Going deeper with learning

In his preface to A Rich Seam, Michael Barber writes about a revolution that is impacting almost every area of society, noting… This revolution is already in homes across the developed world and increasingly in the developing world too. And there, it is transforming the way children and young people play, access information, communicate with each other and learn. But, so far, this revolution has not transformed most schools or most teaching and learning in classrooms. Amid the barrage of new initiatives, assessment demands, achievement challenges and the like it’s sometimes difficult to lift your eyes to a horizon that’s focused on … Continue reading Going deeper with learning

Schools, COOLs and Kids

Let’s face it – schools are primarily about kids and their learning. Sure, we need buildings, teachers, furniture, timetables and the like to support that, but the primary focus should be on them. This is why I am personally very pleased to see the recent announcement from the Ministry of Education regarding the Education (Update) Amendment Bill. The current Act under which our education system operates places huge emphasis on the structures and governance of our schools, but less on the kids themselves – in fact learners and learning are barely mentioned. This would work well enough if all of … Continue reading Schools, COOLs and Kids

Networked Leadership

This week's announcement of funding to support the establishment of a new Centre for Educational Leadership in NZ heralds a significant change for the way we think about the leadership of our schools and educational institutions into the future. The press release states: The centre will be established by the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, the newly formed professional body for teachers, and will be partially funded by the Ministry of Education which is contributing $250,000 to its set-up costs. Its initial focus will be the principals who have been selected to lead the new Communities of Learning established to … Continue reading Networked Leadership

New Pedagogies for Deep Learning

(Wait for a few seconds for the new article to begin once you’ve pressed play) For those who may have noticed, I’ve taken a break from my regular blogging for the past couple of months as the new year has proved to be particularly demanding on my time and energies. I’m prompted to start again now having spent time this week with Michael Fullan at a number of events, in particular, the launch of an exciting project involving a cluster of seven schools in Christchurch as part of an international collaboration under the banner of New Pedagogies for Deep Learning.  … Continue reading New Pedagogies for Deep Learning

Overcoming adversity

Many of the children in the city today cannot remember a world before the earthquakes. The presenters in this TVNZ documentary ask how this has affected their wellbeing by visiting South New Brighton School in the heart of the most affected suburbs. As someone who has visited this school, and knows the principal and some staff, I found this a very poignant and informing piece – so am sharing it here to inform and inspire others. It reveals.. the resiliance of the young people – but also their fragility. the importance of schools as a focus of community, and a … Continue reading Overcoming adversity

Learning through connections

This morning I had the privilege of joining a panel to present on the theme of modern learning practice in a connected world as a part of the Connected Educator Month here in NZ. Joining me on the panel was a very old friend from the UK, Stephen Heppell and colleagues from CORE, Mark Osborne, Janelle Riki and in the chair, Karen Melhuish Spencer.  In this post I don't intent unpacking what was said or the ideas that were discussed – if you want to know that then the recording is available here and the thoughts of the participants are captured … Continue reading Learning through connections

Connected Educator Month

One of the things I've had the privilege of contributing to in terms of the organisation is the upcoming Connected Educator Month which will launch here in New Zealand for the first time this year. My colleague Karen Melhuish Spencer (in the video above) has done an outstanding job leading the organisation from the NZ end.  Connected Educator Month began in the US two years ago, using online communities help educators share effective strategies, reduce isolation, and provide "just in time" access to knowledge and expertise. In 2013 nearly 200 educational organizations participated in Connected Educator Month in the US, providing … Continue reading Connected Educator Month

The disruptive power of collaboration

Collaboration is a hot topic in many areas of education at the moment. My work in describing and explaining the key changes for teachers as they develop their Modern Learning Practice places this pretty high on the list. So too with the work I'm involved in my home city of Christchurch, as school leaders and the Ministry of Education seek to explore more collabortive forms of 'school' and 'schooling' as they rebuild after the earthquakes here.  in the video interview above, New York University professor and author, Clay Shirky, explains the disruptive impact of technology on how people live and work. While … Continue reading The disruptive power of collaboration

Superloop Forum Website Launched

At last – after months of bringing together the information from a variety of sources, the Superloop Forum website has been made live 😉 The Superloop Forum was formed in 2007, following the allocation of funding to five regions in New Zealand from the Broadband Initiative Fund (BIF). The forum exists as an informal affiliation of those associated with and representing the emerging networks of schools being connected by UFB infrastructure. Their mission is to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between clusters of schools in deploying and using UFB networks to enhance learning. The link titled 'building regional capacity' contains the … Continue reading Superloop Forum Website Launched

Connected educators

I've been following with interest all of the activity in the US where they're celebrating  Connected Educator Month through August, an initiative aimed at strengthening connected online communities of practice in education. The notion of online communities of practice is nothing new – but interest and participation in them has increased markedly in the past year or so as educators are discovering the huge benefits that lie in being able to link with and learn from each other in these sorts of environment. In NZ, participation in the VLN, for instance, has be increasing exponentially during that time, and, of course, … Continue reading Connected educators