CEGSA Conference ~ Keynote speaker Derek Wenmoth

Derek Wenmoth, Director eLearning CORE Education Ltd Christchurch NEW ZEALAND with his keynote was titled," Thinking Digitally". He started by relating a story about his father-in-law who was confronted by a group of youths who disappeared quickly after a few words. Derek's son suggested to his grandfather that he should have taken a photo of these guys using his mobile phone camera. This is an example of digital thinking. Also related the story of the high frequency sound used for keeping teenagers away from malls called Teen Buzz, which has been reinvented as a ringtone that adults can't hear! Quoted Nicholas Negroponte " Thinking in terms of Bits, not Atoms!" He talked about the change in tools from when he started teaching in the 70's. Then tools were Analog, Now tools are Digital, Next tools are Connected.

Our schools may not may changed but our kids have. Talked about the concept of "hypertext" minds and " attentional deployment." It is now an important skill to be able to shift attention from one task to another. Talked about synchronous tools (IM, Skype etc.) and asynchronous tools (blogs). He showed us his daughter's blog. He also talked about My Space - he points out as educators, we can't afford to just say, "Well, that's their problem." Derek posed the question," What would happen in Australia if the Internet fell over tomorrow." Well, our banking would grind to a halt but would it make any difference to schools?

Showed us his OLE continuum diagram to demonstrate the pedagogical charge needed in schools. He then started to talk about the different components needed in schools for a school based OLE - LMS (Moodle was his example), management of student identity but while schools set up their system to contain everything, students are off setting up their own blogs, ELGG's etc. See his diagram here. The problem now is not access to information but how to sort through that information.

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