Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Yesterday I went to an eLearning showcase run by CEO Sydney. eLearning combines the use of electronic resources with a contemporary approach to learning. What an inspiration! A number of Sydney primary and secondary schools presented their work in this area.

The development of eLearning is a stated priority of the Sydney Catholic school system. Technology is used to enhance learning outcomes across all stages of the curriculum using the iLE@RN framework. This framework has been developed by Sydney CEO to support eLearning in all Sydney Catholic schools. The elements related to contemporary learning are highlighted with an emphasis on the critical skills needed by 21st century learners – skills which will enable students to operate within a global learning network as collaborators and knowledge constructors. The model draws upon the MCEETYA documents - in particular Contemporary Learning.

Gone are the days when students are solely engaged in pen-and-paper tasks in classrooms. In contemporary classes (often in archaic classrooms!) students are podcasting, creating multimedia presentations, blogging and social networking. They’re using devices such as interactive white boards, mp3 players, robotics, digital cameras and FLIPs – I love this! (Flip Video Ultra Camcorder). They’re using software like powerpoint, voicethread, garageband, moviemaker, audacity, animoto and photostory in applications such as wikis. It really is exciting! How can learning (and teaching!) not be stimulating, engaging, motivating and self-directing with all these resources and ‘new’ ways of doing and thinking???

One thing though, that we as educators must keep at the forefront, is that technology must be used to deepen learning and not just for its own sake. Interactive whiteboards and robotics, for example, may simply be interesting tools rather than a means to enhance and deepen learning for students. We must think in terms of contemporary pedagogy not just contemporary tools.

No comments:

Post a Comment