December 04, 2007

Knives and restaurants

 An anecdote from Jimmy Wales this morning:

Think of the last restaurant you went to. Did you have a knife on the table? Did you know that knives can do real harm if they are used to stab people? Have you seen our new restaurant? We keep each customer in his or her own cage, so that no harm under any circumstances can be done to others.

You wouldn't expect that, would you? We have common rules and consequences for stabbing each other in restaurants, and they work.

Why would you expect individual cages in your institution when it comes to using Wikipedia?


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This is a great analogy. I love it. There are too many people out there who would take any potentially harmful (though extremely useful) tool away from our students. I urge people to think about the number of teen driving accidents, and ask themselves why, under the same logic, we wouldn't look to abolish automobiles.

Excellent analogy. I always tend to use issues like road safety or pens-and-paper, but this is far better!

I remember reading in one of the very first issues of Focus Magazine about Car/Road Safety.
Which leads to a safer driving experience? A car that is so well protected that if it was to crash then the occupants would be perfectly safe from harm, but no one else would be
- OR -
Having to drive your car knowing that there's a spike built into it, pointed at your head and you would have to drive safely at all times in order to survive any journey at all.

Great analogy. May use this myself soon :-)

I do like this! I also really like David Warlick's 'swimming pool' analogy... the problem lies in getting the people that can change things to here the analogies!

Here in PKC we are starting to compile a list of gripes about access for the Head of Education... here's hoping he'll listen and act...

PS... as a PT English, I'd just like to apologise for the typo in my previous comment!

A list of gripes... this is what I used to think would work, but I think it's possibly too negative to effect positive change. It's maybe worth thinking about the adoption strategies we used in ELC as a constructive longer game to get what you're wanting:

Beware analogies - they are word play based around surface similarities and too much focus on apparent similarities can blind us to the realities and lead us into specious arguments. I recently heard an American pro-gun lobbyist argue that as there are more deaths in swimming pools that due to guns in Amercia it makes mores sense to close all swimming pools. It is relatively easy to find analogies which support a point of view we wish to defend.

I agre about being too negative. One of the things I've suggested as a more positive way forward is to highlight examples of good practice... Let's show the people that matter just what is possible when we allow the pupils to use the tools.

I've been fortunate enough to have a number of pupils who are quite at home using wikis and blogs and any number of other tools, but it is not their use of the tools per se that is impressive, it is what the tools allow them to create.

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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.

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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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