A bit about this respondent:
You know this…….I am the Ninja, and I like to move in mysterious ways (in education!)
Nina, lead for @ITLWorldWide in Wales, experienced speaker, trainer and all round education guru. You can follow Nina on Twitter @musicmind
1. What place, if any, has technology got in education?
Technology most definitely has a place in education as it’s an addictive relationship between ‘The Thinking Brain’ (yours, mine and anybody else who can think for themselves) and the tool that best serves your thinking to enable new/different ways of sharing your learning in a digital age – for me, known as the Digital Brain. Now there’s a perfect marriage for you, ‘The Thinking brain and the Digital Brain’ (and anyone who dares to take my ideas or title will be messing with the Digininja – and you just don’t want to do that, do you?! Any teacher who is currently, afraid, or maybe even slightly petrified of using technology – STOP – just start with igniting the ‘ON’ button to any device you may be close to, and start playing – because that’s what learning is about – do it, try it, and Learn through Play. If you happen to get stuck or end help, just call on the most helpful ICT Superhero I know – and that’s @ICTEvangelist. (just because this is part of your blog Mark does not mean you can out a few extra sequins on your cape!) in the current climate of educational change and development, Technology can be your best friend if you need to engage Learners in different ways of thinking – remember what I said earlier – it’s a marriage, not a substitute to your REAL brain, but it surely has an amazing way of assisting your thinking in so many ways. For me, technology is now part of our daily diet of teaching and learning, and yes, I was ‘scared’ of it once, thinking the pupils would laugh at me. But, it seems to be a bonding tool of differentiated thinkers and allows ALL Learners, regardless of their learning and living difference to be part of Learning in the 21st Century. For today’s children, the integration of technology is a MUST. If we are not using it as part of their learning experience then we are doing them a disservice – and conning ourselves at the same time. Edtech is part and parcel of what we do, or should be doing now. Technology in teaching and learning is the new Learning food for our children. Embrace it, play with it, test it, get it wrong, and then try again…just like me!
2. What’s your favourite edtech tool for learning and why?
My top favourite is the iPad – as it can make me look much smarter than I am, and it can turn my brain thinking into something visual. It has helped so many SEND pupils access learning in a way I never had as a pupil, and for that I am extremely grateful. Plus, the reason I love the iPad is that I run iPad courses too – just saying !
3. What are your thoughts on students using mobile devices in the classroom?
Bring it on! Every school should allow students to use mobile devices as they use them every day anyway, so why deny them the opportunity to show us how mobile devices can enhance their learning and share this in a very easy way – if you know how! The results I had from allowing pupils to use mobile devices in the classroom was phenomenal. Engagement, motivation, creativity, thinking, sharing, progress, assessment, target setting……stop ninja……or you will give all the secrets of effective learning with mobile devices. I will end with…..play, play, try try, allow, allow and trust your students. It’s about using mobile devices as a tool to support personal learning and fulfilment. The TeachNinja likes to move in mysterious ways….and sometimes she has to break the rules BIG TIME in order to prove her point to parents, other teachers and school leaders. Collate and collect evidence that shows the impact of using mobile devices for learning and you’re on to a goal winner. Over and out – The Ninja (still moving in mysterious ways!)