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The enhanced Crow and the Pitcher pedagogy

March 2019

A CROW perishing with thirst saw a pitcher, and hoping to find water, flew to it with delight. When he reached it, he discovered to his grief that it contained so little water that he

could not possibly get at it. He tried everything he could think of to reach the water, but all his efforts were in vain. At last he collected as many stones as he could carry and dropped them one by one with his beak into the pitcher, until he brought the water within his reach and thus saved his life.

"Necessity is the mother of invention"

Schools and educators by now should all have embarked on a new adventure to deliver a 21st-century education may look to start by introducing iPads, AppleTV and Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) apps and software which demands staff and institutions to engage in regular professional development. An increase in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) abilities for what technology can do to their teaching and learning, instigates educators to explore these new tools and skills required, to facilitate an enhancement of pedagogy. A previous colleague of mine, Mr James, shared an article last month about using iPads in Year 1 classrooms. In this article, Woloshyn, Bajovic & Worden (2017) reference Kress (2010) and highlight that, ‘when students engage with technology in meaningful ways, they are provided with opportunities to learn multiple concepts and skills at deep levels including how to navigate and use information from across divergent sources as well as how to collaborate with others’ (2017, pp. 152). Having a diversity of international and local staff can lay the foundations for open-mindedness that prepares teams of staff to engage and extend their teaching practices further, being lifelong learners in the process.

But how does technology enhance learning?

Technology-enhanced learning (TEL) describes a value judgement of what constitutes enhanced. The Oxford dictionary meaning of enhance implies ‘intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of’ (Oxford University Press, 2019). So what constitutes an enhancement of the student learning experience? How will this be achieved? Is this about: increasing technology use, improving the educational circumstances/environment, improving teaching practices, improving qualitative and quantitative learning outcomes? In any case, an interesting article by Kirkwood and Price (2014, pp. 4) discuss TEL, and the most common problem that schools face is ‘the overwhelming majority of teachers employed the technology to sustain existing patterns of teaching rather than to innovate’. Those teachers that did however adapt and change, they used the new technologies to accelerate student-centred and project-based teaching practices (Kirkwood and Price, 2014). This incidentally is what the Primary and Middle Years Programmes of the International Baccalaureate (as well as other inquiry-based curricula, like Australia) facilitate in teaching and learning. There are three levels of potential benefits that TEL may bring, and these are:

· Efficiency – existing processes carried out in a more cost-effective, time-effective, sustainable or scalable manner

· Enhancement – improving existing processes and outcomes

· Transformation – radical, positive change in existing processes or introducing new processes

(Kirkwood and Price, 2014, pp. 4)

What does this mean for my child?

In a previous blog post, I mentioned the skills our children today will require now and in their future, indicated by the World Economic Forum. These 2022 skills report reflect the transferrable concepts that underpin the IB philosophy. These skills are seen through the programme’s transdisciplinary themes, global contexts, approaches to learning skills, key and related concepts within units of inquiry, as well as the international knowledge, attitudes and attributes.

It is reported by Forbes in 2018 that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will create 58 million new jobs by 2022, and 54% of large companies will need to up-skill their staff (Chowdhry, 2018).

Considering just these two facts alone and the addition of technology-enhanced learning the emphasis on enhancing technology will only move humanity forward so that educators can provide the correct skills and concepts so the adults of tomorrow have what they need to live a happy and successful life. If school was created because of the industrial era needs and demands, then the same is happening now with what we call technology. If we fail to enhance our pedagogy and andragogy, then we cannot be the crow in Aesop’s fable.


Chowdhry, A. (2018) ‘Artificial Intelligence to Create 58 Million New Jobs by 2022, Says Report’, Forbes, Available at: Accessed on: 4 March 2019.

Oxford University Press (2019) ‘enhance’, Available at: Accessed on: 4 March 2019

Kirkwood, A. & Price, L. (2014) ‘Technology-enhanced learning and teaching in higher education: what is ‘enhanced’ and how do we know? A critical literature review’. Learning, Media and Technology, [Handover version] Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 6–36. The Open University, U.K.

Ratcheva, V. S. & Leopold, T. (2018) ‘5 Things to know about the Future of Jobs’, World Economic Forum, Available at: Accessed on: 4 March 2019

Woloshyn, V. E., Bajovic, M. & Worden, M. M. (2017) ‘Promoting student-centered learning using iPads in a Grade 1 classroom: Using the digital didactic framework to deconstruct instruction’, Computers in the Schools, Vol. 34, No. 3, pp. 152-167, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Long. J. R. (2014) ‘Aesop’s Fables: The Crow and the Pitcher’, Available at: Accessed on: 4 March 2019

"February" by Swathi_Sridharan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

"Al-Ahram Augmented Reality App" by Ahmed Abdo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Flickr (2009) 'crow and pitcher paper cut' by Rehanna Choaudhri [open image]

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© 2020 by Michael Cresswell