Smart Classrooms

31 October, 2005 at 06:27 Leave a comment

I attended Jamie McKenzie’s keynote address for the Education Queensland E-Learning Expo today at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Jamie’s presentation title, “Smart Learning with New Technologies” was poking a bit of fun at EQ for their ‘Smart Classrooms’ strategy .

“The strategy establishes Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as the bedrock of 21st century schools, where new technologies spark greater interaction between students, teachers, parents and guardians.” http://education.qld.gov.au/smartclassrooms/

The jab was based on Jamie’s stance that what we need are smart teachers helping to create smart students – not ‘smart’ classrooms. He includes ‘paper’ and ‘books’ in his definition of ‘technologies’ and wants to see the use of ‘technology’ as but one method of delivering teaching aimed at making students smarter. He referred to the practice of “de-laptoping”, which is apparently a new practice being considered in many schools as a remedy to cutting-edge policy implemented without sound pedagogical justification.

One of the presentation highlights was the assertion that schools have moved away from encouraging students to question. Especially in the USA, where students are tested on their writing and calculation skills with little import placed on other ‘literacies’ including Historical Literacy, Ethical Literacy, Cultural Literacy, Geographic Literacy, Economic Literacy, and Sociopolitical Literacy. Students (particularly those in disadvantaged communities) are, in essence, being trained for a service industry where basic reading, writing and numerical skills are sufficient. These students are not being exposed to the type of learning that produces critical thinkers or even those with the skills to ask the boss “why?”.

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Entry filed under: Education, Pedagogy, Technology.

Research interest Monkey see, monkey do…

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