What is online education?

Wikipedia defines E-learning as the use of electronic media and information and communication technologies (ICT) in education.
"E-learning is broadly inclusive of all forms of educational technology in learning and teaching. E-learning is inclusive of, and is broadly synonymous with multimedia learning, technology-enhanced learning (TEL), computer-based instruction (CBI), computer-based training (CBT), computer-assisted instruction or computer-aided instruction (CAI), internet-based training (IBT), web-based training (WBT), online education, virtual education, virtual learning environments (VLE) (which are also called learning platforms), m-learning, and digital educational collaboration. These alternative names emphasize a particular aspect, component or delivery method."
But what does it mean for our students? Our schools? and our society? Below is a playlist of mine featuring three videos that discuss this very topic.
There may be additonal videos in this series as I will be adding to the playlist. Watch, think and feel free to comment.

My reflections on the 7 myths of Generation Y

I was given an article to read the other day. Its entitled “The 7 biggest myths about generation Y” by Michael McQueen
Michael is an author, international speaker and social researcher on this very topic and the 7 myths he presents got me thinking.
Michael McQueen
Myth #1  They are self-centred.
There are a couple statistics presented here: 81% of youth aged 13-25 volunteered in the last 12 months and 69% consider a company’s social and environmental commitment when shopping.  If these two are to be believed then there are a lot more engaged youth than I first thought.
Myth#2 They don’t think about the future.
Youths perception of the future is different and preparing for it has to be different. The key here is in the word ‘preparing’ rather than ‘planning’. Theirs is a vague future with ever shifting careers and skills required. Much better they equip themselves with the skills and contacts they need rather than trying to plan for a unpredictable future.
Myth #3 They have moral compass
From over here that may be the perception but McQueen talks about their understanding that there are no moral absolutes. Truth and morality and seen differently by each individual. This had left them being more tolerant and accepting of diversity than any previous generation.
Myth #4 The are disrespectful
I have heard this one time and time again. But reality paints a differnet picture. As far as Gen Y are concerned there is little respect for piverledge or power or authority. Respect is built out of being respected and out of a genuine relationship with the individual.
“being worthy of being respected is similar to being a nice person… If you have to tell them you are, then perhaps you really aren’t.”
Myth #5 They are lazy
This one is tricky. There is totally different mindset towards work with Generation Y. They have seen far too many heart attacks, strokes and failed marriages. They are being their careers with clearer picture about what work/ life balance is. They are committed to their work but not at the expense of family, friends and the relationships that truly matter.
Myth #6 They only communicate online.
It is true with Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, Pinterest and other online communities there has been a huger connection being made around the globe. But with the migration of people and the connecting through the internet Gen Y’s mideset is shifting towards real relationships with real discussion. Making connections with the older generation.
Myth#7 They don’t want to connect with older generations.
They have often been referred to as the Fatherless generation, with divorce on the increase and the blended family becoming the norm its hardly a wonder that so many wonder where their roots are and are crying out to make genuine connections with adults they can trust, look up to and respect.

But Generation Y is getting older. They are no longer filling our Primary schools and they are fast vacating our High Schools too.  Do some of these myths still apply to this next generation? Are they the truly lazy? How are we going to address the students in our care? There is much to consider and reason enough to look for the good in our youth rather than assume the worst. What now? But what next?


Came across this in the window facing the playground at school.

Before you speak:
T is it true?
H is it helpful?
I is it inspiring?
N is it necessary?
K is it kind?

Believe in yourself

"There is nothing in this world so strong as your belief in yourself."

Fahrenheit 451 - Book Review

Fehrenheit 451 is set in one of those ‘alterative universe’ kinda places. The main protagonist is a guy called Montag whose job is a fireman – A fireman not in our traditional sense but rather in this universe it is one who sets fire for the greater good of humanity. More specifically it is the job of the fireman to seek out books and torch them, arresting those who harbour these texts that remind us what asses and fools we are.
Montag is happily married and been working as a fireman for quite some time. His wife suffers from terrible dreams and sucicidal tendencies. This seems to be managed by some sort of vacuum contraption carried by the EMTs which literally sucks out these thoughts along with any memory of the incident itself. Montag is not unhappy just becoming tired of this somewhat limited existence.
Finally several incidents collide, causing him to call his profession into question: 
  • firstly, he happens upon a 17 year old girl, Clarrise who world view is somewhat broader than his own and she opens his eyes to new possibilities such as the simple delight of tasting the rain
  • secondly, Montag, hios captain and the squad on assignment when a library is discovered. It is their job to clear the house, pour Keresene, and light it up. Only the old lady whose collection it is refuses to leave, instead she strikes the match herself, flames engulfing along with her books.
Montag begins to question, choosing to save and read a few books here and there. I won’t spoil the ending for you, simply to say he begins to seek out like minded people as he reflects on how:
The sun burned every day. It burned Time. The world rushed in a circle and turned on its axis and time was busy burning the years and the people anyway, without any help from him. So if he burnt things with the firemen, and the sun burnt Time, that meant that everything burned!
All is focused around Montag however it is Faber I connect with. He’s the wise old professor who has been safe guarding books by reading and memorising them. Montag seeks his help but Faber is weary of him, with being a fireman and the questionable change of heart, is it a set up? That mix of eagerness and caution toward change I find relatable. Too often I think we, and when I say we I really mean I, allow caution to paralyse me into inaction or perhaps eagerness and enthusiasm run away with me. There should be some carefully considered balance in my decision making.