Thursday, June 27, 2013

We made it, Together!

The Barbican hosted the first #creat_ED event last week, and it was a hugely enjoyable and successful event!

We had three amazing speakers: Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Simon Raymonde and Stevyn Colgan who engaged, inspired and provoked. This was then followed by a round of ground up workshops which ranged from global education to habits of learning to the skills and disposition five year olds need for living online.

We generated real 'Dos', new projects including a Dating Service for schools, a learning community that was created on the day, and a global video conferencing event.

But the real success of the day wasn't that we broke even (YAY!), that people turned up, that learning and connections happened (given time and space this is no surprise) but something much more simple. 

The best thing about #creat_ED was that we co-created it. Everyone contributed to the day. From the generosity of our speakers in giving their time for free; our kind sponsors providing money and logistics; to the Barbican team for their kindnesses and bunting;  to those who brought a/v equipment with them; people stepping up and helping make the day work, ... and, most of all, the enthusiasm and excitement of all those who came.

Are there things that we would have done differently? YES! We screwed up the sound on the live feed (Gah!!! #epicfail) and so there is no proper video from the day on youtube, as intended. Sorry. Also, time keeping needed to be much tighter, and there should have been more time and support for 'doing'... but...

Should we do it again?  What do you think??? Would you take part again?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Guest Post: Enablers of Promise

A Guest Post by Lizzie Overton, from Enliven Education

Amongst, Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg's predictable rhetoric at the RSA today were some ideas with the potential for meaningful change.  He focused on three themes: ‘Freedom, Devolution and Collaboration’.  

He said that “giving schools more freedom over how they teach and how they run and organise their schools can help to raise standards.” “Collaboration” he said was a “proven recipe for success” and “the professionals” were “the true enablers of promise”.

For decades, teachers have been encouraged to work like Victorian factory foremen; checking that the assembly line is working efficiently and that component parts of learning are properly installed as students pass through the weeks and years.  Could it be that politicians are waking up to a realisation that people are not industrial raw materials and that a mechanistic approach to education is not entirely suitable?

Great teachers are in fact master craftspeople who pass on what they know about learning to the students they teach.  Reflections on their own experience and what they understand from the research they read, has taught them that effective learning relies on a set of key principles including the three that Twigg was keen to highlight in his speech today:

That we are more motivated and creative when we have opportunities to think for ourselves.

That whilst it's occasionally useful to learn from instruction it’s generally more effective to learn from our own direct experience. 

That none of us are islands and that the best and most innovative ideas are shaped from our interactions with each other.

I don't know if Twigg and the Labour Party have really got what it takes to offer the teaching profession a non-mechanistic education system.  But let’s not forget that we already have great examples of innovation in our schools.  A wealth of educational research and social media networking are making sustainable progress more possible than it ever was before. 

It would be fantastic if the likes of Twigg could really help, but in the meantime I suggest we support events like Creat_Ed and explore what can be achieved despite them!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Social Wall

Huge thanks to  +Jenny Ashby @jjash who has created spaces for us to start some of our conversations before the day of #creat_ED.

Jenny is coming all the way from Bendigo, Australia (not far from Melbourne) and this is part of her contribution to the day, to enable the global  aspect of #creat_ED to work. Jenny is leading a session in the afternoon called: "The global classroom, how can you make it happen?"

Please post to Jenny's Lino below and let's get the discussions going, where ever you live and work!