Note the article on blended learning and the regular feature from Niki Davis.
The first issue of Computers in New Zealand Schools for 2012 is now ‘live’!
Go to http://education2x.otago.ac.nz/cinzs/
Computers in New Zealand Schools has been reporting on the use of computers and other forms of information and communication technologies (ICT) for over two decades. In that time, articles have identified the power of ICT to enhance and even transform the learning and teaching occurring in our schools. However, “As Diana Laurillard (2008, p. 1) observes wryly, ‘education is on the brink of being transformed through learning technologies; however, it has been on that brink for some decades now’” (Selwyn, 2010, p.66).
The articles and columns in this issue of CINZS all report on ways that ICT can, and in some cases should, be transforming education in New Zealand.
- In her article “Does digital immersion improve students’ digital literacy skills?”, Jacqui Land reports on a study that compared the performance of two groups of Year 9 students, one of which had been involved in a 1:1 project whereby they had 24/7 access to a tablet. In contrast, the other group of students had much more restricted access to technology. She compares similarities and differences between the groups in terms of several aspects of ICT skills.
- Judy Lymbery explores the role computer games can play in a classroom in her article titled “The potential of a game-based learning approach to improve learner outcomes”. She looks beyond the common use of computer games as a reward. Referring to the literature that reports on the use of games in classrooms, she explores the range of games available, and identifies a variety of ways in which they can be used to enhance learning. She has also noted several issues that face teachers who are considering utilising games in their classrooms.
- In her article “Blended learning in secondary schools is a start in the right direction”, Kerry Boyde “champions the integration of blended learning within secondary schools” (p. 40). She makes a strong case for blended learning, which is defined here in terms of combining traditional classroom based work with use of a variety of forms of ICT, in secondary schools. She explores issues associated with making changes such as this, and argues that a student-centred approach to teaching and learning, making use of blended approach, will best prepare our students for the future they face.
- While the previous article explored the effect of Web 2.0 as part of a broader discussion of blended learning, Sue Parkes and Donna Morrow focus on these tools. In their article, “Web 2.0 tools do have important roles in high school student learning: A position paper”, they note that students are using Web 2.0 tools in their everyday lives, and argue that such tools “have an important role in high school student learning” (p. 54). While focusing on high schools teachers, this thought provoking article challenges all teachers to consider their views on Web 2.0 tools, and their place in our schools. They identify a range of Web 2.0 tools and identify how they can be used to enhance students’ learning.
Columns and reviews
- In her regular column, Niki Davis reports on recent happenings in the world of virtual schooling in New Zealand. She draws our attention to such events as an upcoming Parliamentary inquiry, the recent DEANZ conferences, and New Zealand involvement in international research collaborations.
- Lisa Oldham’s library column focuses on “Creative Commons Copyright”. She explores the very important but often complex issue of copyright. Lisa highlights the importance for teachers and schools to understand the rules around copyright, to protect them from legal – as well as moral – issues, before describing the Creative Commons licensing system. Her very clear explanation of the issues associated with licensing make this essential reading for everyone involved in using material gained elsewhere.
Please contact Ann Trewern if you have an article in mind for November 2012 or March 2013.