I'm sitting at the Ulearn07 conference in Auckland. The conference started off with a great keynote from Ewan McIntosh. He made a great comment about not supporting the digital natives/digital immigrants concept which I definitely agree with. I certainly don't fit with Marc Prensky's idea of a digital native, not having been born in the right decade, but I have been using computers for over 20 years and I'm more at home with computers & technology than many teenagers I know.
The points that especially resonated with me were:
Thin slicing - the once-over lightly mentality.
Audience - students used to do their work for their teachers and maybe their classmates and parents, now they can have a potential audience of 1 billion people through the web.
Creativity - Ewan talked about the avenues for creativity that web 2.0 opens up. I liked the idea of the use of Flickr for story telling. Do a search for 5 frames on Flickr where people tell stories in 5 photos. This has amazing potential and I can't wait to try it with some kids.
Authentic goals - Asking the question - what is the purpose of this work? For me I think this is the first question we should be asking before we teach anything and we should be getting our students to ask the same question.
I also particularly liked the his statement "It's not about the teach, it's about the tech".
After this great start I'm looking forward to the rest of the conference.