It’s not about the technology!

alannovember.jpgAlan November is a passionate practioner and advocate for pushing the boundaries of learning in today’s world and he is the first to tell you that it’s not about technology!  It’s about creativity, innovation and using the right resources to help students develop critical thinking and global communication skills. 

If you look around, it’s not schools leading the world in innovation and creativity – it’s business and industry (think Microsoft, Apple, Toyota etc). And if we’re not careful, they’ll be stepping in to deliver what schools can’t!

Take a look at Alan’s website – it’s a treasure trove of resources for educators and anyone who wants to see how Web 2.0 can be used to build powerful global networks.

Click here to listen to Alan talk about what’s happening in NYC schools.

3 thoughts on “It’s not about the technology!

  1. I’m interested in your comment Greg, “And if we’re not careful, they’ll be stepping in to deliver what schools can’t”.

    I agree that the education sector should embrace the creative & innovative products produced by industries outside of the education world. This is the chance for us to really make connections with authentic ‘real world’ learning opportunities for our students. The business and industry sectors have the budgets & specialists who can produce top quality information & learning products that we as educators can adapt and target to the learning needs of our students. We are not in competition with industry, in fact we should be exploiting these resources and encouraging our students to seek and use best practice examples for their learning. It is up to us as educators to be pushing the boundaries and equipping our students with the tools needed to make such connections.

  2. We need more than technology, of course, to power and enhance learning.

    At least in the US, school systems have been riding on an outmoded, broken model for decades. It no longer fits the needs of an evolving populace–some of whom have access to advanced technologies, but of which a significant number is still living day-to-day with problems like poverty, drug abuse, domestic violence and other crime.

    How can children facing these problems be expected to learn and succeed in a technological world? In any world, for that matter?

    Business and the free market cannot replace or fill in for simple human compassion. Compassion is not built into the free market, which is mostly about the successful winning over other, slightly less successful competitors. The weakest simply get left behind–and that’s part of why so many economies are suffering.

    What should replace the “R’s” include:

    – Creativity
    – Relationships
    – Communication
    – Empowerment
    – Enhancement
    – Security and safety

    Relationships are key, for as Fredrich Neitzsche wrote: “Kindness is the golden chain that binds society.”

    I’ll be posting on this soon at my Communication – Creativity – Innovation blog.

    Join the conversation with your ideas and questions!

  3. I can resonate with your observations Tim. I agree that never before have we needed schools in the way we do. This is because as I’ve said before “learning is at its basic a relational process.” It is also a mediated process and that is where good teachers are needed.
    The comment about business and others comes from a view that schools have to continue to strive for relevance in the lives of young people who inhabit an online world. This is not a death sentence but a warning to educators.
    Have a look at daniel Pink’s book ” a whole new mind.” A must read for all educators. He says there are six new “senses”: design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. These should be the building blocks for a 21st curriculum.
    I think it picks up some of Frances’ comments as well

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