For the future we don’t yet know….

It is certainly an aspirational document; the new NZ Curriculum, was released this week with minimal fuss and fanfare. Indeed,there were more fireworks in my local park – where the future promise of this country was trying to wipe itself prematurely out of the gene pool – than in the media. A few comments on the shift toward use of knowledge, rather than simply amassing of knowledge, and that was, apparently, it. Joe Bennett provided a satirical view of the process, which provided some healthy cynicsm, but otherwise that was it. The ‘new era’ dawned quietly….

I have been compiling notes and suitably thrilling links for a presentation on Web 2.0 technology this week. Looking through the new Curriculum document, and considering the overall spirit of it, I was endeavouring to make links between the themes of the semantic web – such as collaborate/communicate/contribute/community -and the Key Competencies. The five KCs are supposed to be the focus for schools’ conversations around implementation from 2008. Advancements in the role that the web can play can be referenced quite nicely against the KCs:

Managing Self: “..enterprising, resourceful, reliable and resilient…”
Relating to Others: “..interacting effectively with a diverse range of people in a variety of contexts..”
Participating and Contributing: “…active in local, national and global communities…”
Thinking: “..actively seek, use, and create knowledge..”
Using language, symbols and texts: “..use language to produce texts of all kinds…confidently use ICT to access and provide information and to communicate with others..”

Mind you, while we may have the aspirations on one hand, there remain the twin challenges of out-dated modes of access {i.e. permission-heavy codes of conduct; computer suites you can only book for one lesson every thirteenth month when Year 13 are on study leave…] and ‘chalkface’ modes of teaching that still exist in certain pockets, where the notes are copied off the board and discussion equates with lack of control [“Sorry it’s been so noisy in here…”].

Consider the recent debate on NCEA English forum [English Online – see blogroll] concerning the use of word-processing for NCEA assessments in which accuracy is a criterion: is it still reasonable to equate word processing assessments with cheating at spelling?

While we may not yet know the future for which we are preparing our learners, we can be certain that computers and the web will play a role…even if they have to be wind-powered…

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