Learning Technology for a New Year

Early January is an opportune time to reinvent oneself. What better way of doing this than a new WordPress theme (thanks Twenty-Ten!) and a resolute blog post? Looking back at my posts for 2010, I’m pleased to note that last year’s resolution – to post more and be less-concerned with perfectionism – was achieved, with overwhelming support from my friends, colleagues and other readers from around the blogosphere.

So where does this leave us for education technology in 2011? Well, for myself and my school, this is going to be a year where I resolve to balance consolidation with innovation. This is a bit like walking a tightrope at times. On the one hand, I could spend all day trying the next ‘new thing’ (and there are plenty of cool things on the horizon) and continuing to support teachers who do the same. On the other hand, I could focus my time and energy on the trouble-shooting, controlling and smoothing out the kinks in the whole-school technology initiatives we’ve adopted, bringing more teachers up to speed and slowing down the pace of learning if necessary. Both approaches work at different times, but it’s the skill of a real leader to know when to use which approach (and I’m still learning).

Nonetheless, there are some big trends worth noting:

  1. the increased prevalence of ‘the cloud’ and device agnosticism; as well as
  2. the rise of tablets and other low-cost mobile device; which results in
  3. moves in many schools towards fully-enabled 1-1 computing; and reenforces
  4. the importance of effective collaboration; and
  5. the greater need for critical literacy when engaging with web-enabled content

– and it’s also worth noting what these trends might mean for my school; IMHO that:

  1. we need to continue to leverage scalable web 2.0 services like Google Apps and explore their potential for collaboration via the cloud (especially while they are zero-cost);
  2. we should be fully aware of open-source solutions as a viable alternative to locked-in proprietary solutions;
  3. we need to support multiple devices with a belief that any web-enabled device can be a powerful learning tool;
  4. 1-1 computing in some form is a necessity; and
  5. the curriculum and the technology need to both remain flexible in these changing times.

I think, above all, that flexibility is key. Without it, the rigidity of single solutions, a locked-in curriculum and the so-called ‘right way’ of doing things are what leave a school quickly behind in a new decade. Perhaps my biggest challenge as a technology leader in my own school is to develop a genuine flexible approach to teaching and learning with technology? Well – I’m up for the challenge!

What are your technology resolutions for 2011?

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About Michael

Cellist, singer/songwriter, school teacher, nerd, recent scooter enthusiast and failed philosopher.
This entry was posted in Reflections, School Tech Administration and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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