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(Source: Fairfax NZ News - 4 August 2012)

Children’s brains may be developing differently as a result of exposure to digital technology, with profound implications for the education system, says the prime minister’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman.

Sir Peter made the claim to Parliament’s science and education committee, which in May kicked off an unprecedented inquiry into "21st century learning and digital literacy", examining in particular how schools may need to change in the wake of the Government’s $1.5 billion investment in ultrafast broadband.

The inquiry has pitched progressives, who want to see teachers quickly evolve into tech-savvy new-age knowledge brokers, against conservatives, who worry about the practicalities and believe there remains a big role for traditionally delivered classroom teaching.

Sir Peter argued that schools and parents splurged a lot of money putting computers into schools 20 years ago that "didn’t make much difference educationally".


e-LEARNER: Two-year-old Te Kohumira Paki is already an iPad whiz.

But he opened a new front when giving evidence to the select committee on Wednesday - appropriately, via video-conference - saying that today’s children were the guinea pigs in "a new world we don’t fully understand".

"Anyone who has seen a two-year-old playing around with an iPad knows what I am talking about. The digital world is leading to different ways in which the brain develops, different environments in which we learn . . . and it does seem to be having impacts on cognitive, social and emotional development."

Sir Peter said neuroscientists and teaching researchers in Britain and the United States were just starting to look at the implications for education but there was a lack of information and it was pointless talking about it being "good or bad".

"Whether it has any meaning - I think we should be careful."

He said, for example, that studies had shown that parts of the brains of British taxi drivers expanded when they memorised "the Knowledge", London’s inner city street map.

But what was evident was that the human race was going through a "radical change" in the way it communicated and achieved knowledge, he said.

"Whereas 20 years ago it was unequivocal [that] parents and teachers were the sources of information, now much information is obtained from the web or other digital media and the teacher’s role is becoming one of helping students interpret what is likely to be reliable or unreliable information."

New technology, such as the web, could lift education in rural areas and disadvantaged urban communities as well as help New Zealand meet its "moral responsibility" to assist education among its Pacific neighbours, he said.

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA), which represents 18,000 mostly secondary school teachers, said that although children now expected learning to be "ICT-based", it was going too far to say that today’s children were "wired differently".

"The focus on supporting 21st century students who are collaborative, open-minded, life-long learners is important but we are some way from dispensing with content-learning altogether," it said in its submission.

"There are few signs . . . that either parents, tertiary institutions or employers are ready to relinquish expectations that secondary students will have a sound knowledge in certain curriculum areas."

The same football is being kicked around in different ways by many of the 90 submitters to the Parliamentary inquiry. Margot McKeegan, learning adviser for the Greater Christchurch Schools Network, which is promoting collaboration between 100 schools in the city, told the committee that she did not believe teachers should be registered unless they had demonstrated they were capable of working in an "e-learning environment".

But the National Council of Women said it would disagree with that approach. Effective learning had always happened in a wide variety of environments, but the relationship between children and their teachers remained the most influential factor in a successful school, it said.

ECONOMIC Development Minister Steven Joyce signalled the Government had a strong appetite for reform in a speech to InternetNZ NetHui in June.

E-education would be "quite disruptive" and would turn on its head the concept of teaching and learning, changing the dynamics between educators and pupils, he said. "For those that embrace it, it is something that is going to be wonderful for people to be part of."

The Government will next year begin rolling out the Network for Learning, a $300 million to $400 million "closed" network running over the ultrafast broadband network that will provide secure access to online resources and internet access for schools on centrally-negotiated terms.

The initiative appears to have attracted widespread support, including from the PPTA, which said it was a "reasonable compromise" in tackling the problem that the education system had become "devolved and divided".

But there are doubts about how quickly the education sector will be able to grasp the nettle, given it remains a "people industry".

Albany Senior High School deputy principal Mark Osborne told the inquiry a leadership crisis in schools threatened to derail plans to reshape the education system to take advantage of ultrafast broadband and e-learning.

Ten thousand of the country’s 50,000 teachers were approaching retirement and between 30 and 40 per cent of newly qualified teachers were leaving the profession within their first five years on the job, he said.

"We are trying to replace an ever-increasing pool of leavers with an ever-diminishing pool of new teachers."

An Education Ministry spokeswoman said that although it was true its workforce was ageing, losses had fallen for several years and retention was increasing.

