Month: April 2009

Education Trends

Less paper, more IT in our schools

When I read this article, in The Star I thought….

Was someone reading my previous blog and decided to conduct a study to find out that our schools will most likely be text book free very soon?

Was someone listening in to my conversations with colleagues and friends and decided to see if maybe there was some truth in what was said?

kids playing computer games or surfing the netJust a coincidence, I think.

The paper released today by the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association basically summarizes what I have been proposing for a long time.  Kids nowadays don’t want to read textbooks.

Here is a link to the paper  What If? Technology in the 21st Century Classroom.

 Kids don’t want more content from traditional sources. They want to create their own original digital content.  They want to be authors, movie producers, radio announcers, media gurus… get it!??”

After all they are media gurus already.  

If you don’t know it by now, try this, give them a new gadget –out of the box and within minutes, while you are still on the “How to Change the Battery” page, they will know exactly what to do with it –

And how about the content creation bit?

Here it goes… Messages are flying back and forth relentlessly. They thumb away single handed from within their pockets and purses!

They hide their gadgets between the pages of textbooks and notebooks and they write.  They write to everyone on their list, at anytime, everywhere.

And, this sort of underground communication takes place while we, unsuspecting educators and parents, are actually thinking that they are reading, or studying or doing their homework!

Do we want kids to create content behind our backs?

Or, isn’t it time we taught these kids a lesson!?

Here is a plan. We will tell them to bring their gadgets to school every day for a month.  They will be instructed to put away their text books. We will force them to use the Internet to research the same topic we were reading about yesterday.

Then they will have to produce a short YouTube style movie or podcast using some software like Movie Maker and finally we will post all their projects on a classroom blog.

That will teach them!  

Am I dreaming? 


 It’s already happening… in a very few, select classrooms and for a few very lucky kids.

Education Trends

eLearning: a shift to paperless?

School districts can no longer afford to ignore the reality that the number of students who are now taking courses on line is growing by leaps and bounds.  Statistics and trends clearly show that e-learning is becoming a major component of students’ education everywhere.

[youtube=] As a Continuing Education Principal in charge of on-line learning I have seen the number of students who opt to take courses on-line as an alternative to traditional schooling triple in just a few years.

Some sources predict that by the year 2030 all learning will be online.

Many on line courses deliver content through web based infrastructures known as CMS (Content Management Systems) or LMS (Learning Management Systems).  The idea behind these “depositories of knowledge” or content tanks is that the courses are already on-line.  The teachers can use these courses as they are or easily modify them as they need and deliver them to the students.   Textbooks are most often not necessary and sometimes just quoted for reference purposes only and all work is exchanged electronically.

Assignments, research, threaded discussions, chats and problem sets are all done online.  Some courses make use of audio labs and others have simulations and demonstrations built right into the LMS.

Are we moving towards a totally paperless delivery of content?