Information floods through the cyber walls of the Internet – allow me to do my part and recap what I have found to be interesting. Want to see more of something? Shoot me a comment! Let’s take a closer look:
Global EdTech News
The 2011 Horizon Report, compiled by the New Media Consortium and the Educause Learning Initiative, examines “emerging technologies” that are “likely to have a large impact over the coming five years on a variety of sectors” globally. The report suggests several key trends including the increased ease of access to information outside a formal classroom, the increased expectation of individuals to be able to work, learn, and study anywhere they want, the demand for more globally collaborative learning environments and the increased use of cloud-based and mobile technologies.
The Imagine Cup is a student technology competition sponsored by Microsoft that challenges students at the local, national, and international level. This year the theme requires students to “imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.” By using the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, students pose technological solutions. This year, the finals will take place in NYC July 8-13.
Voices from the Learning Revolution is a blog I came across a few weeks ago that does an excellent job at engaging learning communities in the latest developments in educational technology. One of their writers recently published an article in the Huffington Post, Online Learning: The Necessity and Promise, drawing attention to the universal flaws in education systems and how the introduction of technology can alleviate these problems.
Keep reading for Middle East, Asia and Africa edtech news… (more…)
The world will not be saved by high test scores… What is needed more than ever is a laser-like focus on the kinds of human beings that we are raising and the kinds of societies—indeed, in a global era, the kind of world society—that we are fashioning. –Howard Gardner (Educating for Global Competence)
Recently I’ve taken a strong interest in coaching which has led me to enroll in a number of courses offered through the Coaches Training Institute. What I love about the coaching process is that it provides a space for both coaches and clients to imagine what’s possible and act from a place of possibility (rather than from a place or circumstance or status quo).
As a co-active coach I ask powerful questions that help clients “deepen the learning” and “forward the action”. As a client I have learned the power of vision, thinking big and thrilling thoughts, acting from a place of choice and inspiration and creating without self imposed limits (“I can’t…I shouldn’t…What would other’s think…”).
The more I learn through coaching, the more I keep asking myself, “Why didn’t we get this stuff in school?” The opportunity for self-reflection, deep meaningful conversation and agency that coaching provides is incredibly powerful – Why wait until people are in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to get this self development stuff? What would happen if kids got this stuff from day one?!
Imagine a world where every school’s #1 priority is creating happy, fulfilled, globally aware and civically active human beings. (more…)
A small group within Colombia has attempted to not only reinvest in the education system, but also redefine conventional schooling. Fundación Escuela Nueva, meaning the New School, is a schooling system established in 1975 that has reinvented the traditional orientation of the classroom. Internationally recognized, the system has been extremely successful in the development of student learning, but one can only wonder about the potential of the system if simple technologies were introduced as well.
Escuela Nueva encourages students to actively partake in their education by granting students the permission to take hold of the classroom and teach their peers. Such an environment proves conducive for open discussions and allows creativity to flourish. Teachers act as moderators, allowing the students to truly seize their curriculum while teachers solely facilitate the organization of the class. Furthermore, lessons specifically target the skills and knowledge that students need in their day-to-day lives. (more…)
In April of 2010 India, the world’s second most populous countries, passed a constitutional amendment which gives all children between the ages of 6-14 the right to a quality primary education.
The BBC reported on this law on April 1, 2010. “It serves as a building block to ensure that every child has the right to guaranteed quality elementary education. The state, with the help of families and communities, has a legal obligation to fulfil this duty,” said Karin Hulshof, India representative of UN children’s fund Unicef.
This got me thinking. What is it about education that makes it a basic human right? It seems to me to have something to do with learning. The human brain has such a capacity to learn, to explore and to investigate its environment. The brain is wired for creativity, abstract thought and metaphor. Anyone who has spent time around a child knows of their insatiable curiosity and desire to learn.
There is something very basic about learning. It’s part of our biology. And so it is wonderful that political and social systems, especially in developing economies, are supporting the education of youth. But I want to push this concept further. (more…)
There are plans being made, as you read this to hijack the education system. The timing they say is right, and the circumstances call for a change. Shikshantar Andolan seeks to go beyond iPads, computers, and smartphones and “build organic learning” that is more compatible with the 21st century. The organization focuses on the role that culture plays in both education and technology, and how technology is used to promote cultural awareness, as opposed to just being used for technology’s sake. By engaging the foundation of education technology, Shikshantar Andolan has created a new culture of learning throughout India that incorporates elements from daily life to engage members of society in the learning process. This made me think, what 21st century changes can we make to help worldwide education systems move forward?
In Shikshantar Andolan’s emphasis on radical spirituality they describe how schools now are concerned primarily with ‘profit’ and ‘efficiency.’ This they believe robs students of the creative process, leaving graduates without the critical thinking skills necessary to gage the problems of modern Indian society. Problematic? Yes. Unsolveable? No. (more…)
In a recent article published in The National, Abu Dhabi’s English Newspaper, our work with Ras al Kahimah’s (RAK) Teacher’s Network was presented. Bon was commissioned by the to create a platform for discussion where educators and teachers can collaborate on teaching methods and best practices. The Network also serves as a support system for teachers where questions and experiences can openly be shared.
Teachers are asked to visit the site, make an account where they can then personalize their own profiles. Subsequently, they have access to different forums, groups, and teaching resources. As a teaching tool, the Teacher’s Network has been largely effective in fostering collaboration among teachers in both English and Arabic. In the article, the author shares teachers thoughts on the Network. Tumb Secondary School’s mathematics teacher, Mr. Abdelaziz Hasa explains how the Network “helps [them] think of better ways to improve our students’ performance.” (more…)
Text Message from Kareema: Can’t believe it… ya3ni totally STUCK wa la bil yed heela. No one wants the skills we got, and they are asking for all that other stuff nobody told us about : ( (
With the working age population about to explode in size, the Arab world is faced with a huge challenge—How do we employ so many young people and how do we make sure they are ready to work productively?
A call to action, the e4e “Education for Employment: Realizing Arab Youth Potential” report points out that both employers and young adults are frustrated with the status quo. Surveyed companies complain that only a third of new employees are actually equipped with the language, soft and critical thinking skills required of their jobs. Students want education institutions to provide training programs in tune with the modern workplace. As a result, there is clear need and demand for more relevant post secondary and workplace training programs in the MENA region.
On the supply side, e4e states that challenges fall into four main categories: (more…)