Daily Archives: March 3, 2006

Well, it was my intention to try and blog this day as it went but in an ironical twist, the MC who was introducing both Gerry White and Marc Prensky, told all of the assembled crowd to turn off their mobile phones, PDA's and laptops. I couldn't believe it but I didn't want my Pocket PC confiscated. In fact, I'm not sure that it was even serious - but to avoid any hassles (real or otherwise) I switched to pen and paper.
So, there I was amongst the widest variety of educators that I've seen in a long while. People flew in from places like Sydney and Burnie, Tasmania. Anyway, the introduction to Marc Prensky was handled by the CEO of educationau, Gerry White who touched on a few issues of importance. He talked about the importance of Web 2.O and how this was a return to the original concept of the web. He led us through all of the responsibilities of educationau - Edna Online, www.education.gov.au, and my favourite (!?) the Learning Federation. Actually had someone from TLF on my table and had to bite my tongue when she asked if I knew what learning objects were. Anyway, Gerry was only the entree to the main event and at around 10.30 am, Prensky strode to the podium, and cordially invited us to turn back on our mobiles, laptops and PDA's.
Rather than repeat all that he said, I'm just going to record my notes here and reflect where my memory serves me well. As I recorded in an earlier post, plenty of educators with more cred than me have blogged his message before so my notes reflect what hit me at the time. Hopefully, we'll get Bill and Al's version of events as well in good time. Great to catch you guys at the breaks.
One of his first slides was "What's next?" then "4 Things I Hope Are Coming Next. (because we really need them)." 1. dealing with change 2. productive engagement 3. getting mutual respect 4. sharing our successes.
I loved this quote - "E-mail is for old people."
He pointed out that if IT power doubles every year, by 2036, technology will be over a billion times more powerful than today. Needs to be a shift from pre-21st Century approach of solving problems with tools we have > o inventing new tools to solve problems. Changes in literacy - the new literacy for the 21st C is programming. We live in a world of constnat change and education isn't reflecting that rate of change.
His key stat - 50% of the world is under 25, our customers are the "digital natives" where neurobiology is telling us that technology is changing the way that the "natives" think - (a) moving faster (b) randm access (c) multitasking (d) graphics first before text (e) connected (f) rich e-life (g) pull, not push (they have to want to do it). We (educators over 25) are the "digital immigrants". Motivation + passion = engagement and that feels like play, not work. Engagement is more important than the content (or the technology).
Marc talked about the concept of "Engage Me or Enrage Me" and how we as teachers have to get to know our students as Individuals and show empathy to remain relevant. He saw it as important that teachers DON'T WASTE TIME learning to ue new tools (kids can do that) but that we learn about TECHNOLOGIES and teach about them. He used Wikipedia as an example. He also pointed out he believed that 1:1 laptops were the way to go to achieve full engagement in learning with technology.
I'll post more of my notes over the weekend.