Unblocking and unlocking: and catching up with students

For years it has been a recuring rant that we cant seem to find a way to use the new technologies – taken for granted by students – in classrooms to support their learning. The blocking and locking strategies used to keep Web 2 away from schools and classrooms has meant that many (most?) teachers no longer try: worn down by years of poor connections, banned hardware and blocked websites.

BUT IT DOESNT HAVE TO BE LIKE THAT and I have just seen the report published by Stephen Heppell this month. It is the result of a research project by practicing teachers developing and sharing live classroom practice which embraces new technology and social media rather than banning it. Mobile phones can be used by students to capture and celebrate excellent teaching, facebook draws a community together, embracing parents rather than excluding them.

This is a breath of fresh air and demonstrates that it can be done effectively, safely and cheaply because teachers and students in different schools have already done it. This report should give teachers a guide which has credibility and traction. I do strongly recommend it. It is by teachers, for teachers and has real credibility because of it.

I think the methodology of the research is also worthy of note and gives an example of how social media can be used professionally by subject communities to make a difference.

Find it all at www.cloudlearn.net

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About Dan

Senior Advisor, Art Inspector, Member of the Expert Advisory Group for Art, Consultant working with NSEAD, IOE, QCA, UCE, UOG. Currently lecturer at UCL working on a project in Kazakhstan to develop text books for a new art curriculum.
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