlighted that the intent and the use of ICT isn’t different across the different states of Australia – but that there is a tendency for comparison and competition. Bragging rights!! Are a common problem as people show ‘how good we are’.
Since ICT is just part of the competitive advantage Andrew said ‘lets hear the brag!’ We heard about email for students across the state, and ‘leveraging the size to engage in ‘efficient’ procurement and system architecture’.
There are many key drivers for the system for ICT to deliver quality education to everyone everywhere.
Imperatives in action are:
- Community expectations
- ICT developments in personalized portals, personalized learning etc
- Federal rollout of national education system will be strongly underpinned by ICT – ICT will be the binding that will hold this all together
- Digital Divide – Capacity to take up innovation is lagging because of staff capability
- Digital Draw – to facilitate change – e.g. ICT tools such as interactive whiteboards
Change is expotential – and technological changes are providing challenges for safe working environments. The example was YouTube, and the question was asked as to what we do to effectively respond and adapt to challenging technologies. There are superb opportunities, and many factors that will influence our adoption. There is no future for us without ICT in an increasingly global world.
How can ICT improve our educational outcomes? I would have liked to hear Andrew go beyond the generalized summary of ICT potential and infrastructure developments and get closer to the social networking imperatives of Web 2.0 beyond a brief mention of change with a YouTube example in the last minutes of the address.