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IT News Thread, Inventing the future Ė Phil Nealís Education Mouthpiece from Capita in Other News; This came through the wires couple of days ago and Phill has agreed I can post it up. As think ...
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    russdev's Avatar
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    Inventing the future Ė Phil Nealís Education Mouthpiece from Capita

    This came through the wires couple of days ago and Phill has agreed I can post it up. As think quite a useful article to start some discussion over.

    Russ



    As we come to the end of another year I find myself naturally thinking back over the past 12 months, and also considering what the future holds. For education, the next two or three years are ones filled with dramatic change and development. As we consider Building Schools for the Future and the technological advances that promise to revolutionise teaching and learning, it is natural to consider how our schools will change.



    Inventing the future

    I recently took part in a conference, where the focus was on 2020. Christine Gilbertís 2020 Vision has set out a far reaching and expansive view of how our pupils will learn and how our schools will look over the next few years.



    But how do we get from here to there?



    Predicting the exact future is impossible, especially when it comes to IT. A wise man once said: ďThe best way to predict the future is to invent it.Ē And he might just have a point. As technology advances we need not to rely on what we can already do, but what our technology could do in the future.



    Technological advancement

    We need to harness the ability of technology to help achieve numerous government targets, including those for personalised learning, online reporting, e-procurement, extended schools and the 14-19 agenda.



    So what can we expect?



    Personalised learning

    For personalised learning it will become imperative that both the management information system (MIS) and the virtual learning environment (VLE) will work in tandem to drive and deliver learning. Data from the MIS about a pupilís past achievements could be used to deliver learning materials automatically via the VLE which would address gaps in the pupilís knowledge. And as technology evolves it is likely the VLE and MIS will become a single system.



    Online communication

    Online communicating with parents is something that will also become an online phenomenon, sooner rather than later. Not just in terms of reporting but for garnering views of parents on important topics, where previously the long working hours of some would have prevented them from having their say at PTA meetings.



    Handhelds with touch screens

    Handheld technology will become the norm, following the Apple iPod Touch and iPhone model, and teachers will want to access information about their learners from this technology as much as their pupils will want to use the devices for accessing learning materials.



    Collaboration

    Collaboration between schools and the local community is another key area for the future, as schools liaise to deliver the 14-19 diplomas and secondaries link up with feeder primaries to ensure consistency throughout their pupilsí education. Sharing data on students between schools will need to become ubiquitous for this to work effectively.



    Itís exciting times ahead, and the scope for education is vast. Now is the time to really look to the future and harness the power that technology has to invent exciting and inspiring possibilities for our schools.



    Phil Neal

    Phil Neal is Managing Director of SIMS at Capita Childrenís Services.

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russdev View Post
    This came through the wires...

    Russ
    Give that man an old stogie and a snap brim fedora. That's real grownup newsroom talk Russ.

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    leco's Avatar
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    Delivering learning? What happened to discovering?

    Delivering targets? What happened to exploring the possibilities?

    Living online lives? What happened to actual experience?

    If the future is what we invent how will our young people know what to invent? Will they have independent thought, imagination, co-operation, collaboration? Will they have a capacity or disposition to learn if all of life is delivered directly to them, via whatever electronic means the grown-ups deem to be applicable/appropriate?

    Since the future cannot be known, it has always been invented. The question is, in the long run, how many people "invent" the same thing? Another question then arises, just because many people do invent the same thing does that mean it is so?

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    Give that man an old stogie and a snap brim fedora. That's real grownup newsroom talk Russ.
    lol

    Serves me right for hanging around with all these press people...


    Russ

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    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leco View Post
    Delivering learning? What happened to discovering?

    Delivering targets? What happened to exploring the possibilities?

    Living online lives? What happened to actual experience?

    If the future is what we invent how will our young people know what to invent? Will they have independent thought, imagination, co-operation, collaboration? Will they have a capacity or disposition to learn if all of life is delivered directly to them, via whatever electronic means the grown-ups deem to be applicable/appropriate?
    As someone who loves what I can do with computers but continually hitting the hard realisation that children simply don't have the freedom, opportunity or desire to get out there and "play in the mud" the whole approach now seems to be to replace the real world with virtual ones where it's "safe" I couldn't have put this better.

    I've realised that when I have children I want to move into the country, have space, a community spirit and give those kids the opportunity to get dirty, hurt themselves, get up, dust themselves off and actually live a life that doesn't require cotton wool except to make a beard for santa on a ruddy Christmas card... Unfortunately I'll probably be sued for neglecting those same children.

    When did I become a throwback.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Neal
    For personalised learning it will become imperative that both the management information system (MIS) and the virtual learning environment (VLE) will work in tandem to drive and deliver learning. Data from the MIS about a pupil’s past achievements could be used to deliver learning materials automatically via the VLE which would address gaps in the pupil’s knowledge. And as technology evolves it is likely the VLE and MIS will become a single system.
    This is a bit hypocritical - an area where SIMS is renowned for not allowing easy interoperability with other VLEs and doing its own thing.

