Digital is default | (Steve Wheeler)

Image by Martin42 on Wikimedia CommonsWhen I read Being Digital for the first time, way back in 1997, it slowly dawned on me that everything was about to change. The book was published in 1995, just as the Internet was beginning to invent for itself a space that previously had not existed.  The following year I joined a ground breaking project in which my team set up digital learning spaces for businesses and individuals in hard-to-reach rural areas that until then had no infrastructure. We pushed the boundaries of technology, culture and human relationships as we extended digital spaces for…

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There’s life after HExit | (Steve Wheeler)

Photo by Dave Simpson – CrossRhythms RadioIt’s a funny old life. Just over a year ago I was working full time in Higher Education, as an Associate Professor. My main role was as a teacher educator, and I enjoyed almost 20 years working with great students, and wonderful colleagues. However, as those of you working in universities and colleges will know, it’s not a bed of roses, and if anything, life in higher education is becoming more difficult with economic stringencies (cuts), austerity (penny pinching) and accountancy driven policy (bean counting).

Academics are expected to do more with…

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What you see is what you do | (Steve Wheeler)

Image from Public Domain PicturesIn a previous post, I wrote about the Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) and the challenges it faces as a technology for education. I also published a second post in which I listed 6 ways IWBs could be used to engage learners in the classroom. IWBs have been around since 1991, when the first was developed by SMART Technologies. And yet, as I discussed in my previous posts, some teachers struggle to use them for more than simple projection or display activities.

I outlined some of the strategies that schools could consider to improve the use of IWBs in classrooms,…

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Does practice make perfect? | (Steve Wheeler)

Image from Wikimedia CommonsDoes practice make perfect? Malcolm Gladwell’s claim that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice is required to become world class in any field, has been challenged by a Princeton University study. There is also the argument that too much practice can lead to false belief in ability, loss of concentration, resulting in catastrophe. Many car accidents are caused by novices, but a similar number are caused by experienced drivers. The common factor is distraction, also known as loss of focus.

Right now, two of my favourite theories are James Gibson’s Affordances theory…

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Future skills #metalearning | (Steve Wheeler)

Photo by Steve WheelerLately, I’m asked to speak on this subject more than any other. The idea of future skills for learning is widely debated in all sectors, but for me, the answer is the same, whether you are a primary school student or a participant in learning and development in a large organisation. Today, the most important skills seem to be focused on one ability – learning to learn, or meta learning.

Why is learning to learn so important? Knowing how, where and when we best learn is important in a world of constant change and disruption where there is an over-abundance of opportunity…

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6 interactive whiteboard tips | (Steve Wheeler)

Photo by David Goehring on FlickrIn my last post, entitled Cinderella Technology, I wrote about the tremendous potential of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) and highlighted some of the reasons why it often fails to be realised in school classrooms.

They have been around for a long time, but IWBs seem to have polarised teachers.

There are those who use the IWB avidly, incorporating it into their lessons, embedding it into their programmes of study and exploiting the potential of the onboard tools.

There are others who avoid the use of the IWB studiously, and even some who are opposed to its…

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Cinderella technology? | (Steve Wheeler)

Image by Glamhag on FlickrLarge screen touch displays seem to have become the ‘Cinderella technology’ of education. In the popular folk tale, Cinderella is described on Wikipedia as: “… one whose attributes were unrecognised, or one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect.” 

Initially, the most common large screen display, known as the  interactive whiteboard (IWB) – was viewed with great promise, but over time, due to misuse, lack of training or knowledge (and in some cases, neglect), interactive whiteboards appear to have been sidelined in…

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