After having read the required readings from this week’s unit I was very surprised to read about the situation in a Los Angeles school and how they rolled out the Ipads in the school system. I never heard about it and it’s a great example of what happens when “the trip” is not planned out accordingly!!
The reason I believe that this situation was unsuccessful is because Apple did not truly think about the impacts that may arise within the context, and the timing. The context is of course in the USA where they currently have what is called the Patriot Act, which is crazy. It is basically saying that the US government can require any tech company to release any data from it’s users. And because the product is created in the US, there are and continues to be cultural biases because there are assumptions about how people may interact with authority.
Many can learn from this situation and look at the positives that are happening right now in the international level. For example in New Zealand in a impoverished community in Auckland, there are primary schools that supporting ed tech via to learn, to create and to share.
Pedagogically, students are learning to count, to read and to write. While the students are learning they are putting their creativity to practice by blogging about it. For example, the students created a rap song about the leadership of Nelson Mandela. While doing this they used new vocabulary and learned the story about Nelson Mandela. These students shared their project via a classroom computer and blogged their project. Each week, they publish their new learning via WordPress. Writing on the bog motivated them in their own learning for the reason their their blog posts were read by the whole world. A foundation paid for the elementary schools computers and in 4 years the computers will belong to the school.
This specific case of ed tech, the computers allowed these elementary students to write articles on the blog and to produce digital videos which allows them to be digitally creative and also fosters team work. In another impoverished area in New Zealand, another teacher from new Zealand also makes connections of what is motivating and inspiring her learners here.
Another main challenge that we are seeing internationally is the the deployment of Edtech in other developing countries around the world low speeds of the internet bandwidth. A computer program called Dotlearn has found a way to decompress videos online. These allows learners to be able to view online learning with little bandwidth in developing countries.
There is another EdTech platform called Nafham where it provides its users in the Middle East and North Africa free access to educational videos that links with the curriculum in these areas. This supports learners who require extra support who cannot afford expensive tutoring to support their learning. Nafham is created by educational teachers who support students on a monthly basis in their learning.
From what I can see and understand internationally, technology can make huge improvements to education if it is used properly to support all learners. These educators who created this programs in impoverished areas of our world are using technology properly to enhance their education and the engagement of their students.
When branching out internationally and looking for other people to learn from (PLN) international these are are my tops 5 leaders! Feel free to follow them to help yourself expand in your own learning in EdTech as they have all truly inspired me in my own journey.
My top 5 PLN:
1) Sue Waters @suewaters
2) Will Richardson @willrich45
3) George Couros @gcouros
4) Joanna Saunders @MmeSaunders
5) Danny Steele @SteeleThoughts
***@courosa would be on this list but we all know that cool Edtech guy!