Saturday, December 21, 2013

It tapped me lightly as a child’s heart might

Here in Finland there has been talk about getting modern ICT equipment into schools, especially iPads and other tablets. But it doesn't feel to me that this really would be a solution to teaching and learning.

I read yesterday two articles about experiences in the USA - at WSJ and in Businessweek. It seems that the experiences so far are not that encouraging, "screen time is hardly what children are lacking nowadays".

But anyway. I have been feeling blurry, there are so many things happening, and I'm also feeling tired due to lack of sleep.

(Posting title is from the poem With Mercy for the Greedy by Anne Sexton.)


Cedric Canard said...

I would agree that technology is not what's needed by our children. Primarily, what needs to happen is a change in the curriculum which makes the lessons and the learning more relevant to children who already have access to so much. They need to learn more about problem solving and public speaking (to nurture self confidence). They need to have an education that caters to their creativity so that they can eventually work out creative uses for technology so that they can help solve the world's problems.

While screen time doesn't really help or hinder in these areas, the real trouble is that teachers are still tied to old methods of teaching. It's not really their fault since in Australia they are directed by the government as to what and how they can teach.

To be fair, I don't know what the answer is either but I do know that despite my children being top of their classes they do not see the relevance in most of the things that is taught to them. And I think that is truly sad.

Juha Haataja said...

A headline in a Finnish newspaper said "Better software to schools", as if software would be the solution to teaching relevant skills in the digital era.

But what then would be needed? I think there is a need for pedagogical rethinking, and an upgrade of the content of what is taught to children, but not in such a way as to put ICT on a pedestal.

On the other hand I see encouraging signs of how children learn new skills via net-based forums, due to peer-to-peer learning.

As an example, my children like drawing and painting, and they put up their work on online forums for others to comment/criticize, and to learn new skills themselves. It is quite amazing what they are able to create when they put their mind to it.