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Blue Skies Thread, Schools are failing our children simply because they are technophobes in General; Schools are failing our children simply because they are technophobes - Telegraph Quite an interesting article, really don't agree with ...
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    teejay's Avatar
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    Schools are failing our children simply because they are technophobes

    Schools are failing our children simply because they are technophobes - Telegraph

    Quite an interesting article, really don't agree with his 'do it all on the internet' philosophy and can definitely say distance learning really isn't anywhere near as good as face to face learning, but he does raise some interesting challenges.

    Edit: How he expects schools to do this with their current levels of IT budgets I don't know.
    Last edited by teejay; 9th July 2013 at 09:43 PM.

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    I can't believe this article.

    What he is describing is flipped learning which is actually a brilliant idea. As for university graduates in America being firefighters, perhaps he needs to hear Sir Ken Robinson on finding your element and that is simply what they wanted to do.

    Technophobic schools too, not where I am. Some teachers perhaps but they all use technology in our school to good use.

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    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    The fact is that a lot of what's demanded in that article is already in place. The claim that schools don't make use of "data analysis to track pupil progress" is laughable.

    We're also hoping that our new VLE will facilitate a lot of the methodology put forward in the article, if we wish to use it. Though it is useful in pointing out the fact that a single integrated approach to putting all of these technologies together, driven by an ambitious overall vision for how a learning environment of that nature and calibre would look, is still lacking in many schools, with too much of an ad-hoc approach to new technologies instead.

    Absolutely agree that money is still a major factor though, and always will be.

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    "assessments remain based on reports filed by teachers; exams are at set times, once a year. There is no systematic use of the internet, software or gaming technology to aid learning, no proper data analysis to monitor pupils’ progress and to understand better how to convey understanding."

    This is nonsense. Both my schools which aren't even high schools, use extensive data analysis and every pupil has to show progress in every single lesson. Yes we have reports but they just give an overview at a set point, teachers can call up data to show a parent that will be completely up to date. There is definitely systematic use of the internet and in the middle school the IT teaching includes gaming technology to keep the children engaged.
    As for the comment that there is no systematic use of software to aid learning - words fail me!

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    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    I think we should bear in mind that this is the view of an outside observer and the author's keyword here is "systematic". That to me implies standards around how things should be done because it could be viewed as the only means whereby an outside observer might be able to discern an overall picture of what's going on. And indeed, we don't really have any if we're being honest. Not that that has to be a bad thing in terms of the particular degree of flexibility that we all know is required in this sector.

    One of the problems around data analysis is that standardisation in this regard is almost universally viewed as negative, which is for understandable reasons considering that each school is unique and each of its pupils is unique again. For example, at this school I've suggested that when we're planning for targeted intervention at a whole-school level, we should make use of data analysis to identify potentially vulnerable cohorts, both for a snapshot picture now and to track progress over time. To that end, I've demonstrated to SLT how we can use SIMS Discover to generate a Venn diagram of pupils who have less than 95% attendance, are eligible for free school meals and have an additional need. That diagram contained 17 pupils at the centre the first time I ran it and 18 pupils the second time, a few months hence (probably the attendance factor that's changed).

    But this is all ad-hoc. You can't create standards around it for fear of constricting individual schools' ability to make the best use of data; but standards are a very viable vehicle for promoting awareness on the part of outside observers, without which we will no doubt see articles like this. All we can really hope for in that scenario is that they aren't taken too seriously by those who do actually understand what is being done, and have a vector for influencing it.

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    Also bear in mind that we are a pro-active audience, by way of being on a tech forum, so our schools will more than likely be more geared towards actively using IT. We mustn't forget that there are a large portion of schools that struggle with IT, either through lack of investment or poor management (of IT or people).

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