computers, classroom, climbing, etc.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Existential crisis?

CingT continues to impress me. A cool teenage blogger has hit the Norwegian edublogsphere with a bang. In a net forum, she nailed me with a quote from my own blog. Yikes. I notice she's even been through here and left a comment in (really good) English.

One of the areas where she sees more challenge than solution is 1:1. The level of misuse of computers she says she sees in the classroom is far beyond what most teachers are ready to admit to. So what do we do now? 'Strolling the classroom' risks making us into a silly kind of computer-use watchdog. Demanding that pupils submit all their work also shows an unreasonable control mentality, as well as being unrealistic.

Two ways to think about this:

1. Students must have something meaningful to do. Sitting in front of their computer, they should be working. The work should lead to a product, and this product must be used for something. (Preferably, something useful or necessary for their classmates. If not, then maybe for publishing, submission for a grade, preparation for exams, etc.) Meaningful work, preferably with interaction built in.


2. 1:1 is not the problem. School is. School is experienced by many students as a) boring, b) meaningless, c) not useful and d) in conflict with central cultural values. Giving all students a small portal to the world at large has effectively undermined all pedagogical activity. Students finally have something else they can fill their time with and still avoid the problems that occur when you do not show up at school.

This is why I have said that CingT is swearing in Church. Actually, a better metaphor would be to say that "she has pointed out that our digital emperor is not as well dressed as people have said." I'm not sure if there are any good ideas for solving the problems taken up here, because I'm afraid this is not an 'educational challenge' or 'start-up difficulty', but an existential crisis for school.

1 comment:

  1. This has just gone nuts. Tom from Bionic Teaching has said that he is following the CingT phenomenon from the States by using Google Translate (you know the world has gone crazy when...)

    So many have posted responses to CingT on their own blogs and started their own discussions that several overviews have popped up (such as Alb*Aab and CingT is, predictably, everywhere commenting. Good thing she doesn't usually work past 2 am.

    So, sorry Tom, there's no way I can even start to sum up the debates that now rage in the Norwegian edublogsphere. Still, I'm going to keep writing and posting on this topic for the next while - definately where my head is now.