A letter in the Fairfax magazine Northern Weekly dated 24 March 2009 seems to sum up what the SLAV conference featuring Will Richardson on Monday 23 March was all about. Written by Caryl Oliver she says,
Imagine a learner who has grown up never knowing life without the internet, never being “off the air” and always able to access answers to questions the minute they arise because there is a mobile phone, wireless connection and more?
How much more do you learn if your study group is made up of learners from all over the world, connected by computing networks? Wouldn’t it be great to plunder the resources of any library, anywhere in the world?…. Mini-laptops and wireless connectivity make mobility as commonplace as current mobile phones; students no longer need to be tied to classroom, campus or even city. Learning becomes part of life because it is always there and always available.
2020? Sure, but we can have it now if we think outside the classroom and make policy and infrastructure decisions that will allow us to exploit the enormous opportunity that technology offers education.
As Will says, ‘When there’s an internet connection in a room, I’m no longer the smartest person in the room. My network can answer all of the questions I can’t answer myself.’ Thanks to my Mum for pointing Caryl’s letter out to me. Mum’s 82 but really gets what we are all trying to achieve.
While on the theme of using ICT in education, the latest Victorian Institute of Teaching digest focuses on ICT in education. Topics include:
- Successful use of ICT in schools
- What do we know about the ICT literacy of Australian school students?
- Is ICT availability and use assoicated with student performance?
- What is the evidence of the impact of ICT on learning?
- ICTs in science classrooms
- ICTs and learning.