Reinventing education (not) and travelling

From eSchool News, an article entitled Reinventing Education which outlines how, in the USA schools are about to change the way they teach students by using more technology and using the technology more effectively. In the article, an educational strategist (sic) argues that in San Diego, schools will have “an engaging and personalised learning environment, mindfully designed to optimise teaching and learning through the interconnected use of visual and auditory media, mobile computing and formative assessment technologies across the curriculum”. Hmm – interesting e.g. “mindfully designed”? – the opposite being? OK – we’ve all used terminology, so people in glass houses … The key point here, however, is that this is not reinventing education per se, it is changing the way teachers teach and to some extent how students learn – and education in my book is much bigger than that.

At the weekend, I travelled from Tauranga, New Zealand to Auckland, New Zealand, to Sydney, Australia, to Dubai, UAE and then to Newcastle, UK where I landed. I was then driven to Dunbar in Scotland. So, a long haul. Travelling – which I like very much – is obviously a physical experience – on the plane, off the plane, on another plane, off… It’s also a mental experience and the way I cope with long journeys is to not be on a long journey but a series of short ones. This may sound like a North American business guru’s seminar – small steps, big achievements blah, blah but one aspect that is different with travelling is your concept of time. I try to forget about time as I travel and just accept that e.g. you’re going backwards in time as you travel west. My advice is always read when you can, sleep when you can and watch movies when you can, in the sure and certain knowledge that your aesthetic standards will drop dramatically – when you’re tired, you’ll watch films you wouldn’t normally watch.

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