Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trades students as users of technology

A couple of interesting blogs / presentations / articles on perceptions of students as users of technology were timed at the exact time I started off another group of students on the mlearning project last week. This is a small group of full-time bakery students who I am asking to evaluate several web 2.0 sites for the purposes of compiling eportfolios.

Janet Clarey’s blog provided a good overview of multi-generational learning in the workplace . Will Richardson then recommended Ken Robinson’s book, “The Element: How finding your passion changes everything” as part of his blog on personalizing education .

Many of the observations in Janet Clarey’s blog link in well with my observations from the last couple of years about young people and technology. In particular, mobile vs computer literacy, digital learners, young travellers using technology and boy racers. So it is great to be able to read them in one place & especially to see that digital natives vs digital immigrants has been put to rest.

The group taking part in the evaluations have just started on a one year Certificate in Baking programme. I am asking them to evaluate vox, multiply & comiq by collecting photos, short video clips & recipes that will provide evidence of their journey from novice bakers to being able to bake a good repertoire of products. All have taken to using the technology very well and I am already fielding interesting questions on how the sites may be made more useful, user friendly and visually attractive. The students range in age from school leavers to ones in their early thirties. A couple needed a bit of help to get started but all the rest were conversant with desktop protocols. All the below thirties have social networking sites but not all use them regularly. Everyone has a mobile phone & several have high end smart phones.
I will be doing the official evaluation of the three sites with the students just before Easter, so it will be interesting to see how each of the sites do.