November 29, 2008

GETIdeas - transforming global education

Ewan Global ...Well, thinking about transforming education anyway. GETIdeas is Cisco's latest attempt to engage education leaders around the world in some meaningful debate by having them publish their own blogs, and comment on those of others, as well as accessing tons of learning debate and content. I can see the appeal for those who haven't made the plunge into the online debates yet, within the relatively safe walls of Cisco's platform.

Before joining Channel 4 I was commissioned to open the debate with an extended blog post, designed to tempt you in. It's on seeing what would happen if we really embraced the culture 'out there' in our schools. Debate's thin no the ground, though, as might be expected for a new site trying to find its feet.

But this itself reveals the biggest barrier to educational change we have - time. It can take most blogs nearly two years to find their audience, their niche, for the author(s) to find their voice and get some degree of debate going on. Cisco aim to cut back this time, obviously. Part of the challenge is getting those administrators and decision-makers who, thus far, have failed to engage in the online discussions around learning to reach out beyond the relative comfort of the 'safety' of GETIdeas, and explore some of those hyperlinks I've peppered through my piece, at least.

Here, we hit the second batch of time that's only ever more crowded than yesterday or last year: personal time to invest in reading, thinking and then engaging in online debate. It's made harded by Cisco's slightly clunky blog platform which means you and I have to create an account and log in before commenting.

Finally, it'll be interesting to see, over time, if the likes of John Connell can encourage educators who are not just those in International or American schools in the Middle East, Africa and the Far East to engage on the site. This kind of seeded participant would be enough, perhaps, to draw those of us already having the debates into a new platform to discuss things with new voices.


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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is a teacher, speaker and investor, regarded as one of Europe’s foremost experts in digital media for public services.

His company, NoTosh Limited, invests in tech startups and film on behalf of public and private investors, works with those companies to build their creative businesses, and takes the lessons learnt from the way these people work back into schools and universities across the world.

Ewan’s education keynotes & MasterClasses

Module Masterclass

Do you worry that your school or district could better harness its people, digital technology or physical space? Do you want some actionable inspiration, a mentor for a learning journey with your staff?

In a keynote or masterclass we can give them concrete ideas based on experience, enthusiasm fired by a vision of what can be, and backup before and after to make it happen for them.

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