Schools and colleges are said to be facing a 'crisis of relevance'. What needs to change?
Vancouver-based educator with the Commonwealth of Learning Trudi van Wyk will lead Promethean's third Education Fast Forward public online debate, "Making Learning Relevant", next week (Monday, September 26, at 2pm).
The former director of curriculum innovation (ICT in Education) with the South African Department of Education will build on the conclusions of the two previous debates: that traditional schooling is no longer relevant, and that schooling systems are difficult and slow to change.
The questions Trudi van Wyk will be addressing are: How can we make learning relevant? Do we try to turn education systems around (making schooling relevant) or do we go outside the schooling system and focus on innovative projects and initiatives for small groups of learners? The global debate, conducted over Cisco's state-of-the-art Tele-presence video network and streamed free of charge for viewers on the internet via Promethean Planet, will also involve 22 of Promethean's EFF fellows (across 13 countries), world ranking educators involved with learning and technology, and four special guests – Janet Looney, Dr Fred Mednick, Dr Tarek Shawki and Mario Franco (see "Learning for all in Portugal's digital revolution").
The second part of the debate will focus on education in the developing world and particularly on the role of the teacher. It will introduce the audience to two initiatives of the Commonwealth of Learning – the Commonwealth Certificate for Teachers’ ICT Integration (CCTI) and Open Educational Resources (OER).
“PISA and other international comparisons in education have led to the development of a ‘vanilla’ curriculum that often lacks relevance for many teachers and learners around the world," says Promethean's director of education and former headteacher Jim Wynn. "They tend to be middle class and Western in their bias and alien to the socio-economic and cultural context in which education systems are located.
"This debate will consider how we can make education more relevant to the local context in order to better engage learners and to help them to become productive members of their society and able to be economically active locally and globally. The discussion will build on our previous debate about productivity in education.”
Promethean CEO, Jean Yves Charlier will introduce the event, and the moderator will be respected Scottish educator and Cisco consultant John Connell (check out his blog on EFF – and a wide variety of other topics).
Trudi van Wyk is a specialist on e-learning and policy expert with the Commonwealth of Learning, an inter-governmental organisation set up by Commonwealth Heads of Government "to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies". Her role with COL is to increase digital literacy in institutions and communities, provide ICT in education policy support to governments, prepare teachers for ICT integration in teaching and learning and promote the use open education resources.
"Previous Education Fast Forward debates have yielded wonderful insights into learning and teaching with technology," said Promethean's head of global PR, Fiona Mclean. "Contributions from our EFF fellows have ranged from the practical to the profound. At a time when there's a perception of an ICT policy vacuum in England, there could not not be a better moment to tune in to some of the world's very best education policy experts in a live, online debate. Afterwards we will make video available on Promethean Planet for those who cannot attend live."
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Twitter hashtah #effdebate
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is a voluntary association of more than 50 independent sovereign states which provide support to each other and work together toward international goals. The Commonwealth is described as a "family" of nations, originally linked together in the British Empire, and now building on their common heritage in language, culture and education, which enables them to work together in an atmosphere of greater trust and understanding than generally prevails among nations.
Bringing together some 1.7 billion people of many faiths, races, languages, traditions and levels of economic development, the Commonwealth represents almost one-third of the world's population.
The EFF members taking part in EFF 3 are:
Dr Michelle Selinger
Professor Adrian Oldknow
Lord David Puttnam
Sir Tim Brighouse