Hong Kong 1.2

As a group we’ve had a full programme of visits for the past three days. We’ve met with the British Council, Hong Kong University, the Education Bureau and a range of different schools.  We have been warmly welcomed into classes, computer suites, tech lounges and maker spaces.   People are very keen to share what they do and talk about what they hope is next for education in Hong Kong, broadly as well as in their own schools and classes.  Words that we keep hearing are STEM, computational thinking and 21st century skills. It’s interesting because the discussions that we are having are similar to those we would have back in Northern Ireland.  

Questions like:
How do we make sure that the tech is fully and intentionally integrated into the lesson, not just an add on, substitution or shiny new toy?

What are the skills we want pupils to develop?

How can we equip our pupils for a future we can’t imagine yet?

It’s interesting to see so many similarities between what happens in schools in Northern Ireland and schools in Hong Kong. I’ve observed in classrooms this week where Nearpod, iMovie, BookCreator and Kahoot have been used to enhance teaching and learning. It’s the same sorts of things that I do in my own classroom or see colleagues do throughout my school.  It’s very affirming. 

It’s led me to wonder about good practice in a globalised society. 

I wonder if because the world is a much more connected place, good practice is good practice the world over.  

Teachers are increasingly interconnected.  Sharing good practice is on a global scale now with teachers creating PLNs on social media, reading international research, being informed about tech initiatives and trends on a global scale through news, tweets, retweets and blog posts. I know I look with interest at what is considered best practice from educational tech expos from around the world, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. 
If teachers are globally interconnected does that impact on practice, are the gaps closing rapidly between country to county? 

I wonder if the educators who are striving for excellence in ICT are implementing the same things the world over, because they know what is the best that’s out there and push for it.  Thinking of my own practice I follow a number ADEs on twitter, I link in with twitter chats to find out best practice on a global scale, I read online and in the iBooks store about what’s done in other places.  My PLN spans the globe. As a teacher and digital learning leader my practice is informed from what happens in the USA, UAE, Asia, Africa and across the UK, as well as from practice from down the road. 

I suppose what I’m beginning to think is that the teachers who want to push for best practice look beyond their country anyway so rather than see huge differences in pedagogy and practice we only see variations in terms of implementation.  Obviously every school will have its own model of how to do things, own resources, budgets, time constraints and staffing levels. Each school will have a slightly different flavour coming from its ethos and vision. But if a school is engaged and pushing for innovation surely they will take an international perspective in that.   

Perhaps good practice is good practice the world over?

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