Sunday, February 24, 2008

Junior Students What is Important?

Mark Treadwell Talked about the Juniors ie Students aged 5 to 7

At the Learning at Schools conference last week in Rotorua. He was talking about the need to remove pressure from junior classrooms for everything but language. He mentioned that science for example should have no real objective beyond say being amazed by the world around us. This could be achieved by looking at some things though a microscope (perhaps one a day for a week) The mosquito wing below is a prime example. The main message I see is to reduce and simplify moving to essential knowings and concepts rather than skills and discrete objectives. What we need to be comfortable with is what do student really need to learn at age 6? What Can they Learn?

The following are my thoughts on where Junior Schools might fit into
learning pathways.
  • listening
  • speaking
  • viewing, graphics
  • presenting
  • Reading
  • Writing, txt
  • doing stuff in the playground
  • exploring
  • manipulating stacking
  • fine motor skill development
Learning to live together.

Learning to think

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Infrastructure - network

It look to me that in most cases applications are moving to the network. My colleague and friend Mark Craven was talking about his belief that cloud computing is the way to go.

"cloud computing -- where applications and files are stored on a large, centralized supercomputer or network. The end user accesses his or her files using computers that are more streamlined but less sophisticated than today's typical machines."

I see some exceptions today with the power etc not quite there for video editing, high end gaming etc. But overall I think that Mark is right. Cloud computing is simple, reduces admin over heads etc. At the school where I work email, calendaring, planning, learning, photo galleries, wikis, forums etc already happen on the web. Portfolios reporting and collaboration are happening in this space also.
This is an organisational cloud in my mind.

Assets for cloud computing

  • big pipes with the network to the internet and back
  • virtualisation of servers so that demand can be met
  • from whole resource
  • back up of data to provide high Qos and response time
  • clear navigation and service understanding
  • consistent interface and a central portal organised
  • scalable so that new applications and client can be added

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Infrastructure - people

Have been working on a presentation for an upcoming conference.

This has been a reflection on 8 years of work in co-ordinating ICT
in a large New Zealand primary school. Probably the hardest infrastructure get
right is people. The more time I spend with technology the further I develop
my skills and comfort. Yet there are people who are yet to go online in any significant
manner or for any significant purpose.

As technologies become more reliant, powerful and ubiquitous those not on board
seem more conspicuous by their absence.

If we consider conceptual frameworks that
may provide a learning pathway for these people what might it be.

  • Logic -- Thinking
  • Risk taking -- Discovery
  • Questioning -- Making Meaning
  • Recognising patterns
  • Utilising others (along the line of Vygotsky's ZPD) -- Belonging
This group of concepts (competencies?) is quite similar to the core of this diagram
produced by Mark Treadwell