New learning: an analogue response to digital experiences

It’s been a great year for visiting different places and last week was no exception. And, of course, the wonderful thing about visiting different places is that they are full of interesting people to talk to and learn from.

There were a few highlights for the week – meeting up with my tutor is always an enormous pleasure and meeting Tim Ray was awesome. He talks about using an analog response to digital experiences, he explained how this concept was implemented in a new website for GED preparation. It’s a great example of digital online learning.

Having heard so much about Tim’s work and having communicated a little via twitter, it was good to put a face to a name at the ICT For Education Conference. And even better to have an opportunity to hear him speak. Tom is a truly talented  a story teller! He talks about how we can use the digital world, games and the importance of breaking down barriers to learning using whatever means we can – SOOO true and a principle I fully subscribe to (as readers of my blog will know).

Digitization in education influence students  progress he also demonstrated that students adapted the digital learning super fast and they are more successful.

But after the work we have done in our school with collaborations that have been made possible by digital means, I wonder if we also need to be helping our teachers and learners to develop digital responses too.

We need to be learning from the essence of the social dialogue that is taking place through various online media, to apply what we know about face to face learning dialogue – and be aware that there is a  new language for digital learning dialogue evolving. No matter what the tools – web 2.0, learning platforms, social media – we need to be able to recognize how to use that digital dialogue effectively for LEARNING. And perhaps it is something that needs to be taught and not caught.


While at the NAACE  conference, it was great to have an opportunity to talk to so many others who are passionate about creating the best possible balanced ICT learning experiences for all the students we are responsible for. The Key Stage 3 Curriculum was discussed earlier this year and a version can be found on the NAACE website.

At the NAACE conference, proposals for the KS1 and KS2 curriculum were launched and various questions about the curriculum were discussed at a symposium on Friday. To be perfectly honest, there was so much rich discussion in the session that I am still absorbing and assimilating all the ideas – I’m sure I’ll blog further as things sink in.

But for now, my initial feelings after the symposium are that there are some challenges that we face as we develop a new curriculum. And I apologize for the large number of recognizable phrases in the rest of this post!

Many hands make light work, it has to be said – and by collaborating as professionals we reduce the risk of re-inventing wheels.  There are many who are already putting into place a curriculum that will work in their own learning context, for their own students….  whilst we know that it is important that we have that scope for flexibility, creativity and relevance for our own learners, preparing a curriculum in isolation could narrow our perspective.

The symposium presented a framework – which seems to be an entirely appropriate way of sharing common ground between different schools as they develop that framework into their own plans.  I just hope that the other adage doesn’t prove true – too many cooks spoil the broth!

There are some great contributions from those who took part in the symposium that will need to be considered, bounced around, integrated and which will inform the tweaks and refinements to the curriculum.  I’m looking forward to seeing that tweaked and refined framework….