"Baby boomers" were staying in work longer than had been expected, she said. "The ministry has monitoring in place and is planning for the retirement of this group, when it does occur."

In the meantime, a proportion of teachers and schools are achieving educational stardom by positioning themselves on the crest of the digital wave.

Albany High School turned heads in the information technology industry when it opened in 2009 by eschewing Microsoft software and deciding to use only free open-source software, for example.

That meant the school could then encourage pupils to bring their computers to school, freeing up their own resources to buy computers for those who could not afford them, Mr Osborne said. "Proprietary" software, on the other hand, could not be installed on students’ computers without breaching suppliers’ licensing conditions, he said.

It is in addressing bread-and-butter matters such as this that the Parliamentary inquiry could make its mark.

Mr Osborne said only Albany High School and two other schools had adopted "creative commons" licensing policies that allowed teachers to share online resources they had developed with other schools, without having first to seek the approval of their boards. Other schools had "all rights reserved on teaching and learning resources".

Open-plan learning spaces that aided e-learning reduced disruptive behaviour, Mr Osborne said, because there could always be three or four teachers on hand to prevent children "taking on" an inexperienced teacher. They also meant teachers could learn from one another, which was important because the difference between the "best and worst" teachers in a school was always greater than the differences between schools themselves, he said.

Sir Peter said it was "fundamental" to put more money into research. "Scientists are no better at predicting the future than anybody else, which means they are bloody hopeless at it. We don’t know all the answers.

"But the inquiry has got to help design the teacher of 2025 or 2040, not 2012."

標籤: E-education, e-Learning, 21st century, digital technology, Creative Commons 檢舉


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(轉載自:政府新聞網)

教育局於1月3日公布,學校電子學習試驗計劃共接獲98份符合要求的申請,教育局從中選出21項學校計劃,合共涉及61間學校,包括32間小學、18間中學及11間特殊學校。

每項獲選計劃平均成本280萬元,而所需的總政府撥款約5,900萬元。獲選的計劃涵蓋小學、中學及特殊學校,涉及學校群組的計劃約佔57%,反映學校之間的緊密合作,而獨立參與試驗計劃的學校則佔43%。

教育局副局長陳維安表示,對結果感到鼓舞,因為獲選的試驗學校,充分展示他們與其他界別的多元夥伴關係,而課程設計均以學生學習為重點。

學校電子學習試驗計劃為期3個學年,獲選的試驗學校將於今年年初率先推行計劃,最遲今年9月展開。

標籤: 教育局, 電子學習, e-Learning, 電子學習試驗計劃 檢舉


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教育局YouTube頻道」最新上載有關學校推行電子學習的片段,讓大家從學校、師生的分享,進一步認識電子學習,了解21世紀學習新模式,以及開發/製作電子學習資源時須注意的版權問題。

標籤: 教育局, 電子學習, e-Learning 檢舉


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回應電子學習的趨勢,教城正積極構思發展電子學習商貿平台的基建以促進電子學習資源的市場發展。平台將結合內容供應商,出版商及各業界的力量,讓師生可一站式選取合適的電子學習資源,以豐富學生的學習經歷。

為加強與持份者的溝通和協作,教城於2010年分別成立了電子學習顧問委員會電子學習技術顧問委員會就平台的定位及經營模式等項目提出意見。歡迎瀏覽顧問委員會的討論總結(中文版英文版)。

電子學習商貿平台即將推出,敬請留意「電子學習全接觸」網站公佈。

標籤: 香港教育城, e-Learning, 電子學習商貿平台, 電子學習 檢舉


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(轉載自:政府新聞網)

學校電子學習試驗計劃於10月22日截止報名,共接獲100份申請書,涉及232間學校。申請來自小學、中學及特殊學校,其中學校群組的申請達43%。預計12月公布申請結果,參加學校最遲須於2011年9月在學生層面開展試驗計劃。

申請書涵蓋學校課程的學習領域,小學的建議書覆蓋中國及英國語文、數學及常識科;而中學則聚焦於英國語文及通識教育科的發展。部分申請學校提供額外資源,以加強推行試驗計劃。

教育局副局長陳維安表示,成功申請的學校在未來3年的試驗計劃中,定位成為研究及發展中心,發展及評鑑應何時及如何在課程層面上使用電子學習,才能促進有效的互動學習、照顧學生學習差異,以及協助制訂電子學習普及化的未來路向。

