Sep 04

Why aren’t more women working in STEM industries?

This week I had the opportunity to chat to Kulja and Dylan at RRR radio here in Melbourne. We covered a few topics – all to do with women in the workplace. They were great fun and really knowledgeable – it’s good to be intereviewed by folks who know what they are talking about!

This was my first radio interview – so a bit nerve-wracking but they made it easy and low-key. No sticky questions or bizarre comments! Just a great chat about an (increasingly) important topic. Besides chatting on live radio, it was interesting to see how things work and to enjoy that amount of (well-used and working!) technology in one place 😁

Thanks RRR for having me!

If you are interested, my interview is now live on their website here: http://ondemand.rrr.org.au/grid/20170828091833

Apr 26

Got Teens or Pre-Teens? Help them deal with increasing stress at school…

*Image source:

Last week’s post about mindfullness in schools was very popular ;0) So this week I’m going to offer you this article.

It’s an interesting take on how we as parents can support our kids as they move into high school and senior school stresses!

Mindfulness apps, like those in last week’s post, are very useful, and with this article you will be building up your kids’ abilities to manage their workload and minimise pressures of balancing work and social lives!

Be warned! There are some intense words used in this article. But if you get past the headings (!) then I think you’ll find it useful!

Let me know what you think!

Mar 23

Those annoying, endless questions…

Thought I’d share this meme briefly because I totally agree. Old-style schooling seems to me to have been a sort of delivery method – sit there and I’ll tell you what you need to know, kids!

That’s not enough these days though, is it?! Our children can find answers online in a way we never could. Even the library wasn’t as efficient or up-to-date as our favourite search engine today. So finding answers can’t be the entire goal of education.

We need to help our childrne ask ‘non-google-able’ questions, and then help them develop strategies to find the answers.

Those strategies might be working with others, developing hypotheses or trialling possible solutions. But all of these will require our children being able to ask good questions.

So although it can get a little much at times (!), we need to be sure our children can ask lots of questions and seek out lots of answers!

If we steal away their ability to ask good questions by answering ‘because I said so’ or ‘stop asking so many questions!’ then we might be limiting them in the long run.

Not saying that a million questions a day isn’t hardwork – it is! – but it’s also important learning and growth :0)

Mar 12

What’s on the Horizon for our kids in schools?

There’s a great report that gets released every year called the ‘Horizon Report‘. It focuses on technology use in education and makes predictions – that are often incredibly accurate.

The 2016 K-12 Report makes predictions for the short, medium and longer term.

Here’s the overview from here:

 

So, if this is accurate, by 2020, our children in schools could be learning with and through ‘Wearable Technology’ and ‘Artifical Intelligence’. I wonder what that will look like!

 

Mar 10

Navigating online – skills our kids need

I’ve been thinking a lot about holidays this week – partly because we are now (in Australia) well into Term 1 of the school year, but also because I use a holiday analogy when I work with parents and teachers.

The online world is like a new country. And we wouldn’t send our kids off to, say, Paris if they didn’t speak the language, know how to ask for help, understand customs and the culture or even how to navigate their way around.

Why is it that sometimes parents do exactly that with the online ‘world’?

I think we need to recognise that the virtual, online world is full of people who together have developed different cultures, language and process.

Perhaps it’s because we can see our kids working online from the kitchen or family (hopefully not in the bedroom! Maybe we think they are safe and can’t come to any harm.

Of course, we don’t always know everything that goes on in their virtual spaces. We can ask questions, we can offer support but we need them to be prepared to manage situations themselves.

So I talk a lot about preparing kids to work online as if we were sending them off to a foreign land, inlcuding the way to behave, the way to talk and interact and to understand that things are done differently…and then I get to thinking about holidays!

Aug 31

Education is Changing – five of my fave quotes about how and why!

I’m sure you’ve notice that education has changed since we were at school – and is continuing to change! Not only are the kids different and have access to different types of learning, but teachers today know more about what it means to learn and how to best help kids understand and create new knowledge.

Hopefully, we don’t see too much rote learning and textbook-based teaching in our primary schools. This still happens in some schools but in every school I’ve visited (over 500 in the past 2 years) every teacher wants the best for their students – sometimes the reason that they still use ‘traditional’ methods of teaching is because they haven’t had the opportunity to engage in other ways. This is tricky! And isn’t likely to be fixed in the short term. What we can do though is to have a think about what education is actually for…is it to pass exams? To be like the other kids their age? To be well-rounded members of society? Maybe education is about strategically planning for our countries future – and then creating and education system that spits out kids that will make that vision a reality.

