Monday, October 05, 2009

MirandaMod Session at #hhl09

My first session at this year's Handheld Learning Conference 2009 (link) was the MirandaNet MirandaMod discussion led by Christina Preston and John Cuthell where some interesting questions were posed about the use of ubiquitous technologies in education:
  • Cant these technologies make learning for professionals, teachers and students more personal and relevant?
  • How can we reconceptualise assessment, so that it better reflects the ways in which knowledge is developed collaboratively? Or should give upon the nostrum of online learning?
  • What is the value of the learning experience balanced against the expense and the risk?
MirandaNet founded in 1992 is a free to join e-learning communityof educators offering the chance for members to contribute to the debate regarding ICT in education.

The debate was fascinating as it included a wide range of experiences from a group of new PGCE students who have just begun their education path to experienced teachers and academics from the UK and Australia. Trying to synthesize the discussion would be futile as it covered a wide range of policy issues to the use of ICT in a classroom so find and join the debate on the MindMeister mind map for this presentation.
One point that I took from the discussion is that sadly the formal teacher education system still may not be giving our new teachers the knowledge of the wider uses of ICT which can enhance education -it is a worry that these technologically switched on young people may be being untaught about the flexible uses of ICT in the classroom, which is quite ironic. Admittedly this group were media students and as such possibly more used to creative technology -it would have been interesting to hear from students in other subjects -I suspect the story may be different?
It was also good to hear Leon Cych and others suggesting that it is still not the 'tech' but the person/teacher using it that really counts...... we don't all need an IWB to deliver an interactive lesson.
It was interesting to follow this with the Learners Y Factor where the presentations were driven by pupils between 6 and 16 explaining the impact that technology has had on their learning - this showed the reason why the MirandaMod debate needs to be won and the ideas from this conference still need to break into the mainstream of education for all.

More to come from (follow the tweets twitter hashtag #hhl09) tomorrow, where the highlights for pj23harry will be:
  • Malcolm McLaren ( yes that Malcolm McLaren!)
  • Tim Rylands (The Myst man! and innovator)
  • Henry Warren (
  • Mark Hardwick (
  • Jennifer Groff ( Fullbright scholar and Futurelab)

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