During the course of the conference we were discussing how most of our teachers use technology to enhance teaching and learning, but there was very little evidence of technology impacting on pedagogy. It was as though technology had become the new 'sheet of cardboard' or palm card - just another medium for communicating the same learning. Then we heard Tony Ryan speak.

Tony shared how a 'digital learning environment requires a different understanding of teaching methodology'. He said that through the use of technology, teachers need to advance the quality of learning that is occuring in the classroom and that this requires changing how we teach. He compared the adoption of emerging technologies by teachers, to that of putting a new peg into an old hole!

Some of the main features of his presentation were as follows:
  • Critical elements in education revolve around Curriculum, Pedagogy, Assessment and Reporting - from a digital perspective it should revolve around 'Digital Curriculum', 'Digital Pedagogy', 'Digital Assessment and Reporting' and 'Digital Learning Spaces';
  • We need to take what we know about pedagogy and translate it into a digital learning environment;
  • This not only involves applying learning theories like 'metacognitivism', 'constructivism' and 'connectivism', but also 'real time real life' learning experiences, participation in gaming/virtual learning environments, and collaboration in social networking/collective intelligence sites;
  • We need to analyse the pedagogical quality of our learning facilitation eg Higher Order Thinking and Social Support within a digital learning environment;
  • And like all purposeful learning, make ICT applications inquiry-based.

This is just a 'taste' of what he shared. For more inspiration and links go to Jaimie's page.

Steve Borthwick