Monday, 30 November 2009
Seven people, 30 seconds, only 20 minutes filming time (plus editing and words), and a series of messages, takes some planning, organising and prioritising. We did speculate whether, as adults, we were being too precious about it and trying to be too clever to be effective. As can probably be predicted we took a sensible, planned and fairly literal interpretation to the task - although we did use lots of humour (well we laughed).
This was a big challenge - we did take it seriously and were quite pleased with the result (considering!). We did tackle the main points we wanted. Importantly though, it was a different form of working and not only did we try - we also had massive fun doing it. Everyone contributed, got involved and was really engaged.
Learning is about engagement, and wanting to be part of it...... we were lucky to have a film crew, but equally the same could have been done with mobile technology.....
But what would students have done? Undoubtedly they would have been more creative, spontaneous and probably used a variety of media, music, graphics to illustrate the messages. Actually, from experience, they would almost certainly have been better.
More and more video is a key part of coursework - but still too many teachers don't use it or accept it - why not?
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
This thought-provoking film offers unique insight across generations and nations, and reveals a very inconvenient truth about education. The world is changing rapidly – but our education system is not keeping pace.
‘We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For’ follows the lives of five Swindon-based teenagers and the challenges they face during their education. It reveals the dislocation between our education system and the rapidly changing, globalised world which is increasingly dominated by digital technology, and focuses on the need for fundamental change in teaching and learning.
Lord Puttnam is quoted: “I’ve no doubt that ‘We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For’ has the potential to be a powerful catalyst for overdue educational reform. We need to provide all of our young people with an education that motivates them to learn, and enables them to discover what they are good at. ‘We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For’ is intended to act as nothing less than a wake-up call.”
By exploring some of the more innovative approaches to education around the world, the film offers a glimpse of the future. It shows how much more flexible, exciting and engaging learning could be for young people - and how our education system could support them in identifying and making the most of their individual talents.
Following the premiere of ‘We Are The People We’ve Been Waiting For’ on Tuesday 17th November the film will be released online on request at www.wearethepeoplemovie.com from next week and will also be syndicated free with the Guardian on Saturday 28th November.
This is worth looking out for - to see the YouTube trailer click either on the picture or here. We just cannot keep on doing the same old thing and expecting something different - lots of people do see that but are they the right people to make a difference?
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Yesterday, OWP/P Cannon Design had the pleasure of leading a Science Summit at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL. The summit gathered together science teachers, board members, school administrators and designers to rethink the way science is taught and science classrooms are designed at Stevenson.
OWP/P Cannon Design invited Gareth Long, an Education Consultant based in the U.K. and Lizanne DeStafano, the Director of the Illinois Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Initiative (I-STEM) at the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign to present on science education with OWP/P Cannon Design principal, Trung Le.
Before the Science Summit began the OWP/P Cannon Design team and Gareth Long had the chance to tour the school. It was exciting to see Stevenson’s bright students eager to display their work and ideas as the tour group visited different classrooms. One student-teacher exchange later informed our Summit. A student asked the tour group to watch his video assignment, though his teacher replied, “Thanks for volunteering, but I don’t have your assignment.” The student's response: “Yes you do. Youtube it.” Seconds later, a Youtube search for the student’s name yielded the (highly entertaining) video for us to watch.
During his presentation, Gareth Long used this exchange to emphasize that science education must be relevant to students and technologically connected. Instead of teachers policing students who forget their worksheets at home, why not accept homework via e-mail, Bluetooth, Youtube or twitter, like the teacher at Stevenson? Gareth is currently working with Balfour Beatty Capital, a multi-national construction company that is actively involved in England’s Building Schools of the Future (BSF) program, an initiative to rebuild or completely renovate all of England’s schools by 2015.
Gareth shared projects from the BSF initiative that break down walls, literally, and promote connections between disciplines. For science spaces, he advocated spaces that are agile (can be changed in a minute with moveable furniture), flexible (can be changed in an afternoon with options for electricity, data, gas and water hook ups) and adaptable (can be changed over time to accommodate changes in teaching).
Lizanne DeStefano spoke about her work at the University of Illinois to expand the role of science at research institutions to include a Pre-K-16 education component. I-STEM has multiple programs including partnerships with K-16 schools to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) outreach and support for teacher training and development in STEM. During the summit she described specific projects including collaboration with the Science Olympiad program, work with the Center for Education in Small Urban Communities to develop STEM schools and programs promoting professional development for teachers and science research experiences for students.
After the presentations the Summit broke into smaller groups to discuss the future of Stevenson’s Science program. Stevenson’s science teachers gravitated to ideas like flexible technology and presentation, putting science on display, engaging with students concerning the future of science education and promoting interdisciplinary learning between science and all other disciplines,
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Sunday, 15 November 2009
Sunday, 8 November 2009
But what really caught my eye was the total transparency of the space to the main shopping street outside. I am always writing about transparency in learning spaces and celebrating what is happening inside. It's not very often you see it in adult learning places. It's just great! It's only a small preparation and cooking space but really great things happen inside - and can be enjoyed by those passing and help motivate other people. It's a great start for finding ways to promote and celebrate learning of all sorts. How will they follow this model I wonder. It clearly works!