申請學校透過與大專院校、資訊科技界、教育出版商、內容供應商及非政府機構等夥伴協作,發展符合商業效益營運模式的電子學習資源,以配合學校、教師及學生的需要。

政府已為試驗計劃撥備6,800萬元,其中5,700萬元撥給約20-30項試驗計劃以支援推行,餘款用於後勤支援和進行研究及發展,為推行大規模的學校電子學習制訂策略。

標籤: 教育局, 電子學習試驗計劃, e-Learning, 電子學習 檢舉


Culturally inspired mobile phone games help Chinese children learn language characters

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(Source: Human-Computer Interaction Institute - 19 October 2010)

Mobile phone-based games could provide a new way to teach basic knowledge of Chinese language characters that might be particularly helpful in underdeveloped rural areas of China, say researchers in Carnegie Mellon University’s Mobile & Immersive Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies (MILLEE) Project.

Earlier this year, researchers reported that two mobile learning games, inspired by traditional Chinese games, showed promise during preliminary tests with children in Xin’an, an underdeveloped region in Henan Province, China. The researchers from Carnegie Mellon, the University of California, Berkeley and the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported their findings at CHI 2010, the Association for Computing Machinery’s Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Atlanta, Ga. Subsequent studies this summer at a privately run school in Beijing likewise showed that students playing the educational videogames increased their knowledge of Chinese characters.

“We believe that the cooperative learning encouraged by the games contributed to character learning,” said CMU’s Matthew Kam, assistant professor in the School of Computer Science’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute and MILLEE project director. “The results of our studies suggest that further development of these games could make inexpensive mobile phones important learning tools, particularly for children in underdeveloped rural areas.”

The Chinese language is the most widely spoken language in the world, with more than 1 billion Mandarin Chinese speakers, but it presents unique challenges to language education. Unlike languages with alphabetic writing systems, the Chinese language uses characters that each correspond to a syllable or sometimes a word. About 6,000 characters are commonly used, but the shape of each character provides few clues to its pronunciation and different dialects have different pronunciations for the same character.

MILLEE researchers analyzed 25 traditional games played by children in China to identify elements, such as cooperation between players, songs and handmade game objects, that could be used to design two educational mobile phone games. In one game, Multimedia Word, children are required to recognize and write a correct Chinese character based on hints provided for pronunciation, a sketch, a photo or other multimedia context. In a second game, Drumming Stroke, children practice writing Chinese characters; participants pass the mobile phone one by one on the rhythm of a drum sound played by the mobile phone, with each player required to write one stroke of a given Chinese character by following the exact stroke order.

Kam and other MILLEE researchers are collaborating with Tian Feng, an associate professor in the Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, to further explore the potential of mobile phones as a learning resource for Chinese children. Field research on behalf of MILLEE was performed this summer by Ben Rachbach, a student at Swarthmore College, to determine the educational needs of low-income students in three schools in Beijing. The team is receiving curriculum guidance from Sue-mei Wu, associate teaching professor of Chinese at CMU and chair of Chinese learning in the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center, a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh that is supported by the National Science Foundation.

With the support of Nokia, MILLEE has developed mobile phone-based games for teaching English literacy to rural children in India and is commencing a controlled study involving 800 children in 40 villages of Andhra Pradesh, a state in southern India. MILLEE is also working with the University of Nairobi to explore how the games could be adapted to English literacy learning for rural children in Kenya.

Kam, a native of Singapore, said despite their small screens and low computing power by today’s standards, mobile phones could become a major educational resource as wireless carriers and mobile phone manufacturers move aggressively to extend mobile phone penetration across the globe. And if the educational benefits of mobile phones can be demonstrated convincingly, he added, consumers will have an additional motivation for getting mobile phone service, which could further spur mobile phone adoption in developing countries.

標籤: learning resource, learning tool, character learning, cooperative learning, mobile learning game, e-Learning, educational resource 檢舉


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(Continue from previous article)
 
Web 2.0 glossary
Web 2.0 describes technologies and Web applications that allow people to access and create Web content, and communicate and collaborate together.

Examples teachers use:
Skype: Internet-based software that enables people to communicate through voice and video for free.

WebQuest: An inquiry-oriented lesson or format that is Internet-based. Teachers share lesson plans and designs on websites. Students learn critical thinking, problem solving, research skills and technology skills via web-based assignments.

Animoto: A video creation tool, free for educators, that allows teachers and students to create video book reports, capture field trips and help each other study.

Google Docs: A free Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, form and data storage service that allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users.

