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#threequestions on technology with @terryfreedman

By September 30, 2014One Comment

I still have a few entries to put in so thought I should add them in. This considered response is from @terryfreedman.

A bit about yourself:

I’ve been involved in education since 1974. Now an independent consultant, I’m a Fellow of Naace (of which I was Chair once), Mirandanet and the RSA. I’ve been publishing the ICT in Education website since 1995, and the newsletter there ( since 1998.

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

I think in a broad sense one could turn the question around: what sort of education would it be WITHOUT technology? Technology has been involved ever since someone suggested that students write stuff down! The real issue I think is that technology has to be appropriate and relevant, in order to be useful. For example, those head teachers who decree that whiteboards must be used in every lesson are probably inadvertently encouraging POOR use of the technology by doing so. I wrote about this broad area in an article entitled 13 Reasons to use Educational Technology in Lessons:

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

I don’t know if this counts, but I would say the internet (and I mean that, rather than simply the web), connectivity and, of course, the web. Being able to access resources, and communicate with others from all over the world easily and inexpensively or free, really opens up the possibilities for education. If I had to be pinned down to just one tool, I’d say blogging, because it gives students and teachers a voice, and a potential audience. And it can be used creatively and educationally by an imaginative teacher. Which brings me on to my third “tool”! Loads of research shows that the key element in all this is the teacher. A great teacher can work wonders with a box of paper clips and sellotape. So proper training in technology use (as opposed to one day every ten years if you’re lucky) is essential.

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

I think it’s a great idea, which is why I’ve published so many articles about it here: Again, I think it’s important to ensure that mobile technology is used appropriately, but when it IS used properly it really opens up the classroom. The key thing about it, I think, is that it enables the person to access the apps/progs/web etc they need at the time, and in the place, that they need it. If they have a requirement for technology, and then have to book it to use some time in the future, or go back to a classroom or computer suite, the moment is lost. However, I do NOT advocate the getting rid of computer suites. They still have a place and are still viable, useful and desirable, as I argued in In fact, the technology used in a particular educational situation should be fit for purpose. That means that sometimes a computer suite will be best; at other times, using laptops; at yet other times, more mobile devices. Adopting a one-size-fits-all approach is both ridiculous and pointless.

Big thanks to Terry for his entry here. Certainly lots of parity here with my thinking!

Check him out on Twitter as @terryfreedman and his site is legendary.

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson, @ICTEvangelist. Click here to learn more.

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