Apple’s CEO Tim Cook On Digital Tech and Education

This is an interesting story from the news today following Apple’s CEO Tim Cook’s visit to the UK. If you didn’t see it, he visited a school which demonstrated how it incorporates tech into teaching and learning. He made a statement saying that the teacher will always be the centre of the classroom and will not be replaced by technology.  Was that a bold statement? It made me think about where I see technology leading education eventually.

One of the teachers at the school in the TV news item, maybe the head teacher, said that she felt the younger children are taught to use digital technologies more in education the more they will use them as they go through their education.

This struck a chord in me as in a discussion with my son the other evening about what we looked at in the lecture, he said that even though his generation may be digital natives they are still taught largely with traditional methods. Furthermore he said that until the traditional methods are put aside children will only ever be digital visitors for education.  He felt that it will take a good few generations to totally eliminate the digital immigrant influence as each generation passes on something of its immigrant accent to those it teaches.

Here’s a link to the story 

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Formal and Informal Information

Hoffman & Blake 2003 Computer Literacy Today and Tomorrow

I read this some time ago during my PGCE but thought it might be useful to throw into the mix. I feel that Hoffman & Blake (2003) perhaps still has some relevance today regarding the way young people access their informal and formal information. No doubt since it was written more and more formal information is accessed through digital technology. If that is so then perhaps the question of why education is lagging behind when using digital technologies in teaching and learning is even more deserving of a response.

It concerns me that we have been having these debates and recommendations have been made for many years, longer than some people spend in education and yet we appear to be far away from fully embracing new ways of teaching using the appropriate accent (Prensky 2001).

Very brief summary  (in my words):

Hoffman and Blake (2003) describe how students engage with learning in two ways, formal and informal, explaining that formal is what they have to know and informal is what they want to know. They point out that most informal learning uses digital technology and they believe that this means of learning has to be capitalised on and blended into delivering formal learning.  They suggest that digital technologies should be used to deliver formal learning  using similar platforms and modes of delivery as those used to access informal information

Harvard Reference:

Hoffman, M. E., & Blake, J. (2003). Computer literacy: Today and tomorrow. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 18(5), 221–233

The full article is also accessible for viewing, downloading, printing on line by clicking HERE or copy and pasting the above reference into Google.







Digital natives or digital immigrants (or neither)?


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Digital technologies are often seen as a means of (re)connecting schools and teachers with disaffected and disengaged learners. Commentators argue that digital technologies can create opportunities for digital-based creativity and collaboration that appeal more to ‘digital natives’ who have grown up in a world of computers, the internet and mobile telephony. In this sense, the use of new tools can bridge the fast-growing ‘digital disconnect’ between students and their education institutions.

To what extent do you agree with these claims? Would you describe yourself as a digital native, a digital immigrant or neither? How engaged or disengaged do you feel with your current university?