Singapore Day 4 Conference Day

Hi all,

Another top day.

Singapore Day 4 Conference Presentations

Opening of Conference

After a hectic morning (LOL) I went to Suntec for the Conference Keynote.  The Conference was opened by Mr S Iswaran the Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education.  Needless to say with 1500 plus delegates and all the press it was quite a sight.  His address was interesting.  His key media grab was innovate, collaborate and transformation.  Singapore are at the Third ICT Master Plan and they launched ICT Connection  where the theme was to congregate, share and synergise.  One of many sections of his struck a cord with me concerning wanting more ICT enabled learning experiences.  He suggested three steps: capture the imagination of the young people, transformation needs to be internal to the individual and  ultimately the teachers will have to upgrade their pedagogy and skill sets to enact the transformation.

David Warlick Keynote

Our Students- Our Worlds: cracking the code for imaginative, collaborative and transformative learning.  David’s presentation can be found at http://davidwarlick.com/handouts

David  starts each presentation with something new he has learnt in the last 24 hours.  There has always been ice on the moon but he only learnt about it today.  It is the same with what we do.  He described how his education was set up in rows in the classroom, repetitive and under close supervision.    Sure things have can changed a lot of presenters point this out but one fact of interest was this: 1/100 of 1% of what is digitally produced each year  was printed.

David said I am not preparing my children for my future I am preparing them for their future.  So there are things that I will not use but that does not mean they should not use them.  The issue is that we are trying to prepare our children for a future  that we cannot clearly describe.

We cannot predict the future.  He took a few quotes out of the World Is Flat: 2% of the Worlds GDP is in the back of a UPS truck at any one moment.  He refers to two writers to look into one for business and the other an urban studies academic –Daniel Pick and Rickard Florida.

It was really interesting looking into the changing nature of those studying courses at universities.  Manufacturing is down, science and technology is up but what is up more is creative arts.  Take LCD TVs  for example – we are not interested in how they work we want  the sound , the view and the experience-  which comes from the creative arts.  This is the area that is growing but often not factored in.

These students are not us they are “post Regan, Wolfman and the Berlin war” and they have never “seen a TV with less than a 100 channels”.  And still they cannot get up to change the channel.  The have NO recollection of the 20th Century and we teach them  from a 20th century perspective.

David went to college and said goodbye to many of his friends some of which he never saw again.  His sons went to college and he did not say goodbye because he is still connected to his friends in colleges all over the place- as was indicated  while he was on his mobile as David took him to his university.

He compliments Singapore because it gives  people access where as in US they do not have the freedom.  I will break my thoughts on evaluation here – I am interested on how the rhetoric matches the reality on this point in Singapore.

David talked about the issue of grammar.  He gave an example of students who are required to have a blog. One student came up to a teacher  and said “my grammar is not good enough for my ideas”.  This student has a reason now to have grammar and now understands why he needs it.

Of course we get overwhelmed by information but we have to remember that the information has to compete for our attention. We do need to think of the world in a different way.  Why? We have  a new generation of learners, a new information environment and an unpredictable future.

“It is not lifelong learning it is a learning lifestyle”.

Spotlight Sessions

The rest of the day I went to three spotlight sessions as well as the Exhibition Hall.  During these sessions I twittered what I could do, took photos of the screens and took notes.  The Twitter feeds are at http://twitter.com/plu

1. Mobile Learning – the  future is now was the first spotlight.

Elliot Solaway presented onbehalf of 4 academics and the second half of the session was Q and A. His research is through CERA.   His presentation was research based and he made comments and predictions.  Some samples of his thoughts

In five years all students will use mobile learning devices.

The mobile computer revolution has not yet began.

The mobile is bigger than the internet

Donald G Knezeki – ISTE

Lots of factor research supported information on showing the skills that are needs for 21 century learners.  Got photos of the lot.  What was most interesting for me was  on what has changed.  Nhe spoke of globalisatiopn, multiculturalism and competition; different expectations and learning styles; learning landscape is digital;  there are new tools and a new structure and  there is implications for the digital divide. Specifically he then addressed the issue of the learning divide.

Jason Trump Microsoft

Jason  Trump is an Australian based in Singapore things is the Educatational Strategist for Microsoft  for Asia and the Pacific.  The whole focus was on the personalisation of the learning.  He made a balanced presentation not just about the virtues of Microsoft.  Lots of photos for this presentation.  He looked into the concept of 1:1 not just from the perspective of giving out notebooks but also the notion of “one to many”.  The research figures were interesting.   Does the technology improve learning and results – not in all cases.  PISA results for example indicate that students who have computers at home got better results than those who only had them at school.  That Tweet  got a flurry of responses to me during the proceedings – I had to say /defend myself that I was just reporting what I was hearing.

The Pictures

As for the pictures,  for those that require explanation. There s one graph that is really good.  It shows how the uptake of 1:1 globally took off in 2004 and Oz had a rise but nothing in comparison.  Oz situation aside  Jason suggested the reason was  price reduction but what was more interesting was that teachers were more up skilled and even more interesting was that Principals were seeing the benefit an pushing the Agenda. There is a shot of feeding 1500 people.  Photos of me with each presenter.  I made an effort to go up introduce myself and ask for a photo for my blog. A few years ago when I did this presenters looked at me strangely – now it is not an issue. One even said to me in a conversation that “don’t blog that” comment – it was a good heads up too :-).  I don’t know why but a number of students from the same school approached me for an interview on video- so there is a picture of them as well. The cake and eat it too picture suggests that you can get good results with the use of technology – research based. Pity I did not tweet that for the twitter followers 🙂

Once again this summary does not do justice to a very big day.  It was fun and hard to juggle the camera , my notes and Tweeting but all worth while because the more I do it the more I understand the world of my children and students I teach.

cheers Martin

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One thought on “Singapore Day 4 Conference Day

  1. Good report Martin,
    I’m looking forward to the next instalment. It’ll be good to talk to yo first hand when we get the chance
    Bern

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