The future is Blended

Some of the slides from my presentation at the Oxford Conference last week.  They may not all make sense without the narrative, but you can get a sense of my outrageous propositions!

 

The future is blended

Blender

I’ve been putting the finishing touches on a presentation I’m giving at two Oxford Conferences soon. The title of the presentation is The Future is Blended, and the descriptor for my session is:

In this workshop the focus will be on blended learning and approaches that extend and enhance the classroom experience. The latest research tells us what we have always felt: that good teaching is critical to student learning and that feedback to students is also critical. New technologies provide teachers with powerful tools to organise, collaborate and give feedback and to re-envision the classroom for the twenty-first-century learner. In this workshop participants will get a snapshot of the latest learning theory and get to play with some digital tools in a range of platforms that that can have immediate application in any classroom. The future is not digital, but it is blended.

The Education Changes Lives Conference is focused on Australian Curriculum but my session is more about technology and blending traditional approaches with new ideas. Last year I presented in the English teachers stream; this year it’s for general teaching audience.

The Melbourne conference is on May 16th

The Sydney Conference is on May 30th

Hope to see you there.

Online learning: it’s not Plan B any more

The premise of this panel worried me; that online learning has been characterised as what you do when classrooms aren’t possible (bird-flu!) Really? Okay, let’s be tolerant. It turned out to be an interesting session, if a little narrow definition of online, and I’d like a bit more about blended approaches. EG> Why are we talking off-line and online if they are mutually exclusive.
It was interesting to hear about student and parent anxiety and asking questions like ‘if you could take this course face to face would you prefer that?’ (mostly, yes) and ‘Did you learn something about yourself at yourself as a learner’. (mostly, yes)  Here’s what the panelist said:
Matt Harris –  Head of Learning Resources, German European School, Singapore
Synchronous and asynchronous learning (German and Dutch offered to replace self-taught learning) using video conferencing primarily. What we’ve learned: pedagogy matters.
Edward Lawless – Principal – Pamoja Education
James McDonald – Head of School, Yokohama International School
Giving students access to subjects they can’t offer internally, but the world is changing.
Glenn Odlund – Head of School, Canadian International School, Singapore
Challenging the notion that online courses are for a ‘certain kind of kid’. Thinking of making it mandatory for students to take up 1 course online and hoping that students will engage in an online experience that  was so powerful it would leverage the more conventional bricks and mortars classes. They decided to offer one subject, ‘Economics’ as an online course only (and they had a good teacher on campus) They expected ‘push-back’ from parents and maybe teachers, but some has come from students. He describes the advantage of online: time and distance but also described the fact that MYP students had been circulating a petition asking that the Economics course be taught conventionally.
Denise Perrault – Head of Online Learning Devp, IB
Denise talked about ‘why bother’ and the four stages of online learning – substitution, augmentation, modification, redefinition. What is the desired outcome? she asked.
Dennis Stanworth – Head of Academics, Yokohama International School
Dennis made some provocative statements; ‘are schools that don’t offer online courses going to be swept away by those that do?’, should an online subject be compulsory for all students?
Photo: Apple for the teacher, virtual apples? Photo: Warrick