Podcast by EducationReview
What's wrong with TikTok? | Susan McLean
After being released in China in 2016 and globally the following year, TikTok has quickly become a social media phenomenon.
With its ability to create quirky, short-form videos incorporating dancing and comedy, the platform has a devoted audience, particularly young people. But it’s not all good news for TikTok and several countries are taking the company to task on a number of concerns.
Today I’m talking to Susan McLean, widely known as the ‘cyber cop’ and founder of Cyber Safety Solutions to learn more about these concerns.
While McLean acknowledges there is lots of fun stuff on the app, it's the refusal to take down inappropriate content and accounts in a more timely way concerns her.
"They don't focus on child safety," she summed up.
2020: Looking back and moving forward in education - Adam Voigt - Episode 1
Education, like many sectors in 2020, was severely disrupted in several states and territories, with lockdowns, border closures and remote learning models all characterising the school year. Now out the other side, Education Review will be talking to a range of education professionals to get a better perspective of this unprecedented experience, including lessons learnt. As part of our series - ‘2020: Looking back and moving forward in education’, our first guest is Adam Voigt. Adam is a highly experienced educator, speaker, author and media commentator, as well as the founder and CEO of Real Schools.
Finnish education is coming to Australia | Michael Lawrence
The last time I interviewed Michael Lawrence, the experienced music and English teacher had just published his book Testing 3, 2, 1: What Australian Education Can Learn from Finland, which was well received and questioned many of the practices and beliefs underscoring the Australian education system. In this podcast, Lawrence talks about his collaboration with Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland and the planned roll-out of professional development sessions in Australia. Called '21st Century Education Trends: A Finnish Perspective', the sessions will give Australian teachers a taste of how Finland became one of the most successful education systems in the world.
Soft skills key for the careers of tomorrow | Dr Alexia Maddox
A new study conducted by Oxford University Press surveyed 1000 recent graduates and found that 88 per cent of them believed “soft skills” were necessary to their future career success.
Even as these graduates prepare to enter an increasingly automated workforce, a substantial 78 per cent said such “soft skills will give them an advantage” in the workplace. Indeed, upskilling in soft skills in the workplace is predicted to be a new trend, with more than one third (38 per cent) believing that upskilling in this area will be an ongoing practice throughout their professional lives.
But what, exactly, are “soft skills”, and have they always been viewed as being critical in the labour market? To discuss the importance of “soft skills” both now and in the future, Education Review spoke to Dr Alexia Maddox of Deakin University, one of the authors of the study.
Maddox emphasised that "soft skills" compliment technical skills, and encompass how "we think, communicate, cooperate and collaborate and innovate". Within the domain of innovation are the "soft skills" of complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity - skills the students nominated as being the most important to their careers.
Indeed, such is their importance of these skills that Maddox called them "the glue that make our professional lives work”. While the Deakin University lecturer noted that it is within the humanities and social sciences that these skills are traditionally acquired, the important thing is that they are taught to students, regardless of the discipline.
In this podcast, Maddox also touches on some ways in which these critical "soft skills" can be taught.
Dr Kate de Bruin | How education for people with a disability needs to change
Dr Kate de Bruin, an expert and lecturer in inclusive education at Monash University, recently provided evidence to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability. Her evidence related to barriers to accessing a safe, quality and inclusive school education and life course impacts for people with a disability.
One of the key issues for the Monash lecturer is that educational neglect towards students with a disability is occurring on both systemic and school levels. de Bruin asserts that systemic educational neglect is common in Australia as different jurisdictions have different policies and funding agreements relating to the provision of quality inclusive education.
Systemic educational neglect then trickles down to the school level where parents might be told, "we don't have the funding to support your child." School staff may also have a poor understanding of the policies and guidelines - and the National Discrimination Act - that are in place to ensure students with a disability receive the support they need and to which they are entitled.
In this podcast de Bruin provides recommendations to address these key barriers.
The Monash lecturer also discusses the use of suspensions and other exclusionary measures to discourage "challenging behaviours". According to recent research, de Bruin said the practice "still seems to be widespread" and disproportionally affects equity groups, such as ATSI students, students in out-of-home care, and students with a disability.
Talking about such practices, de Bruin states: "We know it's really, really harmful. It puts pressure on families and it absolves the school from issues that are ongoing."
New handbook helps to counter an age of fake news | Eryn Newman
The phenomenon of "fake news" has been around since journalism first began, but the term itself and the power it can now yield has been linked with the ascendency of Donald Trump, threats to democracy and a post-truth world where facts – in some circles at least – don’t seem to matter.
But now we have a powerful new tool to combat either misinformation or disinformation – the Debunking Handbook 2020. Penned by Dr Eryn Newman from the Australia National University, as well as 21 other prominent scholars, the handbook aims to “inoculate” citizens, teachers and students against misleading information before it’s encountered.
The handbook is informed by both science and psychology, and provides a host of definitions (e.g. disinformation versus misinformation) as well as concise explanations about why "fake news" tends to stick. One of the most common explanations involves familiarity: the more an individual encounters false information, the more inclined they are to believe it.
The handbook also contains a step-by-step guide for encountering fake news, which can provide teachers and students with a formulaic way to confidently refute the veracity of a piece of information. Another valuable section focuses on lateral searches for the truth - that is, expanding one's truth-finding exercise from one source to many.