5 posts categorized "2010"

December 02, 2011

Initiativitis, 21st Centuryness and other ills of learning

It's an oldie that I've only just unearthed. Nearly two years ago I spoke to 500 'creative agents', people from the creative industries working in schools, at their national conference in Birmingham on how to manage creativity in education.

And I just discovered the video on Vimeo.

This talk was one of the first 'biggies' that I gave after "coming back" to education after my time at Channel 4. One of the reasons I quite like it is that it led to one of the projects of which I am most proud: TEDxKids @ Sunderland.

It covers a few things:

  • on feeling uncomfortable with innovation, and remembering you're not alone;
  • the importance of continuing professional development over annual reviews and five year forward planning;
  • the power of social media to overcome the shortcomings of the press and the telephone (even more relevant in these days of uncovering the poor quality of journalism in corners of this country), and the responsibility of schools and parents to relearn how to communicate.
  • communicating better with parents;
  • listening better to share better;
  • creative copying;
  • the Seven Spaces;
  • harnessing data;
  • gamifying learning and having permission to dream a little.

December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas: A Digital Nativity

It made me smile. I hope 2010 has been as good to you as it has been to the McIntosh Family. Best wishes to you all from a freezing Edinburgh, and see you for some more exciting projects, inspiring encounters and new friends in 2011!

December 22, 2010

Beating the recession by working internationally: 2010's Travel in Review

A year ago yesterday I started NoTosh Limited, a to-the-point, action-based consultancy for digital media and education arenas, which has proven far more successful than I had hoped. Here's hoping 2011 is just as successful (actually, no, our target is to double revenues with some new stars on our team).

Crucial to this velocity has been the acceptance of overseas clients (thank you all so much!) to take a risk and have us over to inspire, cajole or troubleshoot. Plenty of their stories will appear on a new NoTosh.com site in the New Year. Exporting our skills makes up around 65% of revenue.

But this has also meant a fair level of travel; the last quarter of the working year saw me personally undertake 56 flights, covering the world two and a half times. This year, I've travelled 106,372 miles on Seat 53F (big, modern aircraft), compared to a much more tiring 41,902 miles of Extreme Commuting that I did while working for Channel 4 in 2009 (on seat 23C -smaller aircraft, less efficient, more carbon). The nature of that travel wasn't easy to handle, and noted when I was leaving the company last year. 2008, back when I was doing more educational stuff, saw some 82,000 miles.

A colleague told me that every time you do a transatlantic flip you experience the same radiation as a chest x-ray, so neither I nor my current or future colleagues leave our families and jump on a plane lightly. We do so because we believe in our work, that it will make a difference to thousands of students lives and that this will far outweight the environmental impact we're having.

Not content with that, though, we're announcing a pro bono project in the New Year which will more than make up for our own airmiles (and probably all of yours, too, dear readers). Planting trees with Carbon Credits doesn't solve the problems we're creating today at all - it's going to take 20 years for their impact to be felt. So we're planning something far more here-and-now, that will take the edge of all those miles.

Until the New Year, and notwithstanding a blog post or two inbetween, best wishes for the festive season from a thankfully Edinburgh-based, airline-free Ewan!

September 24, 2010

Technology's impact on learning: Pecha Kucha

In 6 minutes 40, the 20 ideas I think will affect educators in a big way in the next couple of years. This appears as part of New Zealand Core Education's EDTalks:

20. QR Codes and other smart mobile means of making the real world expand into the virtual world will become commonplace in the pockets of our students. With Layar you could craft a living history of your school transposed onto existing real-world buildings viewed through a smartphone camera.
19. We will gain a better understanding the hype curve, and what types of behaviour with technology can be spotted along it.
18. This gives us a chance to shorten that lead time to get to the learning quicker
17. Anything 'touch' changes the game, not necessarily because of the device itself but because of the way it affects the design of everything else around us, especially websites.
16. More will leave the desktop and go online, whether it's MIT's Scratch heading online next year thanks to the MacArthur funding we awarded earlier this year, or
15. Making real life products that students can feel, touch and use will be where the best learning takes place. Students will stop "doing" stuff at school and will more likely "make" stuff at school.
14. We'll think about how we build more interaction into our virtual spaces but also our physical spaces.
13. Think how engagement of the senses can do something as simple as encourage people to walk up the stairs rather than take the escalator.
12. The last 30% of our planet will get online in the next year as more of the world, south of the equator, gets powered up and online. This will mean an explosion in connections.
11. These connections will nearly all come from Africa and South America initially - most African countries are at the birth of their internet journey.
10. When we start collaborating with all these new partners at scale, we'll find that the ultrafast broadband of which our schools are so proud will become, rather quickly, slow-feeling.
9. This is especially true thanks to our changing TV habits. We'll be watching more television online than we do on the television, which will contribute to this higher demand for bandwidth.
8. We'll actually watch less television, but all of it online. Television choices will start to be made for us, using algorythmns to work out what we might want to watch based on our friends' and our previous selections.
7. We'll also stop just watching the television, and start interacting even more around it, online more than with the people in the same room as us. Maybe education will have a second chance at getting television use for learning right.
6. Understanding open data will become more important than social media has been in the apst five years.
5. This means, in the next two years, we might actually find ourselves with a teaching population that is more illiterate than the youngsters they are teaching, as this basic skill of understanding complex data is mastered by young people quicker.
4. There will be less money for spending in education, and innovation will start to appear as a result.
3. Open Source technologies will increasingly make us question why we spend so much on corporations' pay-for technology when so much else is available for free from passionate communities of practice.
2. The innovation will start to appear not from big industry making big things that do things for people, but from 'small' people in their bedrooms and startups making things that empower people to do stuff for themselves, and that includes learning.
1. And the people we're empowering will come at all ages, all cultures. The lead time for people to understand how they can become collaborators, makers and doers has decreased from the years and months of the industrial age to hours and minutes for new generations. Just see it in the way my daughter reacted to Skype over four minutes, from horror to fear to curiosity to comfort.

