Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The 'Gamer Generation' and education.

Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with John Beck, a Senior Research Fellow at USC's Annenberg Center of the Digital Future. He warns that the "Gamer Generation" is about to enter the workforce -- and that means change.

John Beck is the author of "Got Game -- How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever."

Only a 7.8mb download of a audio that plays for 17 minutes. Easy listening and informative. Recorded on 15/3/2005.

The interview has a business focus - What are the implications for education? As teachers we are dealing with these people as they have been and are coming through our schools. Does the John Beck analysis of the 'Gamer Generation' ring true from our experience? Does the John Beck interview contribute in any way to helping us to provide better schools and education systems?

For those who are at some management level in schools/regional offices or central offices - What are the implications for the organisation and management of the delivery of school education as more and more of the 'Gamer Generation' become employed?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Changing face of Journalism

I have been working on developing a resource that our journalism class could use to examine how this profession is changing with technology. In the mean time this audio (51 minutes - download is 23mb and can be played on an mp3 player - you may need to register) has became available where Dan Gilmore discusses the impact of new technologies on the face of journalism. This seems to me to be a great place to start because he provides such a great range of examples/stories that is so much easier for me to absorb when an audio presentation (vs written). His great use of examples sets him apart from some of the crystal ball gazers. Essentially it is comparatively easy and cheap for individuals to produce news media and to make it available quickly. It is searchable. It is also easier to study an issue in more depth and breadth. One of the issues that he rightly raises is the issue of copyright. I think that the current copyright rules have had their day and will be (already are) an encumbrance to progress.

"What role can and should technology play in contributing to transparency--full disclosure--in the media? After all, given that it's been such an enabler to the revolution in journalism, shouldn't it also be a driving force in integrity as well?" This short article is at zdnet. http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-5539175.html

Bob Stepno's page for his Journalism students at the School of Journalism & Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville This gives some idea of what the people who are training journalists are thinking as important.

His journalism weblog makes for some interesting reading as he explores some of the emerging technologies (wiki, blog, podcasting, etc.) and how they impact on the world of journalism

Missouri School of Journalism - a good explanation of podcasting

This comment was posted on 2/9/2005
Barely visible on the horizon four months ago, podcasting is busting out all over, both in terms of exposure and in technical development. USA Today has two articles on podcasting today, and a new Flash-based players allows bloggers to “quote” pieces of podcasts. http://www.tamark.ca/students/?p=581

So the change continues.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Genetic Engineering toys

Imagine the kids toys of the future with their little genetic engineering toolkit (I grew up with mechano and lego). Imagine the kids of the future playing with this technology to see who can grow the cactus with the most prickles. I found this idea most challenging but so possible. I think that senior school technology, science (biology and psychology) and information technology students should listen to this presentation and have the opportunity to react to it.


Thanks Bill for the link to 'itconversations'

Horses for courses

I have not made a posting for some time. A number of factors. I have huge admiration for those who can be exposed to a stimulus and just react to it. There is an honesty in that that I have difficulty doing for myself. I tend to ponder and ponder and read and read and ponder some more. I have had a lot of stimulus lately and so a lot to ponder. With that build up I guess that I should be giving birth to something truly great. Naaaaaaaa. Work has been particularly hectic since the start of the year and has not let up. I haven't finished pondering yet either. It's just about time I got back to putting some things together for myself.

I have found that 'using the free stuff first', while most people agree in principle, can find it difficult to put into practice. I can understand why they are doing this but can't help thinking that it is short sighted, especially after listening to the interview of Knut Yrvin (a key player in the Skolelinux project) by Teemu of Flosse Posse . Knut talked about dealing with diminishing educational budgets (and many other issues) and yet some people want to tie themselves to a propriety product and the ongoing associated costs – what for? (feelings of despair)

I have really benefited from all of the interviews that Teemu of Flosse Posse has made available. (I have also found Skype – thanks for that also) I think that the most important thing that I have been able to conceptualise is the potential that ICT's are providing us with the growing array of social interaction tools and the obvious benefits for students in constructivist learning environments, let alone connectivist. Yet in schools we are still trying to get the applications level (empowering individuals) integrated across the curriculum. Check out this diagram from Flosse Posse http://flosse.dicole.org/media/documents/FLOSSE-results/siframes.html and then follow the 'Exploring the future' link in the left panel.

We have teachers in schools that have no idea about simple file management let alone helping students develop application level (personal empowerment) skills. I don't want to put across the idea that because there is a tool we have to be using it. 'Horses for courses' is the way. We have to know how to use the right tool for the job. We need also to know about the range of tools we have available to us so that we can actually make a good choice. The other part to this is giving the tools to the students so that they can also make decisions for themselves and decide upon what horse for what course.