Tuesday 28 February 2017

TeachTechPlay speaker starts important conversation: technology and homework

Next month’s TeachTechPlay conference will debate a range of important teaching issues, including the need for homework, which Indiana-based expert Matt Miller talks about in his new book.

Matt argues that the efficient use of technology and other innovative teaching methods, can reduce or eliminate the need for homework.

“This isn’t a homework-bashing session. It’s a practical one with strategies teachers can use in their classroom immediately. Use brain-friendly activities, creative approaches to assignments, student-centred practices and more.”

Ivanhoe Grammar School principal Gerard Foley is excited to have Matt and others speak at the April conference and welcomes debate about how much homework students should do, but it will remain an important part of Ivanhoe Grammar School’s program.

“I note with interest Matt’s ideas regarding the constant flow of targeted and specific feedback being paramount to learning progress,” Gerard says. “At Ivanhoe, we use cloud-based tools such as OneNote and Google docs to shorten the feedback loop to keep that flow to our students constant and rich.

“Students don’t need to wait till their next class to get important feedback. Feedback is only an internet connection away with these cloud-based tools helping to get feedback in students hands as soon as it’s ready.”

Matt, a US teacher, blogger and author, will deliver a keynote address and discuss his books, Ditch that Textbook and Ditch That Homework, at the second annual TeachTechPlay conference at Ivanhoe Grammar School on April 3-4.

TeachTechPlay was started by Melbourne teachers Eleni Kyritsis, Corey Aylen and Ivanhoe Grammar School’s Director of ICT and eLearning, Steve Brophy. It is independently run by teachers for teachers and is a professional learning community which inspires learning through empowerment and connection. It hosts online discussion, a monthly web show and an annual conference.

This year’s conference topics include coding, children’s entrepreneurship, 3D modelling, building empathy, using Minecraft in teaching, robotics and carbon-free classrooms.

Ivanhoe Grammar School hosts the event, but does not necessarily endorse the speakers’ views. TeachTechPlay will be held on Monday-Tuesday April 3-4 at the school’s Ivanhoe Campus, The Ridgeway, Ivanhoe. It costs just $395 for two days.

Conference details: www.teachtechplay.com/conference

Conference bookings: www.trybooking.com/Booking

Nathan Jones Memorial Award: Teachers in their first five years can enter the Nathan Jones memorial award honouring the late education technology pioneer. Entrants must send a video on why they became a teacher and how they are pioneering classroom change, to teachtechplay@gmail.com by March 27.