These past two days have been spent at the new Republic Poly campus attending the ICET 2007. This year’s themes is “Rethinking Pedagogies: Creating Possibilities Through Digital, Interactive and Media” and the focus was on how “innovations in ICT like gaming and interactive digital media have created a new environment for teaching and learning in the new century.”
Indeed, the keynote addresses as well as the many speakers there spoke on new methods of teaching and learning such as those using game-based learning as well as Web 2.0 technologies.
Going by the vendors there, SMART classrooms seem the way to go! Don’t think I have seen that many different types of interactive whiteboards in the same place!
Just some quick thoughts on some of the areas discussed at the Conference:
-there was quite an interesting video shown which was a video by Microsoft, a kind of “devil wears Prada” parody
-virtual worlds like Second Life and gaming such as World of Warcraft can have interesting and myriad educational benefits (hm.. while I do agree that there are some benefits in gaming, I wonder how much of the learning can be transferred to real life contexts. I mean, sure, a gamer can exhibit good leadership skills being the Guild leader and directing a raid, but can he or she also exhibit the same leadership skills in real life? I mean, how many gamers, techies, etc out there are good communicators? and gaming is supposed to cultivate communication skills…
– learning needs to be fun and engaging….hm.. but won;t it be a bore if everything is all fun and games? Also, real life is not all fun and games. If students fed on a diet of highly stimulating environments go out into the world, will they be disappointed? Worse, will they be able to cope with the mundane everyday world, where work can be gasp, actually tiresome and tedious?!
– there’s an increasing closing gap between virtual and real worlds. Much has been done to recreate the real world in a virtual setting..with that, where is the room for one’s imagination?
– gaming addiction – incidentally, I was just watching Tab TV and the topic tonight was on cyber addiction.
Clearly, while educators explore the use of IDM in teaching and learning, let’s hope people don;t just all get carried away by the technology. As shown at the Conference too, technology can sometime let you down too. I can’t quite keep count of the number of times the Internet connection went off, or Ppt slides were not loaded properly, or files not saved properly.
But it’s good to know that questions have been raised and educators will continue to see what ways can best be used to help people learn and enjoy learning.