Moodle: Free, open-source e-learning software that helps educators create online courses and collaborative lessons.

Wikis: Software programs that let people create, remove and edit content on a Web page, or collections of information that can be edited by multiple people within a group. (Wikipedia is an example.)

Networking sites
Weblogs: Online journals created by a person or organization and often cover specific topics. By discussing and linking to each other’s posts, bloggers can form networks. Technorati is a popular search engine for blogs.

Ning: A website that lets you create your own social networks and place blogs, videos, photos, surveys and other applications.

Twitter: A microblog social network environment.

標籤: twitter, Ning, Weblogs, Wikis, Moodle, Google Docs, Animoto, WebQuest, Skype, Web 2.0, e-Learning 檢舉


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(Extracted from Cincinnati.Com - 28 August 2010)

Nearly three-quarters of online teens use social-networking sites at least once a week, national polls show.

Now a growing number of teachers in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and nationwide are joining, rather than fighting, the tide.

It’s a new day for social networking in schools, experts say. Schools until recently were cracking down on most uses of online social networks during the school day.

This fall, more schools in the Cincinnati region are channeling YouTube, Facebook and other social sites to market themselves to potential students, parents and taxpayers. And more teachers are Tweeting, Skyping, blogging and "wiki-ing" with students for educational purposes that can span the world.

At St. Xavier High, for instance, a sophomore history class last May "Skyped" with a minister who lives in what was East Berlin. Talking face-to-face, he described his boyhood under Hitler, his adult life under communism and now, in post-Cold-War Germany. The sophomores, though born after the Berlin Wall fell, asked lots of questions, including his impressions the first time he saw bluejeans.

Principal David Mueller saw the class and wrote to parents recently: "I felt like I did when watching the live telecast of the first moon landing. I realized that we had crossed into a radically changed world."

Classrooms are changing, but it’s taking time and patience for educators to harness the many social networking - or "Web 2.0" - technologies that experts say can open students to educational opportunities around the world.

For now, those classrooms are still in the minority. A national survey last year showed 70 percent of districts still ban or block Facebook, YouTube and other social network cites.

"Right now, very few kids have adults in their lives who are teaching them how to learn in these (social network) spaces. They don’t need us to teach them how to use Facebook (aside from the safety aspects), but they do need models and opportunities to connect with other people from around the world with whom they can learn." says Will Richardson, an education technology expert, teacher and author from Flemington, N.J.

"There’s a huge interest in using these technologies in school, but the reluctance is from the work that it takes, how easy they are to use, and whether or not you might be opening up a security issue or a PR issue for your district," said Mary McCaffrey, CEO of a TH(i)NQ Ed, a Carbondale, Ill., company that markets such services and programs to schools.

Russell Fox, a Simon Kenton High English teacher, shows his classes YouTube videos of famous people - or historic re-enactors - delivering famous speeches. His Broadcast students produce YouTube videos of mostly school news, short skits and training videos.

"YouTube has a lot of garbage on it," he said, "but it also has a lot really good stuff on it… so teachers might as well guide students through the Internet morass."

As more teachers gain confidence using Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter for personal use, more are trying them for educational uses.

"You see a lot more teachers blogging or using Facebook as a tool," Wiegele said. "If we want to be able to relate to our kids, I think we kind of have to. We’re not all as curmudgeon-y as people like to think."

Susan Reinhardt, a German teacher at Moeller High in Kenwood, can get some social network benefits in a more protected environment. She plans to use Google Docs this year to let students collaborate and create versions of German fairy tales. Students can edit their shared documents without emailing back and forth, Reinhardt said, and she can see who is doing the work.

She also plans to use Google Voice to get students to leave her voicemail messages in German that she can grade and replay in class.

More schools should direct social networking and Web 2.0 tools toward education, Richardson says.

"In one sense, the Internet is a library," he said, "but … we’re not just checking out books; we’re writing them, in many cases together with people half a world away."

