Sunday, July 19, 2009

A new beginning?


A brave new world of information and communication technologies (ICT's) that makes the next great leap forward to globalisation.

I cannot help but reflect on the historical precedents set by technological change. The wheel, steel, printing press, combustion engine, nuclear fission all created great change and endless possibilities but the reality was, as with steel, a double edged sword. Will this latest technology hugely improve our lives or will the cons outweigh the pros?

In the focus of this blog, ICT's and their application in education, it seems a necessity to engage a new generation of learners. The scope and versatility are undeniably attractive and inevitable.
However the hype of the "new" seems to be getting ahead of established ideas. Kearsley and Shneiderman's Engagement Theory propagates the model of learning around Relate, Create and Donate to bring learning experiences in line with new digital generation. It seems to me they are applying the idea of a community group such as the Lion's Club or any sports club to giving meaning to education. Is it not the reason for being of these clubs to benefit members through social interaction and society through philanthropy?

I am all in favour of moving forward and rapidly! Educational experiences in Australian schools are generally, woefully, rapidly losing the engagement of learners in my experience. I am somewhat sceptical of ideas or models being "new" other than the gadgetry.

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