Thursday, 20 March 2014

Puentedura's SAMR as a Framework towards Education 3.0

Thank you Jackie Gerstein for the idea of linking Puentedura's SAMR approach (implementing technology in teaching) to explaining the move towards Education 3.0.
She produced an excellent infographic which nicely uses the Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition parts SAMR.
She links Substitution and Augmentation to Education 1.0, Modification to Education 2.0 and Redefinition to Education 3.0.
This approach is a further attempt to explain the move beyond Education 2.0 and it is a very helpful approach that can be used in discussions.
To enable this and doing a bit of re-purposing I have put her infographic into pages on a slideshow for those who prefer it this way.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Rhizomes vs the establishment - #rhizo14

Posted this originally on the Rhizomatic Learning Google+ community but wanted to keep Bonnie Stewart's post here too, so I can refer to it.
She posted this two years ago during the #change11 MOOC and I wondered what has changed since then - the idea of independent, open, self directed learning in schools seems to be much more viable today than it did then. What has changed?
Others are also tackling this issue, be it from the technology side (allowing students to bring in mobiles to school) say, or opening up education from the pedagogy side as in this TED talk from Jerry Michalski on "What if we trusted you?" (Scarcity, abundance, trust - a little political but with some sound points).
So, what has changed?
The Rhizomatic Learning Google+ Community Post:
Thanks to Steve Wheeler ( for reminding me of Bonnie's #change11 post on rhizomatic learning.
This connected with me since the elements of our schools environment  clash with the broader INDEPENDENT learning concepts.
In her words:
"We conflate learning and schooling. We are subjects of the idea of education as a system, an institution, and so we rely on and replicate this idea in our conceptions of learning: we assume factors like goals and grading and – increasingly – market viability as real parts of what learning involves. They can be, of course. But they do not need to be unless that learning is taking place within the contingencies of mass-delivery and crowd control and normativizing of classed behaviours and literacies that we absorbed with our school milk programs. These practical components of systemic schooling processes are the base map or lens on learning which we, culturally, have inherited."

Friday, 24 January 2014

Enforcing independence at a country level - #rhizo14

Have just heard Miguel Brechner talk on Uruguay's Ceibal project, at one of the Leadership seminars at the BETT (technology) show in London.
Uruguay introduced the one laptop per child project for a specific purpose - equity. They saw the huge gap in access to technology between the wealthy and the rest, and decided that every school child should have a laptop. How they introduced it, the distribution problems, the costs, their perceived benefits, etc, are very interesting topics, but I want to concentrate on the unintended leap forward that occurred.
In one sweep they provided all students with the power to access their own learning. They didn't quite force or enforce independence, but, Miguel judges that around 80% of students use the laptop directly for learning, often learning independently. Despite the best efforts of training teachers in the laptop and the apps involved (including teaching English using tutors in the Philippines and many other countries), most students got to be much more knowledgeable and skilled than the teachers.
There is a huge lag in pedagogy, and this is admitted. But a country has put the possibility of learning in all their children's hands. Uruguay has around 3 million inhabitants, but it has managed to provide this throughout the state school system, often to small schools in rural areas. Think of the connectivity problems that they had to solve.
This may not sound like enforcing independence when viewed from the perspective of the developed world, where most (all?) children have access to this type of connectivity. But in a country where this was not happening, an unintended HUGE leap forward in independence has occurred.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Forcing and enforcing independence - #rhizo14

Sounds oxymoronic but it isn't. Forcing independence is what parents do when they get a child to dress themselves. It would be quicker to do it for them, but the patience pays off later.
Dave Cormier's week 2 topic for #rhizo14 is an important one for those who teach (okay, cause learning to occur). How do we marry the institution's need for direction and measures of success with those of achieving rhizomatism (sorry if this word does not exist)?
In the "open" approaches that we have taken in my school (6th to 8th grade) we had a storyline provide the context and wanted individual and small group independence in how it was tackled. This was not easy to generate. Students are strongly institutionalised and want to know what they are learning and how it will be tested.
However, with very much younger children who have not been institutionalised in this way it has not been difficult. The structured play approach, using also Reggio Emilia ideas, in the Early Years (age 3 to 5), has been extraordinarily successful. It has been the parents that we have had to work with and convince. Here there is real learning taking place, under the control of the learner with the teacher looking for opportunities to enrich this.
What about teachers? Reading George Couros' article about professional development (PD) - thanks Jennifer for sharing - brought it home to me. Surely, real Life Long Learners (LLL) work rhizomatically?
Shouldn't they? Isn't there a difference between Life Long Pupils (receive only) and LLLs who are in charge of what they want to do, are independent?
How ready are our teachers to really take on this responsibility?
Dave Cormier spoke about his 40 year olds doing his course. How do they react to the forced independence? Would really like to know.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

