Last night I had a good chat via Skype with Jeff Utecht in Bangkok, David Carpenter in Taiwan and John Mikton from Prague about trying to get Administrators of schools to see the need to see the use of ICT for learning across the curriculum as something to be embraced as an important part of preparing students for the future and not just an optional add-on.
The discussion was wide ranging. Not sure that we answered any big questions but it was worthwhile.
For what it is worth, here are my notes:
Making clear the distinction between IS in the region.
EDB lists 46 international primary schools and 24 secondary IS in Hong Kong.
Not all HK IS are the same!
Only 5 or so are members of EARCOS
The majority of bigger IS in EARCOS are much like the big private schools in OZ and the UK that I am familiar with.
Many of the others are quite different. 43% of the ESF cohort are local passport holders. In the case of other IS, it can be up to 100%.
For the point of this podcast and its audience, I think it is helpful to look at the two extremes of IS as many listeners are somewhere on the continuum.
There are 2 reasons that I feel that some SMT of schools do not fully come onboard with ICT for learning across the curriculum like I feel that they should. The first of these is that we are not doing a good job of tying the great collaborative, creative networking projects that we are doing in our schools to fantastic leadership and future empowerment and success for our kids. IMHO, there is far too much of an “echo chamber effect” where we all preach to the choir. We also tend to cite examples where the kids are in primary or middle schooling years where there are not the pressure of external examinations so we subconsciously send a message that this stuff should only be embraced in year levels where it does not detract from “real learning”. This is why I love the balancing of the debate that occurred last month on the Britannica Blog http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2008/10/brave-new-classroom-20-new-blog-forum/ It gave both sides of the story and allowed for open discussion. When I was responsible for the implementation of a 1:1 program in Australia, I very much enjoyed open and frank discussion with colleagues opposed to the program.
“Universities a at the core of the problem; there’s nothing more conservative than schools of education.”
Most of the schools in this region are adopting the IB diploma which is a very rigid, prescribed externally assessed examination oriented curriculum that leaves little scope for creative assessment of global collaborative and creative curricular. Sure, again the IB is great at the lower years but it is very hard work for a creative free thinker who wants to be supported in walking her own road.