February 23, 2007

Stephen Heppell at eTwinning: 21st Century Learning

Img_4748 Heppell's hypercarding again, and hitting the nerve where it matters.

School buildings, timetables where one subject is studied for a month at a time, libraries made from honeycomb, air-filled balloons to give privacy to learners, people taking risks because they realise that the riskiest thing they can do is do what we did last century.

  • 1997: We built BIG things to DO things for OTHERS
    We had national curriculums, central control. We deliver curriculum, we deliver stuff.
  • 2007: We build THINGS to help PEOPLE to HELP EACH OTHER
    The Creative Archive, eBay, YouTube. We communicate, we mentor, we twin up, we help, we don't want content, we want to interact.

Some phenomena - do they matter?

  • Img_4752 YouTube: A 12 year old can be world champion cup stacker. Everyone's excited in the video, except for the mum ;-) Kids are still keen to be the best, they are proud of their excellence and want to share it, they can share it, and schools' attempts to limit this power are, at best, futile.
  • YouTube: CMTV is YouTubed podcast video from a school. It's simple, it's effective, the whole school watch it, a third of parents watch it. It's better than assembly, so much so that they don't do assemblies any more. It's produced by kids for kids.
  • TeachersTV: A content producer, creating programmes to help teachers to do their jobs better. One of the biggest growth sectors in its audience? Kids. They watch it, they want to learn what it could be like to be taught in a particular way.
  • Mobiles: China in 2002 had 200,000 phones. In 2007 China adds 200,000 more phones daily.
  • Homemade video: 60-second videos are celebrated at international cinema events, like Bafta.
  • Knowledge and content don't matter: Why do PC World sell Encyclopedia Brittania for 99pence? Who knows? Knowledge is free on the web so knowledge can't and shouldn't be sold. It's what is done with knowledge that's worth money. [Ewan - Do we teach our kids to 'do stuff' with their knowledge?]
  • Buy Essays Online vs Free Essays Online - which one wins a GoogleFight?
    Could we not start asking our students to critique others' essays and give their reasons for grading them themselves as students?

School buildings

  • Toilets in back of every classroom: kids need to drink water to concentrate, kids need the toilet, kids need a toilet near the place of learning. Performance of kids who drink more water rises 15-20%
  • Classrooms designed by students, architected by students and with no 'front', just a wide length-long door open to the grass outside.

Education 2.0 - Education 1.0
We can't expect schools do meet the kind of targets being set by copying the tactics of those reaching them already. Every school is different. Teachers need to be empowered to go and research what will work for their culture. That means they will discover new things.

After all, we wouldn't go to the dentists and wish it was "like it was when I was a wean".

Why should we not measure the happiness of children as they leave school? Has the process contributed to their happiness, their enrichment, beyond academic results? We need a learnometer.

Education 2.0 is really something that should feel very comfortable for most people, like Learning 1.0. It's maybe just that some have forgotten the excitement you can feel when you're learning rather than being taught.

Comments

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I love that line: People taking risks because they realize the riskiest thing they can do is do what they did last century.

We cannot teach our kids the same way anymore. The world is different. I might need to move to Scotland. You guys seem to be moving in the right direction.

We have so many wonderful new tools designed to help and educate each other. The question is are the new teachers being taught how to use them and are the veteran teachers willing to adapt new ways to teach.

Great post.
Brian

School Buildings.

Toilets at the back of every classroom - it's often the basics that are overlooked. Drink 8 glasses a day - but please bear in mind that there will only be two opportunities to pee in seven hours.

Design - a friend of mine organised a PFI (in the South) schools project in which primary pupils took part in the consultation process. The same topic came top of pupils' agenda in all schools - windows.

If the buildings aren't just a hygiene factor but of strategic importance to development of teaching and learning, outsourcing their control through PFI/PPP projects risks creating a barrier to innovative developments. How do we square that circle?

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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