In my last post I asked if there were any unGoogleable questions. This was not actually a question about search engines or the power of the Internet. It was a question about the fundamental nature of knowledge. I was interested in exploring how we learn in the digital age and specifically, the constantly shifting nature of knowledge.

My focus turned to what we don't yet know, and how we discover what we need to know, by asking the right questions (I will expand on this theme in another blog post). I would argue that the best, and most powerful forms of education are based on asking questions rather than being given answers. Learning through conversation has always been more powerful than learning by rote or instruction.

Are there any questions that you cannot Google? It's a provocative question I have asked several times to audiences in the last few days. It's a tough question to answer, as my audiences in Amsterdam and Dublin discovered this week. Try it yourself and see.
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The writings of philosopher and anthropologist Pierre Bourdieu focus predominantly upon the power structures and dynamics of society, and highlight the importance of cultural capital. Cultural capital can be described as the human assets each of us owns, including our intellect, personal navigation of society and its artefacts, our cultural awareness and even our sense of style and the manner in which we publicly present ourselves.
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Hawaiin educator Amy Burvall is well known for her series of videos in the History Teachers series. They are well worth a view, even if you are not that much into history.

Her recent keynote speech in Texas was entitled 'Leveraging for legacy and cultivating new literacies' and was replete with great, and some might claim, radical ideas. One slide in particular resonated with me, and that was her notes on vlogging.

Could AI spell disaster? No, not without a few other letters. Joking apart, we need to acknowledge that we are increasingly reliant on technology to conduct our every day lives. Usually, technology performs very well, and we hardly notice it is there, making our lives easier, giving us more time to do other things while it gets on with the mundane stuff that used to be so tedious. Sometimes though, it fails or creates problems we didn't anticipate, and then we notice it.
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This week I gave my first year education students a new project. In pairs they were asked to produce a short video - without words - to tell the story of a part of the history of Plymouth. They were given two days to complete the project, and the first day involved a 6 hour history walk around the city, where they were given opportunities to capture still and moving images and do some research.

I have always believed that assessment should be primarily for the benefit of the student, not the teacher. I concede that teachers need to know how their students are progressing, and this is very much a part of the assessment process. However, assessment of learning is not as important as assessment for learning. When it comes to supporting a student's progress, showing them what they can do to improve, or perform better is the key.
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