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Wednesday
Apr232014

Bold Park Community School - A Future School

Schools of the future are looking at vertical grouping of students, social constructivist models, integration of curriculum, process orientated curriculum, more diverse learning environments, students centred learning and moving away from content laden curriculum to learning which acknowledges the modern tools available for acquisition of knowledge to a curriculum which develops the skills and understandings to learn and transfer learning.

It is important for us to also recognise that while learning skills and developing understandings there has to be content, with the vast amount of knowledge available to everyone at this time in history, common sense dictates that schools present diverse and different content so that in a community as a whole, holds the memories and knowledge we need to grow. All schools presenting the same content in a community is inviting a mono culture and a narrow collective memory.

After the two days at Future Schools I was able to attend the Reggio based Unpacking Place, Pedagogy and Documentation conference at MacQuarie University on Saturday.

It was an opportunity to connect with old friends of Bold Park and also listen to a wonderful range of speakers. I was particularly taken with Dr Karen Martin Associate Professor at Griffith University. Along with three other indigenous speakers Dr Martin presented an indigenous perspective on the notion of place which was sympathetic to the BPCS discussion of place in our school and community.

In two weeks Rhys and I will return to Sydney to present at another Conference. The conference is discussing the use of Technology in the Early Childhood setting.We will be attempting to present technology as a creative and reflective tool rather than a substitution for existing analogue tools. Much of the apps and programs being developed today for Early Childhood do not engage the children in thinking processes but we know it can be so much more than electronic worksheet.

Wednesday
Apr232014

Young Learners Conference

Our perspective on technology, which is grounded in our school philosophy, seeks to introduce technology to assist the children to understand, problem solve and create. Many other models of technology use in educational settings start with the technology and use technology for technology's sake.

We explained our lens on Technology as:

Technology as a lens to view the world.

Technology as a portal to obtain information.

Technology as a transformer, making abstract concrete.

Technology as a time machine, connecting to the past and to the future.

Technology as a companion to share discoveries.

Technology as an environment to enable learning

Technology as a transmitter to share and communicate with others

Technology as an open ended experience

We also reflected that in the Early Childhood Learning Community our students are touch technology natives

. 

Alan Kay, one of the first computer programmers, defined technology as 'anything that was not around when you were born'. This has huge implications for us as educators and parents. We need to be mindful that our youngest citizens will see and experience the world differently than us and so we need to be supportive of them so they can achieve balance and harmony in their lives.

The feedback from the other participants again confirmed that we are leaders in our field and that what we do at Bold Park is admired and respected by those in the wider education community.

Monday
Aug122013

Getting Past the Grownups.

During the recent conference we discussed how as adults we interfere with the growth and development of our children, particularly in how the way we design our play spaces and allow children to interact with their world.

We asked the students in Midddle School  and College how they felt about the role adults play in their lives. 

Saturday
Jul132013

Keeping the light alive in Children's eyes

Gillian McAuliffe, founder and Director of Teaching and Learning of BPCS was interviewed on ABC 720 Saturday Breakfast radio. You can listen to the interview here.

Sunday
May122013

Ken Robinson TED talk on Education

Sir Ken Robinson is a voice for change in education. With all the students in years 3,5,7 and 9 taking standardised NAPLAN tests this week it is important to put these tests in context. Sir Ken does this in his newest TED talk.  Take a look.