Thursday, December 17, 2015

Education and Technology: The View From Students at Teach Meet Tech London

Teach Meet Tech was a unique "education fusion" event bringing together 70 students, teachers, IT people & the public to talk about Education & technology - there were presentations from teachers, technologists, business and most important of all ... students.

This is a summary of the student's presentation at Teach Meet Tech.

The students medium was their message to the education system - rather than use a Powerpoint slideshow from a file stored on a USB stick - their message was on-line from the cloud using eMaze - this alone was very refreshing.

"When modern lives are so immersed in digital technology, understanding the language of computers has become an essential form of literacy" 

The students began their message to the education system with the quote above from Apple's Craig Federighi (Apple turns stores into classrooms) then took us on a journey of student access to technology in the education system. They talked about “old school” one-to-many education with limited and restricted access to with school based systems standardised in computer labs and class sets of equipment.

Education is not utilising technology effectively.
The students talked about education today - how technology plays an important role in their everyday life but not when they are in education. 

The students asked for better use of virtual learning environments to not only to save money but also offer a convenient and supportive community learning environment.

“Instead of using virtual options like Moodle, there is a strong need to create virtual communities”

The students recognised the value of on-line assessment but recognise that these simply mimic traditional assignment practice - the students ask for social, community and discussion type assignments and assessments.

The students observed that interactive whiteboards are widely installed but rarely used.

The students talked about how smartphones improve ease of sharing and information access but note that there use is in education and learning is usually banned . The students ask that they be allowed to use their smartphones as this will be helpful in making their learning more effective. The students also ask for education institutions and subject areas to create their own smartphone applications.

The students talked about how social media is widely used and established in their lives but that that the education sector is only now starting to see its potential for learning - the students ask that education use social media as a platform for sharing and in so doing boost learning.

The students note that today a number of technology options are available that can boost the learning experience and make it more flexible, easy, comfortable and effective for students but the education system is not utilising technology effectively. 

The students concluded with the statement:

"Many pupils are engaged in technology in the 21st century so why not integrate it into the curriculum?"

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