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Showing posts from May, 2013

Mobile Revolution

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I am amazed how mobile computing has taken the world by storm.  It really is like a revolution.  Traditional ways of computer are being disrupted, some might suggest out of existence.  We increasingly read headlines (here, another) about the death or end of the desktop computer.  Actually it’s more, the death of the MP3 player, digital camera, calculator, voice recorder, handheld GPS, camcorder, to list a few other casualties.  I think this is great – fewer specific use devices to buy and haul around with you is a good thing.  Costs to own a diverse set of devices disappears into the single purpose device.  However, can the mobile device really meet all of our needs in the most effective way?  Is there still a place for “traditional” devices such as the desktop?My own experience is that I might use my home desktop computer an hour or two a week at most and that’s mainly for banking, some email and Facebook, maybe a bit of Twitter, and at certain times to research companies, products, …

Learning and Technology are Better Together

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I can’t remember what event or forum I was at where I heard this but the facilitator asked the group “what do you teach?” and each teacher shared what they teach… “I teach English”, “I teach Math”, “I teach PE”, “I teach grade 5”, etc.  The facilitator than asked “Don’t you teach students?”.  Profoundly, teaching isn’t the goal, learning is.  I think we lose focus of this at times.  Teaching does not guarantee that learning is happening.  Learning is not necessarily dependent on teaching.  I know there will be those that disagree with me but I think we’re on a trajectory in time where learning will be dependent on technology.  However, today I suspect most of us would agree that technology is still seen as optional in schools, just a tool.In my travels through Vancouver schools, I hear a lot about the barriers to using technology: networks are slow and unreliable, no wireless access, not nearly enough access to useful digital learning tools (computers, tablets, handhelds) for kids or …

Pervasive Inequality

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I find it rather surprising how much I did not learn about important aspects of history during my stint in the K12 education system as a student.  Was it taught and I tuned out or is it a challenge of too much history, what do kids need to know?  I’ve listened to two ear opening audio books recently, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World and Civilization: The West and the Rest both written by Niall Ferguson.  In many ways, these books expound dark truths about our past.  The abuse of peoples, the creation of vast inequities are the story of our past which were essentially driven by greed, power, and fanaticism.  Our past is rife with conquest, enslavement, murder, starvation, etc. and the love of money is clearly at the core.  We continue to strive today against inequities and inequalities but I wonder sometimes if this is a losing battle.  The civilizations and systems we live in and with are still stacked against the many and favor the few.  The relative prosperity a…