Davis Warlik’s article; Music to my ears…

When I wrote this blog two days ago, I was, I guess, a bit overwhelmed by the idea that the laptop project in New-Brunswick was in jeopardy.  Life if funny and you never know what will happen next… I was pleased, very pleased to read in the Telegraph Journal an article titled; “Provincial government should give every student a laptop”. David Warlick did it again… Would someone give this guy a medal please!!!
 
The article underlines David’s presentation at a conference to educators from New Brunswick. Warlick mentioned that students should be allowed to use computers and have access to internet during tests. Computers and the internet are the pen and pencil of our time. Davis was quoted by the reporter saying; “Quite frankly, this is what kids should be learning with…Anything less than that I think is an insult to our children… The world has change, we are not going to be able to prepare them for an information landscape that is increasingly digital, networked, overwhelming. We are not going to be able to do that with just paper”.
 
The article also underlined that students don’t need to memorise information when they are just a click away from it. Tests, evaluations and classroom work should be about critical thinking.
 
I was also astonished to read that the New Brunswick Education Minister decided against moving forward with the last government decision of giving every student a laptop computer. I’m happy that the program will continue in the schools that are already in the program and please to hear that 15 millions dollars will be spent in new technology and methods. Out of that money, 5 millions dollars will be placed in a fund for schools that submit the best proposal for the laptop use.   There is also a sum of money to be placed in an innovative fund (It might be the same money…I’m not sure…) to be offered to educators and school principal who have the best innovative ideas. I just hope that the peoples giving out theses funds will also have innovative and open minds. Why for example, give money to a blogging project when you aren’t even sure what it does?…
 
Back to the article, Warlick said; “Instead of solely giving lectures to student on geography, a New Brunswick school should partner with a school in Italy, for example, and get their students to research Italy and put what they learned on a blog and vice versa…Students here in New Brunswick can go over and read the reports by students in Italy and vice versa and they can comment on those reports on what they got right and what they got wrong”….music to my ears…
 
Students need to find ways to learn for them and us as educators, need to teach to do that. In our school; Le Centre d’apprentissage du Haut-Madawaska, our mission reflects that statement. We want students to be responsible toward their learning and to be active in it. Our school weblog project enables students to converse with the world and to have their voice heard. We need as a non-native technology generation look at what students are using in order to communicate, to learn (yes they learn outside the school and when we’re not around…) and the ways that they motivate themselves to learns is crucial. Students must be encourages to use their weblog like Helen Barrett would suggest; to place content, to seek purpose and to reflect on what they are doing.
 
Life is good…

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