Thursday, October 04, 2007

More on Ulearn - Helen Baxter's keynote this morning Renaissance 2.0 - Educating the new Leonardos. You can see the mindmap of her presentation on Mindmeister. She made some interesting points about developing the 'can do' attitude'.

I get her point about students not needing to carry knowledge around in their heads as they will be able to find the info they need on their cellphones or whatever, but I do think there will still be some things we actually need to know just to be able to carry on a conversation. We can't be stopping the conversation every couple of minutes - "Hold on I just have to Google that". So students need some knowledge, understanding of concepts and the skills and strategies to find out what they don't know. They will of course also need critical and creative thinking skills and the ability to communicate, and a whole range of other things.

What we as educators need to do is have conversations about what knowledge, understanding, skills etc our students need. This will differ from school to school (and indeed from student to students) so it is great the new curriculum is giving schools explicit permission to develop their own curriculums. Of course some schools have been doing this for a while but for many this is a new concept.

I'm going to spend some time looking through Helens' Mindmeister mind map. Maybe somewhere in there I will find the answer to her question "How do we educate students for jobs we don't even know exist?" I do know however, that if we give students the things I talked about in the previous paragraphs including the 'can do attitude' and a dollop of passion, then we will have made a good start in the right direction.

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