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Posts Tagged ‘school technology innovation centre

This isn’t exactly breaking news. But I only just found out that the School Technology Innovation Centre (currently occupied by the Centre of Excellence for Learning Innovation) will be located beside the MxL (which I used to run) right here in NIE.

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So what could I possibly have against it? Not much. I am glad that we will have this venue. It will showcase possibilities (and I hope some realities) that teachers might appreciate.

But I think that every school should be innovating using the resources and within constraints they have. Yes, it helps to have a place to help you think outside the box and to meet other practitioners, but surely any room filled with innovative people can do the same. I think I get some good ideas meeting up with folks in the canteen, hallway or even the restroom. I get the best ideas via RSS, Twitter and Facebook and I can do this anytime and anywhere with my iPhone!

I also think that a centre tends to be viewed as a template to be applied elsewhere. Having been to different schools to conduct workshops for teachers, I am brought to “special rooms” that look and operate like other special rooms. Yes, it helps to have certain layouts and technologies in place, but innovative practices should not be tied to a particular place; they should be transferable elsewhere.

STIC sounds like stick. Some group must have thought itself very creative with the acronym, but it may not have considered the connotation of a stick as punishment (as in the carrot or the stick) or a hindrance (a stick in the mud).

But most of all I object to the “school” in STIC. I think what STIC wants to stand for is technology-mediated pedagogies that enhance and enable better teaching and learning. Why? Currently, the majority of “School Technologies” are far from being innovatively used. Their associated affordances and pedagogies make them sticks in the mud instead. I am talking about rarely or improperly used IWBs. I am talking about death-by-PowerPoint pedagogy.

The focus could instead be on learning and learning technologies. This would then challenge teachers and parents to think about how to create, manage and evaluate learning that takes place anytime and all the time, whether in school or not.


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