Musings from the Middle Kingdom
"Information and communication technology (ICT) has revolutionised virtually every aspect of our life and work. Students unable to navigate through a complex digital landscape will no longer be able to participate fully in the economic, social and cultural life around them." OECD 2015 Report
TechConX is an annual technology conference organised by the Canadian International School in Bangalore. This year it ran over two days - 22 and 23 of Feb.
Day 1 of the conference was spent visiting classrooms from IB languages to IGCSE and Y9 Maths to Science and English to elementary classrooms. We visited a huge number of classes and first hand saw how non-specialist teachers were using technology.
Day 2 was full of tech sessions involving both local and international presenters covering a wide variety of technologies. It was an amazing experience and a great opportunity to learn from some expert educators.
I have storify'ed the conference to give colleagues an experience of the visit and highlight the core technologies seen with relevant links and finally a link to my presentation.
"We have not yet become good enough at the kind of pedagogies that make the most of technology; that adding 21st-century technologies to 20th-century teaching practices will just dilute the effectiveness of teaching." OECD 2015 Report
iTunes U: A great tool to use with Apple Devices allowing teachers to easily construct courses which can be shared with students. Allows integration of digital versions of text books and rich multimedia. View: It will conflict with Firefly as we already have a platform that supports this.
iBooks: The future, interactive textbooks with search and rich and interactive media to illustrate key concepts. Side benefits - Eco, share books on multiple devices, reduce the weight of the student bag. The list goes on and on. View: Ebooks are coming. There is NO escaping this one.
Mathspace: Amazing app. Allows students to write on a screen and checks their steps providing immediate feedback. Like having a tutor that checks each question as you do it. View: One to really look into for the Maths Department.
Kahoot and Socrative Create or used collaborative fun learning games easily on any topic. View: useful for checking student learning at a key point in the lesson. Useful for all subjects
3D Pens: Allows creating of physical art or products very easily. View: Useful to enable creativity in all subjects but predominantly is going to be useful for Art, DT and ICT
ManageBac: Blown away by how IB students use ManageBac to organise themselves from CAS projects to IAs to EE's it covers it all and that is just the start. View: One to definitely invest in.
Callido: Impressed by how effective this had been for teaching children TOK and critical thinking and research skills. Used to quickly support students coming in from other school backgrounds in IB and IGCSE who struggle with IA's, EE's and the like. View: Another one that needs to be seriously looked at.
Augmented Reality: Various apps (Flash card) - Augmented Reality is a way of using a picture to generate a video, slideshow or computer generated graphic. This allows children to view e.g. moving animals inside the classroom without any of the risk. A picture of a pyramid could trigger a video walkthrough of the pyramids. View: Definitely is going to be a game changer as the tech develops but not quite there yet from the ease of use perspective.
Google Expeditions: Teachers can run expeditions from across the world in class using Mobile devices and VR! View: One for the future, Innovation Lounge perhaps needs to experiment with this.
Google Earth / Google Maps Think of Google Earth as an interactive globe and Google Maps as an interactive map which could be manipulated to take you anywhere. Paired with Google Streeview and wikipedia links, you can explore any part of the planet. View: Are we still using globes? Why? Ask your self when was the last time you used a physical map.
Post it plus: Use this app to digitise post it notes and then share them with the class. Brilliant. View: Why aren't you using this one already?
Breakout Edu: Players work collaboratively to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles in order to open a locked box. View: Can be implemented in any subject - uses hands-on colalborative problem solving and really taxes those brain cells. Higher order thinking skills are fully utilised.
There were a number of other tools like Garageband, Google Sites for e-portfolios and various Computing and other apps like Stop motion.
The Screen-time Myth presentation: This session was led by me to highlight the danger of both misinformation on the use of technology by sharing current research and at the same time highlighting what type of screen time is bad.
"Technology can amplify great teaching but great technology cannot replace poor teaching." OECD 2015 Report
I am Sunny Thakral. If you are here on the site then you know a bit about me. If not then I am a teacher and these are my musings.