標籤: Skype, Google Voice, Google Docs, facebook, blogging, e-Learning, social networking, Youtube, Web 2.0 檢舉


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教育局已落實課本及電子學習資源研究報告建議,在全港中、小學推行電子學習試驗計劃。為鼓勵學校利用電子學習資源及推動相關市場發展,教育局向全港合資格的學校發放「購買電子學習資源一筆過撥款」。

我們將於下月的「學與教博覽2010」中舉行*兩場「電子學習資源一次過撥款」簡介會,邀得教育局資訊科技教育組總課程發展主任–佘孟先生及資訊科技教育組高級課程發展主任–馮立明先生講述有關電子學習資源的應用、如何選擇適切的電子學習資源,以及有關撥款的發放安排及學校使用撥款時應注意的事項等,讓學校及老師對推行電子學習有更充分的了解和準備。

簡介會詳情如下:

日期及時間: 2010年7月15日(星期四)2:00pm – 3:00pm
                    2010年7月16日(星期五)9:30am – 10:30am

地點:          香港會議展覽中心1E展覽廳

嘉賓講者:   佘孟先生(教育局資訊科技教育組總課程發展主任)
                   馮立明先生(教育局資訊科技教育組高級課程發展主任)

簡介會名額有限,請即按此登記留座(費用全免)。
「學與教博覽2010」網址
http://www.hkedcity.net/expo2010

如有任何查詢及疑問,請與「學與教博覽2010」秘書處「藍藍的天有限公司」聯絡。
電話:8108 6002
傳真:2527 4811
電郵:
general_expo@hkedcity.net

*兩場簡介會內容相同

標籤: e-Learning, 資訊科技教育, 教育局, 電子學習資源, 學與教, 電子學習 檢舉


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(轉載自:聯合報新聞網2010年5月26日)

數位化時代來臨,該如何透過數位工具等重新來學習,是未來新趨勢。

長榮大學校園巡迴座談會,主持人吳若權訪談華碩電腦規劃策略處副總裁葉嗣平與數位時代研究主編鄭緯筌,與師生們分享「未來虛擬化之數位學習新趨勢」。

鄭緯筌說,網路非常便利,可即時互動、交流,不像以往,「生活在這世代是非常幸福的事情」。

「善用搜尋引擎,讓知識的世界變成平的。」葉嗣平說,WEB2.0即時快速的資訊搜尋與分享,世界各角落發生的事,都可以隨時如臨現場。社群網路的共享,讓原本相隔的人可以在遠端構成的平台分享心情或照片。而雲端儲存服務,讓資料、照片、影片或作品不再怕遺失,也不怕中毒,就像把重要資料放在銀行的保險櫃。

百密總有一疏,「小心求證和找對人。」葉嗣平說,有些事是需要努力克服的。網路世界充滿了知識,有正確、有錯誤、有部份正確或錯誤、有似是而非等,如何在這些知識中找到正確且有用,必須有不同的求知態度。

另外,數位工具強調「多工處理」能力,使學生養成「跳躍式學習」,知識的了解,往往流於表面,不夠深入,久而久之,變成「自我感覺很好」的半瓶水,沒辦法創新。

「學習是很快樂的事,不應有所侷限。」鄭緯筌說,1999年美國專家Jay Cross率先提出「e-Learning」這個名詞。到2010年,數位學習產生了很大的變化。科技的進步,帶動學習的節奏,尤以免費資源最珍貴。

葉嗣平強調,邏輯思考的能力也需要補強,不論你多麼博學多聞,多麼知識豐富,仍然會遇到不知所以的事物,如何突破,必須靠有系統的歸納分析,從蛛絲馬跡找出關連,進而發現原因,加以解決。

「活到老學到老,學習是保持年輕的動力。」吳若權問鄭主編使用數位工具最多的功能或花最多時間在哪些部份?「瀏覽跟看電子書吧。」鄭緯筌說,工具當然很重要,但主要還是使用的人。

對於未來數位發展,葉嗣平說,文化永遠會有差異,如同翹翹板,你選擇一邊,另一邊就遭殃了,所以在設計產品上面,多角度思考非常重要。

吳若權說,每種電子工具都有其定位和功能,對現在的人來講,應該追求功能專一的學習比較有效,還是把各種功能整合在一起?「我是看需求。」鄭緯筌說。「大家在選擇工具時,還是得看自己真正需求是哪一些。」吳若權說。

「事情做到透徹就代表你很棒。」鄭緯筌說,「使用體驗」非常重要,所謂專注,如何在廣泛的資訊裡,找到自己有興趣的層面,專注並發揚光大。

吳若權說,數位工具日新月異,關鍵在於熱誠是否趕得上數位工具的速度。工具帶給大家便利,但學習的心態與熱誠沒有搭上去,如同趕不上列車,獨自站在月台上。

標籤: e-Learning, web2.0, 雲端儲存服務, 數位學習, 數位工具 檢舉