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Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Developing a Networked School Community

Graphic: Front cover of the bookA guide to realising the vision – edited by Mal Lee and Glen Finger.

This book is a first in its class and should be found on the headteacher’s desk of every school. Its well-paced and easy read style presents a profound array of research in its twenty chapters from around the world. The authors argue for the application of ‘flat world’ thinking to all areas of teaching and learning. The extensive bibliography substantiates the combined wisdom and experience of a host of authors.

At 355 pages the book demands serious responses from its readers. Schools will never be the same again. Pedagogies must change, infrastructures and digital tools will inevitably change. Communities will emerge or be strengthened in ways never previously imagined.

Although digital technologies in industry, commerce and the home have become increasingly outward looking it is generally the case that where schools have become increasingly digital they are still slow to engage with the wider world. One quotation from the book must suffice:

“Notwithstanding, across the developed world education authorities, schools, and indeed national governments that have moved to a quite different digital operational mode, have begun to remove the traditional school walls and disturb the traditional conception of timetabled formal lessons, and use the opportunities provided by the networked technology to move into a third distinct phase of schooling, which is strongly networked and collaborative in nature and is starting to involve the students’ homes more fully in teaching and learning.”

Here, yet again, is a perfect example of where eFolio can provide that safe interface between the world, the school and the home. Anyone reading 'Developing a Networked School Community' must see the value of the e-Portfolio as the perfect Lifelong and Lifewide solution.

Australian Council for Educational Research
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