Welcome to Flotsam, our new occasional series of ideas, thoughts and web assets, on educational change and innovation. They reach us on the tide from other places.
This, the first in our series, looks at Bright – What’s New in Education?
As might be expected from a resource that is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the focus of the publication is Americo-centric, but the debate, ideas promulgated and practice argued for in the pages of this Medium published, independent journal are sound regardless of geography.
Below is a current story from Bright, which we hope will stimulate a conversation, recharge a jaded educational battery or fire a new project. ( All of which could be the basis of a new Turning the Tide group perhaps? – Ed. )
Audrey Watters, who describes herself as an ‘…education writer, recovering academic and serial droput‘, writes in her article about the potential of giving every learner their own domain on the internet.
In The Web We Need to Give Students Audrey argues for the creation of a digital domain for life, for every student. A web presence for the individual, initially fostered and managed by the student’s school, which eventually becomes the individual’s ‘digital domain’ in adulthood.
‘Education technology — and more broadly, the culture of education — does a terrible job with this sort of portability and interoperability’.
In her article Watters recognises that much of current educational provision of a digital life is destroyed when a learner moves through their transitions. Local Authorities and schools are not in the digital archive business, one might argue. There is a fracture in a student’s e-life whenever their portfolios, web creations or learning records are deleted as they begin another part of their life journey.
Watters also has some interesting things to say about privacy and data ownership, despite an ever growing retention of learner data by big private, corporate players in education. The debate with the student is, she argues, often about appropriateness and fear of the web, not necessarily about their enduring creativity, or indeed what the student thinks of their own burgeoning intellectual property.
Provocative and timely, we commend the Watters article to our readers.
Beach image: Sue Martin FRSA