Here’s Ian Gilbert speaking at TEDx in Dubai. My Thinking-Illustrations are below if you’re interested…sit back and be re-energised.
I’m at the explore & play stage with Prezi (www.prezi.com) at the moment as I keep getting intimidated by some outstanding work in the ‘showcase’ section. Sometimes inspiration has the opposite effect, don’t you think? Anyway, not one to give up too easily (well, not at all, if the truth be told and this is a place of truth, after all) I shall keep going and learning. In the meantime, you may see a few more of Prezi examples cropping up on this blog. I love this one – all about metaphor…enjoy!
Over the past 18 months, I have been involved in one of the most powerful projects in my career to date. At first glance, the role of facilitating a group of educators as they explore questions related to creative learning may not appear so very innovative. On closer inspection, however, any enquiring eye will discover a powerful and very real example of teachers and teaching assistants collaborating to build a purposeful and safe learning community. The result of which is having a powerful and sustainable impact on learning opportunities for children and on the professional confidence of all the adults involved.
I have learnt so much about the importance and value of investing time and space to provide quality regular opportunities for educators to reflect on, develop and evaluate their practice. At times it has felt so slow in comparison to the frenetic nature of everyday school life that I have worried that we’re not achieving anything. I have been acutely aware of my responsibility to demonstrate concrete outcomes (the production of ‘stuff’) in order to justify teachers’ time out of the classroom and away from their classes, but I haven’t known what ‘stuff’ we could present. Instead, I have focused relentlessly on documenting the conversations, discussions and reflections of the group members. I have subjected them all to their own documentations including writing, video and digital photography and insisted that they provide their own sources of evidence of impact throughout the meetings. They have kept their own learning logs, recording ideas they pick up from each other and things they have tried with their own classes and other colleagues back in school. I have set homework for them and required them to take a ‘Creativity Pledge’ at each meeting to state what they had done, the impact of this, their next steps and some possible outcomes. It has been rigorous for all involved, but this approach has, without doubt, sustained a purposeful, thoughtful and very very safe learning community.
I hope that the findings that the research group produce provide a way forward for all schools to support innovative developments in teaching and learning and take 21st century learning by the scruff of the neck once and for all. This is an 18 month snapshot and there will, I know, be much, much more to follow…
So now I’ve explored the IDEO Living Climate Change site (www.livingclimatechange.com) a little more and found the education section. Here are a couple of great animated films that could be used to stimulate thinking and discussion about the lives we live now and the possible futures we could have. I personally love the idea of having a curriculum subject called, “Consequences” (referred to in the second film, “A Little Brighter”). Much more to explore…
A little dimmer
A Little Bit Dimmer from IDEO on Vimeo.
A little brighter
A Little Bit Brighter from IDEO on Vimeo.
I love the way IDEO think. Some of their projects have clear opportunities with which educators can connect. More importantly, the questions that IDEO raise and use to inform their thinking are incredibly powerful. I’m involved in a ‘Future Researcher’ project with Year 8 students at the moment. I wonder how they would use this and the films that IDEO say are yet to come in their projects….
As part of Living Climate Change, IDEO imagines a future shaped by electric power dependency – where schoolyard play offsets the cost of fossil fuel and kids take an active part in their powering their world. Tune into IDEO next week, when we’ll envision a brighter future. For more scenarios, click through to Living Climate Change
, a place to discuss the most defining design challenge of our time.
Thanks to Jamie Portman (@jamieportman) of Campsmount School for tweeting this from The Thomas Tallis School (@creativetallis)
What would schools be like if they all had this sort of inspirational thinking underpinning their learning culture?
After reading Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Tipping Point’ a few years ago, a group of us started to talk about ‘making learning sticky’. It was around the time that Mick Waters, then Head of Curriculum at what is now QCDA, was talking about ‘Making Learning Irresistible’. Since then, we have used this concept as the focus for many discussions around learner motivation, pedagogy and use of new technologies and Web 2.0.
Yesterday, I was following up a number of references to books from the world beyond education and ‘Made to Stick’ was one of them. The website is interesting, particularly the way in which the Heath brothers make links between communicating an effective an powerful marketing message in the commercial and business sectors and how the education sector constantly strives to engage students in their own learning.
To be honest, this is right up my street, all this connectivity stuff. I think there needs to be a lot more cross-over between what we know in education about organisational change, motivation and learning and how business, industry and the public sector address these issues. Anyway, I really like this pdf and I’m now working on translating it into ‘education-speak’ for future work. The book ‘Made to Stick is available on Amazon. (Click in the centre of the box to read in full screen).