I think the role of education is actually quite complex, but whatever its purpose, education has to address the fact that learning today shouldn’t be the same as it was 20 or 30 or more years ago. Some very smart people have thought about why we spend time on education, here are 5 quotes that I love :0)

1   ‘To be a teacher you must be a prophet – because you are trying to prepare people for a world thirty to fifty years into the future.’
Gordon Brown MIT

 

2   ‘We need to prepare students for THEIR future not OUR past’
Ian Jukes, educator and Futurist.

 

3   ‘Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.’
Nelson Mandela, former President South Africa

 

4   ‘The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.’
Alvin Toffler
5   ‘We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.’
Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

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Jul 01

Best of the blog – our top 5 posts

Hi! How’s it going where you are right now? I’m in the UK at the moment attending conferences for my work at Uni. I’m not too impressed with the ‘summer’ weather here. Rain, wind and cold does not equal summer to this Aussie-migrant girl!

The conference is great – lots of interesting things to learn and think about…but for you in the meantime, here are the 5 most popular posts on the blog. These posts keeping getting hits on them (thank you!), so here they are in all their glory – I hope there’s something here to keep you entertained while I spend the day in conference mode!

How digital books can help your child to read

Never lose a school note again

Top 5 parenting blogs you will love!

Help your kids write with mind mapping software

Tech-tip Friday – Wifi for chores: would you do this?

Have a great week!

Jo
x

 

 

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Jun 06

What skills will your kids need in today’s workforce?

What did your kids do today? Was it the same as what you were doing at their age? I’ll bet it’s a whole lot different.
The reason we promote technology in education is that if our schools don’t pay attention to what’s going on in the world, we risk becoming out of date very quickly. If all we did was teach handwriting and long division, we wouldn’t be doing our kids any favours.
How would they be ready of the world? How would they find jobs that excite and inspire them if they don’t have skills or experiences that mirror what’s going on in the world?
The image below is of the Pope’s inauguration, well both recent inaugurations, 8 years apart. Notice how the folks are engaged in what’s going on. In the first image (2005), they are all facing the front, you can see 2 phones, and these phones don’t have great cameras (that flip on the right won’t be getting a good shot, guaranteed!). So only those there, and those watching official broadcasts will experience this event.
The second image was taken in 2013 (6 years after the iPhone launched in 2007 and just 3 years after iPads appeared in 2010). Thats one massive change in how people engage in major events. All ages, backgrounds and genders attended both events – not just the wealthy or tech-savvy. These changes are pervasive and are impacting large (huge!) numbers of people in the first world (and increasingly in the third world). They are sharing, tweeting, liking and commenting on the event. You didn’t need to be there (or rely on official broadcasts) to have quite a full experience of the sights and sounds from within the audience.

The way in which everyone engages with events is changing (has changed really!) – and so should education. If  we try and teach our kids using methods that don’t include contemporary technology, then we are doing them a disservice – just look at how these everyday people in the image below are making use of  technology. Shouldn’t the next generation of learners, learn more, do more and explore more than casual users of technology???

what skills will your child need in today's workforce

image source: http://petapixel.com/2013/03/14/a-starry-sea-of-cameras-at-the-unveiling-of-pope-francis/

So if we teach our kids today as if they are living in 2005, well, first of all you can see the challenges teachers would face with getting kids interested in learning!! But more than that, we need to make sure the next generation of adults are safe, capable, creative and collaborative – using online tools. If for no other reason than it will give them skills to engage with the modern workforce.

Have a look at this data from a big survey of CEO’s in industry today (this may all change AGAIN by the time your child gets done with their schooling!).
what skills will your child need in today's workforce

Fastest growing jobs? There are now more and more new job titles appearing.
Ever heard of these jobs – Big data miner? Social engagement leader? Ethical hacker? Crayon Evangelist? Digital Prophet?
They exist now (and others – check here for more! ). And yes, these titles are a little….creative!! But the work these jobs point to a is real and growing need.

The next time someone tells you that they don’t ‘need’ to use technology in their classroom or a teacher suggests that technology ‘just wasn’t used this term’ in a school report, maybe, gently, show them these images (and blog post if you like!). Remind them that we can’t just do what we always did when everything is changing around us :0)

 

 
PS If you liked this post, you’ll enjoy our weekly newsletter.

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