La gestión de la reputación - en lugar de "marca"

El lenguaje de los mercados a veces no cuadra tan bien con los que estamos involucrados en la educación.
En primer lugar, ¿por qué hacerlo?: ninguna organización puede tener éxito sin una estrategia de comunicación clara. Y asegurarse de que se lleve a cabo.
Esto no es sólo acerca de la venta o comercialización, se trata de contar su historia - porque si no lo hace, otros lo harán.
La realidad de cada persona es en realidad un conglomerado de pedazos de muchas historias, muchas veces oído y pasado a la memoria sin ningún mecanismo de comprobación de errores. Con los medios de comunicación social (si no sólo e-mail), las historias pueden tener una vida propia y se convierten en la realidad para muchos. La historia inexacta y distorsionada será entonces la realidad para el miembro de su cliente / padres / comunidad.
Es necesario escuchar también. No sólo porque puede que tenga que tomar medidas para garantizar la versión correcta se comunica, pero también se puede aprender y luego ser capaz de mejorar lo que haces.
Segundo punto - sobre el concepto de "marca".
Esto no cuadra con muchos educadores. Nos resistimos a la idea de que las escuelas son una marca como si estuviéramos vendiendo una mercancía.
Así que sólo hemos utilizado otros términos tales como "reputación". Ahora, esto es importante y vale la pena conservar. También nuestro posicionamiento, nuestros atributos especiales, nuestra identidad y nuestra imagen.
Esta es una presentación en que se acumula estos puntos de partida de la filosofía y los objetivos de la escuela, cómo esto es percibido por nuestros grupos de interés, y cómo los cuatro factores de reputación, posicionamiento, identidad e imagen son considerados. Por último, no se trata sólo de una estrategia de comunicación buena, pero un proceso de garantía de la buena calidad - más allá de "spin" a la sustancia real.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Readings - future curricula

There is much discussion about how the curriculum should be changed to prepare learners for a future that we can hardly describe. I have been concentrating on the Equinox Summit findings (yet to be finally published but I am working my way through their communique). Thank you to John Mikton and the ECIS ICT Committee eNews for a reading list regarding the curriculum for the future:

The Future of Curriculum

Curricula Designed to Meet 21st-Century Expectations

Mapping the 21 Century Classroom Curriculum of the Future

NCTE Framework for 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment

The new basics: changing curriculum for 21st century skills

21st Century Curriculum and Instruction

What are other "must reads" about this topic?

Monday, 2 December 2013

Managing reputation - rather than "brand"

The language of markets sometimes does not go down so well in education. I read Karl Rivers' article on Managing Your School's Online Brand with interest and he asked how schools manage this. I replied on the Ed Tech Google+ Community and thought it worth repeating here.

Firstly, why do it: No organisation can succeed without a clear communications strategy. And ensuring that it is carried out.
This is not just about selling or marketing, it is about telling your story - because if you do not, others will.
Each person's reality is in fact a conglomeration of bits of many stories, often heard and passed into memory without any error checking mechanism. With social media (if not just e-mail), stories can take a life of their own and become the reality for many. The inaccurate and distorted story will then be the reality for your client/parent/community member.
It is necessary to listen too. Not just because you might have to act to ensure the correct version is communicated, but you can also learn and then be able to improve what you do.

Second point - about the concept of "brand".
This grates with many educators. We resist the idea that schools are a brand as if we were peddling a commodity.
So we have just used other terms such as "reputation". Now, this matters and it is worth conserving. Also our positioning, our special attributes, our identity and our image.
This is a Google presentation which builds up these points starting from the school's philosophy and objectives, how this is perceived by our stakeholders, and how the four factors of Reputation, Positioning, Identity and Image are considered. Finally, it is not just about a good communications strategy but a good quality assurance process - beyond the age of spin to actual substance.