Rethinking the ‘Natives and Immigrants’ debate. Bloom’s Taxonomy for the digital learner.

October 19, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Digital Era, e-learning 

Yesterday I wrote a piece on teenagers and the social media environment they are living in. This resulted in so many great discussions with various colleagues through twitter, face to face and on the phone. Matt huges also passed me a great prezi which I have looked at three times now and I think it would be really useful to pass it on. As I have often said, the students I taught 10 years ago are dramatically different to those I teach today. Whilst the class of 2000 were more digital immigrant than native those who I teach today live in an immersive world of communication where online is all pervasive.

When thinking about our learners and their learning environments almost all teachers will be familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy which classifies learning objectives into levels. The key question which arises is how does Bloom’s Taxonomy remain relevant in such a fast changing learning environment where the very nature of the ‘learning’ is continually being reshaped. The presentation which Matt passed on to me looks at the response to this through the creation of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy. This identifies the nature of the learning which can take place within our digital environments and classifies this into levels. Well worth 5 minutes of your time and really made me reflect all over again on how important collaboration is within our 21st Century learning environments.

New SharePoint 2010 features for education. SharePoint School Reward System part 5.

Over the last few days we have looked at how different members of the school community view AA (reward point) data which is relevant to their needs within SharePoint 2010. You can catch up on the first 4 parts of this series below:

  1. Part 1 Awarding individual reward points to students you teach.
  2. Part 2 Awarding individual reward points to students you do not teach.
  3. Part 3 The Head of Year View of year group AAs.
  4. Part 4 The Tutor View of tutor group AAs.

In this section we are going to look at how students view their AA totals and the breakdown by subjects. The two elements of the student view can be seen on the right side of the Student home page below.

Student have a personal thermometer for their AAs with the red filling up as students get more AAs- this can be seen in detail below.

In addition to this students can see a breakdown of AAs by subject in the table shown below.

I hope you found this series useful as a way of seeing how other schools are taking their reward systems online. One interesting decision we made within our build was to move away from the obsession with integrating everything into the MIS. Our view was that there will be an increasing move towards data being stored within the learning platform and not relying on a ever more bloated MIS.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this solution if you have been following the series. Drop me an email mike.herrity@twynhamschool.com or on twitter @mikeherrity

New SharePoint 2010 features for education. SharePoint School Reward System part 4.

In the last session we looked at viewing of AAs (reward points) for Heads of Year and Senior Leaders in SharePoint 2010 so that they could see the year group overviews. This can be seen on the right side of the image below. On the left side of the page below you can see an area called Tutor Group Overview.

By selecting the drop down on the left side this brings up individual students with their overall totals. Using this tutors can identify where individual students are under performing with their reward totals and intervene. It can therefore be used as an early warning system of students who are now working at their full potential.

Texting, music, apps and social connectedness. Thoughts on teens and Social Media Revolution.

October 18, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Digital Era, Social Computing 

Over the weekend I have been dipping into various online feeds and giving some thought to where we are going within education, e-learning and the digital environment generally. If you want to check out the posts I have been writing you can find them here:

1. Cool websites for education- YT Time Machien. History research tool?

2. The Educational landscape of the 21st Century. Moving towards a new paradign in learning.

3. The origins of digital natives and e-learning. Internet arrives in 1993.

I have also been reflecting on various sources of information coming into my twitter feed. Some thoughts started to come together about the  teenagers we teach, their digital consumption and use and their social interaction. The first thing that struck me was a tweet from @ruskin147 on the use of texts by teens:

The article is here and the headline speaks for itself. Teachers of teens will know how important a part of their life texting is but a figure of 3,339 for 13-17 year olds with girls on average texting over 4,000 times is staggering. What surprises me more is the rising trend when this age group who are self confessed as living on Facebook. It appears that this move over the last 3 years has not dulled their appetite for text messaging with an 8% increase year on year.

At the same time I was struck by the video below, however contrived the setup may have been, which continues to show the importance of music within teen culture. This when combined with the growth of smart phones and the rise of apps and data usage (up from 14mb to 62mb per month amongst 13-17 year olds) shows how much of a digital society they are increasingly living in.

At the same time as all this interaction, immersion and interconnectedness one study which was highlighted in the Boston Globe shows a significant decline in empathetic skills amongst teenagers. Whilst these digital natives may be growing a vast social network and are increasingly willing to volunteer it is possible that their ability to care for others is declining. Could it be that our online worlds are leading to a decline in real and genuine relationship skills amongst our teenage generation? As an anecdote, when I first started teaching almost every teenager was on MSN messenger in the UK. I remember the first time I asked a teenager why she liked spending so much time chatting online instead of in person she said ‘it allows me to be more blunt and honest with my friends and tell them what I really feel’. I am sure this is the case for many teenagers and the preference for texting where emotion is so hard to convey over voice calls can surely only lead to less empathetic teenagers?

The origins of digital natives and e-learning. Internet arrives in 1993 and changes the landscape.

October 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: SharePoint 

Yesterday I posted a review of a new site called YTTM, or YouTube Time Machine. Within the post I showed a future gazing video from 1969 which looked at what the Internet would soon look like. I had a response to the post from @andreacarr1 on twitter who posted a link to a similar video from 1993. The video clip was such a good reflection of what the Internet was in its earliest years for the consumer that I had to show it on the blog. For me it was even more memorable as I was at Lancaster University in my second year in 1993 and a girl called Hope first mentioned the term ‘email’ to me and helped me to set up an account. It is great to look back on something which has become such an important part of our lives and see how basic and rudimentary it was. Enjoy the video!

The educational landscape of the 21st Century. Moving towards a new paradigm in learning.

October 17, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Digital Era, e-learning 

Earlier this weekend I spotted an RSA Animate created for a speech made by Sir Ken Robinson. The topic was changing educational paradigms and the challenge of creating a public educational system which matches the needs of our 21st Century world. They style of presentation mixed with the talk are very engaging and I found myself returning to the key themes over and over again during the last 24 hours. The video is fairly short and well worth investing the time to look at if you are interested in the challenges we face as educators.

If this has left you wanting more you can see the whole talk by Sir Ken Robinson below.

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