TED Conversations

Amy Peach

Director of Instructional Technology, Fontbonne University, St Louis, MO USA


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If you had a technology toy room to play with the most amazing educational technologies available today, what would be in it?

I've been given the remarkable privilege of starting a Center for Educational and Emerging Technology where university faculty and K-12 educators can come together to explore classroom technologies.

It will be a space where everyone can get their hands on the technology and discuss in a very diverse group the potential it has for meaningful change in the classroom. The budget is limited to start off, so what tools have you seen that have the potential for disruption in either higher ed or K-12 classrooms? If it's expensive, what groups do you think would likely fund their purchase for a center like this?


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    Sep 27 2013: Please consider that students will no longer accept the old industrial-age classrooms, the age of teaching kids facts and what to think will no longer be tolerated by the kids.
    Seek toys that teach HOW TO THINK! Divergent, convergent, creative, and group, thinking and problem solving.
    For teaching social skills and more, I can see large screen with a skype. So classes can have meaningful exchanges with classes from other countries.

    For technology it changes so fast it will be hard to keep up with, and other can guide you better than I could. But here is one cool educational product to consider.
    • Sep 27 2013: Heh. Cute. Sorry, but "kids" tolerate whatever is thrown at them and always have. I remember when classrooms were going to be "book-free" before 2000. Didn't happen.
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        Sep 27 2013: Not anymore! I know a 2nd grade school teacher from a very rich and highly rated school district, (I think in the top five in the nation), just last week she said her current class was the worst she ever had. To paraphrase they were a buch of arrogant know it alls with a couple of were real trouble makers.
        So the kids will not be protesting by writing letters and doing set ends, but if a highly rated school district teacher can’t manage to teach them. They are smart enough to figure out how to teach themselves.

        Don't underestimate the youth, the class of 2024 will make us look the prim-apes.
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        Sep 27 2013: I think you could be right. The vast majority of students do tend to accept what they're told. Question is, will their parents? I've seen a definite shift in this age of information in terms of parent involvement and community interest. They're starting to research strategies and techniques and if a school district has a collaborative environment, they may have a stronger voice than in the past.

        I did find it interesting, though, that the Horizon report has been largely accurate and useful on all counts except 2; it consistently overestimated the value of the technology used and consistently underestimated the speed with which the strategies would be implemented.
        • Sep 28 2013: Do we want them to just accept what they are told? I use to occasionally tell my kids something really fantastic and untrue and continued until they decided that what I was saying was not right. Then we usually talked about thinking for themselves, considering the source, etc. I think blind acceptance of things they are unsure about might not be good.

          How does the school system teach this kind of lesson?

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