June 29, 2010

Ewan McIntosh eduTour 2010

 This summer and autumn I'm embarking on an eduTour of proportions that are slightly scary, but I hope you'll join me on the journey, keep me right, contribute your own glowing examples of interesting practice and let me know how I could be doing things better as I seek, after two years of feeling out to pasture in medialand, to find my education voice once more. I'm lucky enough to be doing large parts of this with some of my best friends in the education world.

Six months ago I wanted to see if it was possible to bring the lessons I had picked up from the world of digital media investment and product management back into the classroom, the school leader's intray and policymaker's desk. I've been working with a few teams of brilliant educators in the UK this Spring, testing ideas, hypotheses, practices and concepts from one world transferred to another. It's time to give those ideas a bigger airing.

It's a chance to take our messages to a wider, fresh group of participants who will help emulate and expand upon practice that many of us have been developing for nearly a decade - or longer. It's also an enviable chance to learn from the amazing practice in all the countries that I've chosen for this initial tour, places I believe there is the best in schooling, informal learning, digital media development and investment.

Here's the schedule of meetings, rencontres, masterclasses and keynotes that I'll be working with over August, September and October. Many are open to those working nearby or can be ticketed by the organisers. I'm looking forward to meeting as many educators as possible, sharing stories and approaches across a wide array of activity.

This blog and my other websites will be getting a 360 degree overhaul this summer to make the experience delightful for you, too, with the help of amazing graphic designer David Airey and NoTosh developer Fraser Waters. I'll be capturing daily photo stories, videos, audioboos and, of course, blog posts of what has struck me most. Please join me!

August: New Zealand, Australia, San Francisco, Los Angeles

Core Education Grey August 9, Nelson, NZ (Link Learning)
August 10, Christchurch, NZ (Burnside High School)
August 11, Christchurch, NZ (Breakfast Masterclass Christchurch: Book Now)
August 12, Queenstown, NZ (e-Central)
August 13, Christchurch, NZ (Papanui High School)
August 14, Auckland, NZ (NEAL)
August 16, Wellington, NZ (Aotea College/PoriruaNet)
August 17, Wellington, NZ (Loop Cluster)
August 18, Wellington, NZ (Breakfast Masterclass Wellingto: Book Now)
August 18, Hamilton, NZ (Tawa College)
August 19, Hamilton, NZ (Coalface & King Country)
August 20, Hamilton, NZ (Breakfast Masterclass Hamilton: Book Now)
August 20, Hamilton, NZ (Southwell School)

ELH10 SchoolTech10 August 22-24, Lorne, Victoria, Australia (Expanding Learning Horizons & SchoolTech - Book Now)
August 25, Adelaide, South Australia (Learning Technologies Masterclass)

August 27, San Francisco, USA (Private Event)
August 28, Los Angeles, USA

The New Zealand breakfasts, masterclasses and workshops are being organised and hosted by my great friends at Core Education; Bruce Dixon, the Expanding Learning Horizons and SchoolTech conferences in Lorne, Victoria, Australia, and the South Australia Learning Technologies Department have helped take me to Australia


September: Canada, USA

September 12-14, Toronto, Canada (IN|10 - Book Now)

BeCuriousTour2010 September 15, Boulder, USA
September 16, Denver, USA
September 17, Bozeman, USA (Hatchfest)
September 19, Seattle, USA
September 21, Portland, USA
September 23, San Francisco, USA
September 24-27, San José, USA (Conference Talk tbc)
September 28-29, Los Angeles, USA
September 30, San Diego, USA

UK Trade and Investment are helping take me to Interactive Ontario in Toronto, which also kicks off my participation in the BeCuriousTour, with two of my best friends (who're going to be a lot better friends after two weeks sharing cars, vans, trains and planes). There's lots planned for that which cannot be made public quite yet.


October: Middle East

The Education Project October 7-10, Manama, Bahrain (The Education Project)

The Education Project Bahrain takes me for my first foray to the Middle East, as I seek to broaden the horizons of my own understandings and share some of our own vision: that it's not how you build an education city with bricks that is important - it's who and what you put in them that counts.

All photos Ewan McIntosh except for Lorne [bleamo], San Francisco [vgm], Toronto [dexxus], Manama [Hussain]

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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