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It's not about the technology: it's about the learning

I spent today in a local school nosing into their 1:1 scheme.  It doesn't matter which ecosystem they went for, or what Apps they were using.  I was more interested in the learning going on.  It was great to get into classrooms and ask the question 'could this be done without technology?' I loved the school's focus on teaching and learning first and the devices as a 'digital pencil case.'
The 'teach not tech' is not a new mantra however.  But people often dismiss the basics and assume auidiences are up to date with movements. I've sat in many TeachMeets and heard the phrase 'but you all know about that' or similar.  Problem is, not everyone does.  Indeed, the most important part of the auidience probably doesn't know.  This makes the world of technology and TeachMeets mysterious and feel like there's a badge to earn to get there. 
Some were a bit disapointed in the last #TMPompey with a low attendance. I thought it was great, for one simple reason: the auidience asked questions during the presentations. That's interactions.
I've been blogging since 2006, and have lots of shiny badges. I was part of the first UK Google Teacher Academy, have been a Microsoft Innovative Teacher and am currently a Microsoft Expert Educator. I've even, cringingly, been classified as a Dream Teacher by Jamie Oliver.  Somewhere along the way I led the whole school adoption of BYOD and got told by the Royal Geographical Society that I'm alright at teaching Geography.
The point in that is not about reeling off my CV.  The point is I'm not that convinced that what is happening now in many schools is in any way groundbreaking.  Getting children to share stuff online is great, but has been going on for a while now. How revolutionary is the learning that's going on, and how much of it is a sales pitch?
This doesn't make it bad. Far from it! It makes it good.  The danger is in assuming that everyone knows what's good. Problem is, from experience, the majority of staff in schools today are not digitally literate nor confident. Neither are the children.  It doesn't take much to sratch below the surface and see old learning done on a new device.  Slate replaced with paper.
Some people bemoan the mention of AfL.  They say 'we did that a few years back.'  Yes you did. And we are revisiting it because it is freaking awesome. 
My point?  Keeping the mantra and focus on quality teaching and learning is the key. It's not about the technology, it's about young people and learning.


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