With the school year back in full swing ThinkLab is involved in four diverse, yet connected projects. Firstly, the roll-out of the laptops to students across Grades 6 through 9. Our approach is based on maximizing student freedom and responsibility to manage, use and take charge of their digital learning. I was reminded of the famous photo from the early 1970s of Bill Gates working with Paul Allen on a school computer. Connected. Purposeful. Powerful learning. Today all students can have the opportunity Bill Gates had and took on to shape the future. Related to this is the second project: student eportfolios for students to digitally respond to rich learning tasks set by their subject teachers. Third, preparation for the Global Education Conference (
http://www.globaleducationconference.com/) is in full swing with teachers from around the world coming together to advance their involvement and understanding of connected learning. Finally, a school project investigating boys' education includes discussions on books by Michal Thompson (http://www.michaelthompson-phd.com/), Michael Gurian (http://www.michaelgurian.com/) and others.
What is common to all these is the importance of involvement and expertise from teachers as integral community participants. Digital learning requires teachers as the 'human element' to unite past, present and future in partnership with parents (and digital technologies where of use). To leave any one element out of the equation takes away from what can and should be achieved.



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