It’s always a pleasure to watch John Davitt giving his presentation. Unfortunately I missed it at this year’s Handheld Learning Conference, so it was great to see the video made available on the web.
You can find more videos of the handheld learning conference here
May 2010 update.
I’ve heard John speak a few times now and each time I seem to find something new in what he says. This is partly why I recommend anyone to go listen to him.
Below, I have listed some of the things I have got from John’s presentations. I daresay there are more I could have got and I guess other people may have got a different interpretation or message from John’s presentations, nevertheless, here is what I have got so far…
We should be using technology more creatively … no, I’ll rephrase that, we need to allow and support learners to use technology more creatively. For so long, pupils have been passive consumers (I think he actually uses that phrase) of technology, we ned to move them on to becoming creative uses of the tech. Instead of just sitting down in front of a monitor, pupils can be allowed to use a wide range ofd devices to create their own digital material and resources.
There are so many ways in which a pupil can demonstarte their work and their learning, so why, when we use technology, do we demand they use only a few? If you think about it, technology in the classroom has been very much a ‘visual’ tool, even when we consider Audio Visual or Multimedia aspects it seems that the Visual aspect dominates. Learners employ different senses and different styles of learning, even traditional teaching was not just visual, so we need to use technology in much more creative ways to reach out and support the different learning styles of individuals.
We’re each different. Some of us like our toast nicely buttered with the butter evenly spread across the slice and into each corner ( I had a girlfriend like that once, it nearly drove me mad; not her obsession with having the butter evenly spread but the fact that she was still around at breakfast time!). In the past, computers might have been seen as the preserve of neat and tidy people who liked organising databases, populating spreadsheets, or producing nicely word-processed documents. Nowadays, technology should be in the hands of everybody, not just the neat and tid, organised people. Being neat and organised, despite what your mother or your employer might think, is not a positive attribute; it is simply a personal characteristic and does not make you a better person that someone less organised or untidy.
Then there’s the story John tells about the Banda machine ( a primitive copier that used an analogue method of turning a handle to produce copies, for those of you too young to recall such a device) and how this one person had charge of the machine. It took me a while to realise any significance in this story but I do recall how in the early days, computers were seen as the territory of the IT co-ordinator in a school and no-one else was allowed to touch them without his permission or without prior signing of a book to say that you had it and signing again to say you had returned it. Nowadays, such petty empire building is not acceptable, all teachers now should have easy and ready access to technology for their lessons. In fact, we have gone much further than that, no longer should all teachers have access to technology for the lesson but all pupils should have access to, and that access should be available whereever the pupil is and wherever the learning takes place.
Okay, I’ll stop there but there is much more to be gained from listening to John Davitt or reading his book or following him on twitter. So do so!
As I right this, John is apparently on a beach somewhere, not sunning himself like any normal person would but running a training course!