Guest posts

#threequestions on technology with @Pekabelo

By August 9, 2014 2 Comments

The series continues and in this post we hear from Jersey’s teaching & learning guru, Pete Jones. You can follow Pete on Twitter @Pekabelo and read his blog here:



A bit about yourself:

I have been teaching for far too long. Er.. 18 years I think. Thankfully, I still feel full of excitement every day I walk into a classroom and since entering the twittersphere, I have found even more vim and vigour to add to my classroom practice. I am an Art teacher by trade, but also teach PBL (Project Based Learning) and I have recently taken up a post as an AHT with the focus of creating a curriculum of excellence for KS3. Being the owner of the first Apple iMac in school, I have always seen the value of using tech in the classroom, but still keep a healthy respect for traditional teaching methods. 

1. What place, if any, has technology got in education?

I was recently at a conference at the quite magical Cramlington Learning Village, where Alistair Smith claimed that the idea of technology not having the power to transform education beyond what we can currently imagine is ridiculous. Having transformed every part of our lives over the past 20 odd years, education is on the cusp of huge change. What that will look like and how it will affect our lives as teachers, I am no expert. I do know that we need to embrace the possibility of being part of a period of exceptional change in our classrooms over the coming decade. I for one am very excited, albeit with a healthy skepticism of what might happen and where we may be going.
One thing is very clear. Our current cohort of students are tech savvy. They are far more I.T. literate and engaged with tech than most of us will ever be. To think that schools will not have to adapt to how we live our lives outside of the school gates is I feel a redundant argument. It might be in your school right now, but in ten years time? We will see…

2. What’s your favourite edtech tool for learning and why?

I use my iPad every day, pretty much every lesson for SO MANY THINGS! There has been a lot of discussion about the use of iPads for students in lessons. For me as a teacher, however, it’s so darn useful. I can move around the class, recording conversations and demonstrations, exemplar work, share artists at the touch of a button, mark work, use to explore how work could be developed, the possibilities are endless AND really add to the quality of learning experience in my classroom. I am currently a huge fan of Adobe Voice as a way of developing flipped learning resources, iDoceo for marking, and Keynote for presentations. It’s the ease in which programs like this can be used integrated into classroom practice which makes them so valuable to me. It saves time, helps me create high quality resources and it’s all available in one object, smaller and lighter than a pad of A4 paper. That IS revolutionary.

3. What are your thoughts on students using mobile devices in the classroom?

Students have used their phones in lessons for recording the development of their artwork, which is incredibly useful. They also use for searching the internet and using apps to develop their photography work. Many students have some kind of device in the classroom, which is often used alongside traditional methods of creating Art. I am very keen for us to continue to explore and develop the use of mobile devices, but I do have concerns with ‘the haves and have nots’.
A very clear policy for use of personal devices is always the first step to ensuring students use tech responsibly. Currently, the amount of students who use tech out of their lessons without any consideration for e-safety is scary, and this could easily be replicated within the classroom without due care. This does not mean filtering systems which block out everything apart from c-beebies, but it does mean we need to be part of the solution, and not ignore students use of tech outside of school hours. These are exciting times, but finding the best route to integrate tech fully to develop if not transform learning within the classroom is some way off, but I believe that day will come. Sooner than most of us are prepared to believe.

Many thanks to Pete for his responses. I hope you found them as interesting as I did. If you’d like to have your say, then please do by visiting here and filling out the form.



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