Nobody uses the internet because the government says they should: article by Julian Thomas and Ellie Rennie

THE average house in a remote Indigenous community uses about a third of the power consumed by a suburban home, is six times more prone to overcrowding, and probably doesn’t have a home internet connection. Among the rare exceptions – at least when it comes to the internet – are twenty houses in the small communities of Kwale Kwale, Mungalawurru and Imangara in central Australia. With federal funding, these households have been given computers, internet access and training, and receive regular visits and advice.

For full report

Food for thought: Digital Immigrants Unite!

Digital Immigrants Unite! an article by Bill Ferriter the Tempered Radical

Let me start with a borderline heretical confession:  I believe that the terms “digital natives” and “digital immigrants” have done more harm than good in shaping the direction of teaching and learning in the 21st Century.

The way I see it, calling students “digital natives” and any adult over the age of 35 “digital immigrants” all-too-often leaves teachers convinced that they have no real place in helping students to figure out how to grow as capable and competent learners.

We’ve inadvertently handed over all ownership and discredited our expertise, y’all — assuming that spending our formative years with notepads instead of iPads means we’ve got nothing to add to conversations with our students about how technology empowers learners. Full article 


The power of culture to create a better future- UNESCO international essay contest for young people.

Young people from around the world are invited to enter the 2013 Goi Peace Foundation – UNESCO International Essay Contest for Young People.

The theme for this year’s contest is: “THE POWER OF CULTURE TO CREATE A BETTER FUTURE.”

Every part of the world has its own culture. Culture includes the arts, traditions and customs of a country or region, as well as the wisdom, values, lifestyles and trends of the people living there. In order to build a peaceful world, we need to acknowledge and respect each other’s cultures. What aspects of the culture in your country or region do you take pride in? How can youth make the most of them to create a better future?


The deadline for entry is June 30, 2013.

Prize winners will receive a cash award and will be invited to Japan for the award ceremony. Please see the complete guidelines below or at


Please kindly help disseminate this announcement through your networks and websites. We look forward to the participation of many young people in your communities!


The Goi Peace Foundation

Progression in Student Creativity in School First Steps Towards New Forms of Formative Assessments

Creativity is widely accepted as being an important outcome of schooling. Yet there are many different views about what it is, how best it can be cultivated in young people and whether or how it should be assessed. And in many national curricula creativity is only implicitly acknowledged and seldom precisely defined. This paper offers a five dimensional definition of creativity which has been trialled by teachers in two field trials in schools in England. The paper suggests a theoretical underpinning for defining and assessing creativity along with a number of practical suggestions as to how creativity can be developed and tracked in schools.

Read the full paper

Ideas: Help your students become better searchers

Web search can be a remarkable tool for students, and a bit of instruction in how to search for academic sources will help your students become critical thinkers and independent learners.

With the materials on this site, you can help your students become skilled searchers- whether they’re just starting out with search, or ready for more advanced training.

Full details and resources


Teachers gravitate to social networks tailored for educators

Within the wide expanse of social networking, educators appear to be gravitating to more protected and exclusive spaces.

While teachers often use such popular mainstream social networks as Facebook, they are more likely to seek out and return to less-established networks that offer the privacy, peer-to-peer connections, and resource sharing that meets their specific professional needs, according to a recent survey and interviews with educators. Read the article by Jason Tomassini 

Case studies on how teachers use technology to support learning

Starting the year off with ideas on the best ways to use technology to support learning, Larry Ferlazzo collected an invaluable list of criteria last year from educators, to which he added more resources in his recent blog post for EdWeek.Other posts in the series include Using Ed Tech to Create Deep and Meaningful Experiences and Effective Ways of Using Tech in the Classroom.  Here is MindShift’s full contribution to the collection of ideas. 

Obstacles and opportunities for entrepreneurs – A paper from MIT

A paper delivered for perhaps those in the IT industry makes interesting reading for educators.

“It’s interesting times in education.

There’s a [supposed] Chinese curse, May you live in interesting times. Robert Kennedy famously described them as times of “danger and uncertainty,” but also times that are “more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history.” It’s an apt metaphor for the state of education in America.

K-12 education faces a host of converging trends set in a stark landscape of uncertainty, reduced school budgets and the widely held perception that American education institutions are in trouble. Reform efforts present conflicting messages. Schools face everything from digital literacy issues to print-to-digital  transitions, new learning standards and the impact of technology initiatives on learning. Entrenched interests and, among some, an instinctual bias against the involvement of for-profit organizations in education tend to reinforce the status quo. “ full paper

What Do Media Savvy Educators Really Want for Christmas?

As the year winds to an end, educators across the country (in this context the USA! but us too)  are teaching their last lessons of 2013, and keeping students motivated before schools close for winter break. It’s likely that classroom chatter has abounded these past few weeks, with talks of students’ Christmas wishes and holiday plans. We’re curious to find out what kinds of “gifts” are topping educators’ wish lists, and what you would like to see from us in the coming year. Full article  as presented in Common Sense Media 

The scourge of low expectations

Food for thought: Richard Olsen from Ideas Lab has some comment…..

In all of the talk about the auditors report into the Ultranet, in the newspaper and on twitter, I haven’t seen any discussion about the first recommendation:

“develop a comprehensive and evidence‑based strategy or plan of action for use of learning technologies to underpin and guide the significant investment in ICT for government schools”  Full article