Sunday, 27 May 2012

laptops or tablets?

I'm sure that Apple would want iPads for every school student, and I certainly applaud the Bring a Browser philosophy which suggests that ICT is becoming something a student is responsible for, like their bicycles or their uniforms (with the obvious and important caveats for equity etc) BUT it is also clear that an iPad is the most wonderfully collaborative screen. There is something about a laptop screen that crates a barrier - and about a trackpad + keyboard that says "single user", when a multi-touch screen with no fixed orientation says 'share me".

In this photo of children at the wonderful Holy Rosary School in Claremont, Tasmania you can see, in the foreground, four children sharing two laptops; one is 'driving", the other is watching in each pair. But the group behind shows four children around one iPad, sitting NSE&W and all engaged, taking turns, sharing, collaborating.

This picture is what i see often and it is one of many reasons why iPads (and presumably other tablet devices one day when those tablets catch up a bit) work so well, even a few at a time, in the classroom


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Through others' eyes

Lovely and simple Spanish primary school project prints other folks' eyes onto acetate and then let's children see the world through the eyes of others.

"I'm looking through a neighbour's eyes"
"how would she see things differently?"

All the research says clearly how important a sense of other is for children. This project helps develop it.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Measureman

what was it Einstein said? Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted? something like that. And then we have Pisa, with all its problems, trying to rank nations and being hopelessly misinterpreted by selective quotation anyway...

So it was very cheering, and rather encouraging, to find this huge mural of the "measure man" in a Silkeborg school in Denmark, created by artist Malene O'Shea.

I particularly liked the way this monster, with its measuring scale arms and legs, is shown capturing the joyful butterflies of children's handprints. How true...  but we do have such much better ways of helping map progress these days - it is just sad that they are rarely widespread just yet.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

journeys to school

Journeys to school vary - in Denmark's Silkeborg I was delighted to find all these toboggans outside the school i was visiting. I have shown this image to a few schools around the world and children's faces light up - yet more evidence of how useful it is to create that important "sense of other" through Skyping and Facetiming and so on school to school. See each others' cultures helps us to understand each others' cultures...