Andrew Churches – Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age

Educational Origami

21st Century Fluencies

I have heard Andrew before – he usually presents in quite a dynamic way utilising graphs, images, quotes and video in quite an expert manner and today was no different.

He started by talking about 1992 and what happened in this year.  It was the birth of the world wide web.  He talked about the iphone of today compared to the computer of 1992.  He talked about Facebook and a few stories of a negative nature in terms of facebooks influence and pervasiveness.

It is quite easy, he said to talk about the negatives…….and then he showed a few positive stories related to facebook including one about some little kids who wanted a puppy “Two Girls and a Puppy”.

Competencies that we need to teach so our students can survive in this world:

  • persistence and resilience
  • thinking creatively and collaboratively
  • digital citizenship
  • problem solving
  • analytical thinking
  • communicating
  • ethics, actions and accountability

General Capabilities in the National Curriculum – the above are all addressed in this.


We have to start with engagement.  Engagement is quite different to entertainment.   It has a learning component. The impact of engagement is permanent whilst the impact of entertainment is fleeting.  Engagement has high relevance whilst entertainment has low.  Engagement should include problem solving.  We need to include the capacity for creativity.  Engagement is proactive versus entertainment which is reactive.

Where do we start with all this?

Let’s start with technology.  Tech should be an enabler and it should open the world up.  How are we teaching?  We need to differentiate and recognise that all our learners are different.   If we use just audio – low level of retention.  If we use just visual – level of retention slightly better.   If we link them both together – much better.

This is all still passive however.   We need to move up towards higher level thinking.  Kids need to be discussing, making, doing accessing multi-sensory materials.

Let’s include relevance and context

Let’s highlight feedback

Let’s understand the importance of exercise.  We have designed our classrooms around a notion of learning that is outdated and based on sitting still for 8 hours.  The brain craves exercise.

Let’s celebrate failure

Technology should be like oxygen






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