    It's all very well predicting the future and telling us we will all be in a Star Trek-esque school environment in 10 years' time; but for schools who want to do things their own way and push the boundaries today; the restrictions, limitations and licensing in SIMS only serve to hold schools back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    This is a bit hypocritical - an area where SIMS is renowned for not allowing easy interoperability with other VLEs and doing its own thing.

    It's all very well predicting the future and telling us we will all be in a Star Trek-esque school environment in 10 years' time; but for schools who want to do things their own way and push the boundaries today; the restrictions, limitations and licensing in SIMS only serve to hold schools back.
    Good point webman. Unfortunately Capita are a commercial organization, and whatever we may think, do invest a lot of money in Research and Development. Licensing is one way to continue the funding of R & D.

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    We need to harness the ability of technology to help achieve numerous government targets, including those for personalised learning, online reporting, e-procurement, extended schools and the 14-19 agenda.
    I feel the greatest impediment to these will probably be the teachers, though not for idealogical/political reasons. Take the example of IWB's. That "I" stands for Interactive; how many are simply used as substitutes for white board and marker? The education has to take in the teachers as well; schools have to become places where everybody learns.
    By "schools" I mean the the wider community which makes up the school. Teachers, pupils, parents, governors, TA's and so on.
    Last edited by beeswax; 24th December 2008 at 03:35 PM. Reason: 30 watt light bulb finally came on.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    Good point webman. Unfortunately Capita are a commercial organization, and whatever we may think, do invest a lot of money in Research and Development. Licensing is one way to continue the funding of R & D.
    Yeah I understand this. If only they understood open standards a bit better, it wouldn't be so bad.

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    Online communication

    Online communicating with parents is something that will also become an online phenomenon, sooner rather than later. Not just in terms of reporting but for garnering views of parents on important topics, where previously the long working hours of some would have prevented them from having their say at PTA meetings.
    You're going to run into the same problems here as currently exist in school. The parents of the bright pupils are usually the ones who turn up for parents' evenings, whereas the teachers will tell you they aren't the ones they need to see. We've just conducted a survey of both parents and pupils, 54% of pupils responded, 16% of parents replied. This isn't about the technology; if throwing a stone at their bedroom window at 03:00am got them to take an interest in their child's education then I'd invest in stones.
    For some parents school is nothing more than cheap child minding. How do you engage with these people?
    As a former school governor and head of the PTA I've had first hand experience of trying to bring in new faces to these bodies, and most of the time without any luck. Some of these people I was trying to attract didn't have "long working hours", in fact, some of them didn't work at all (I apologize to those who are out of work and looking to get back into employment). They are not going to play the game of "getting involved" no matter that they've been given a laptop under the government's current scheme to enable them to do just that. You might just be better off with a pointy stick, but then that's making them do something under duress, which is the first step on a very rocky road.
    Some people are simply not interested. They've been through the system and it's done very little, or nothing for them; why should they throw themselves willingly into this mix again? Their experience of the education system has left them unimpressed, so I suggest that instead of all this expensive technology we instead use the money to pay parents to come in to school and discuss their child's progress.
    Last edited by beeswax; 25th December 2008 at 05:00 PM.

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    Technological advancement

    We need to harness the ability of technology to help achieve numerous government targets, including those for personalised learning, online reporting, e-procurement, extended schools and the 14-19 agenda.
    Just who are these technological advancements supposed to benefit? Government targets? Or the pupil?
    I'll hold up my hand here and admit that a lot of these proposals excite me, to the extent that I'm putting myself through an online degree course in Education, Research and Technology. I'm not trying to promote myself here, but this self motivated learning is what the government is seeking. Learning to learn. How do you bring people to such a pitch that they spend half of Christmas Day thinking about such problems?

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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Yeah I understand this. If only they understood open standards a bit better, it wouldn't be so bad.
    Sorry webman, didn't mean to appear patronising.

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by contink View Post
    As someone who loves what I can do with computers but continually hitting the hard realisation that children simply don't have the freedom, opportunity or desire to get out there and "play in the mud" the whole approach now seems to be to replace the real world with virtual ones where it's "safe" I couldn't have put this better.

    I've realised that when I have children I want to move into the country, have space, a community spirit and give those kids the opportunity to get dirty, hurt themselves, get up, dust themselves off and actually live a life that doesn't require cotton wool except to make a beard for santa on a ruddy Christmas card... Unfortunately I'll probably be sued for neglecting those same children.

    When did I become a throwback.
    I think you'll find that some "enlightened" councils are now reconsidering taking up the sort of rubber matting found in park playgrounds and putting tarmac down again for the very reason that children shouldn't be over protected and thus gain a false impression of how easy life is. As you say, children have to experience pain at some point in order to learn important lessons. It doesn't make you neglectful.

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    I think this is the full document to which Phil Neal refers - http://publications.teachernet.gov.u...20Learning.pdf
    I think I'd better read it before commenting any further.

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    Wowe beeswax, you weren't understating when you said it got you excited were you?

    Either that or you got some awesome coffee today!

    Hope the Online Degree works out for you - is it OU?

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