Sunday, December 16, 2012

Education Drivers, Innovation, Culture and Targets

Education Drivers (Fullan)
  • personalised
  • student centred
  • capacity
  • systemness
System Needs & Change (Clayton Christensen)
  • efficiency (faster & cheaper)
  • sustaining (improve current system needs),
  • disruptive (make complicated solutions simpler)
  • Technologies 
    • internet
    • ubiquitous
    • mobile
    • efficient (cost and HR support)
    • rich content
Purpose and Target
Doing the same things the same way will not work
Move from a centralised authority to a discreet and targeted system
  • focus on targeted client audiences (not at the system middle)
  • view schools as interconnected cottage industries
  • focus on teaching and learning work practices (Hattie)
  • Why, then how then  what 
Innovation and Culture
  • innovation is as important for leaders as strategy and operational excellence
    • Innovation to enable continuous improvement (not big bang)
  • Disciplined, deliberate, relentless
  • Developing business units culture, artefacts and explicit purpose.
  • Identify school site culture and focus on variants of service.
    • One size doesn't fit all.
    • Nurture the demand to develop program flavours
Research (Hattie) and targeted application
  • Packages of support based on the following the big influences on learning
    • Student self-assessment/self-grading
    • Response to intervention
    • Teacher credibility
    • Providing formative assessments
    • Classroom discussion
    • Teacher clarity
    • Feedback
    • Reciprocal teaching
    • Teacher-student relationships fostered
    • Spaced vs. mass practice
    • Meta-cognitive strategies taught and used
    • Acceleration
    • Classroom behavioral techniques
    • Vocabulary programs
    • Repeated reading programs
    • Creativity programs
    • Student prior achievement
    • Self-questioning by students
    • Study skills
    • Problem-solving teaching
    • Not labeling students
    • Concept mapping
    • Cooperative vs individualistic learning
    • Direct instruction
    • Tactile stimulation programs
    • Mastery learning
    • Worked examples
    • Visual-perception programs
    • Peer tutoring
    • Cooperative vs competitive learning
    • Phonics instruction
    • Student-centered teaching
    • Classroom cohesion
    • Peer influences
    • Classroom management techniques
    • Outdoor-adventure programs

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Strategy and Culture

Culture eats strategy 

Culture can be identified in a business unit's artifacts:
  • vision, 
  • norms, 
  • symbols, 
  • beliefs, 
  • behaviors, and 
  • traditions.
Strategy - successful strategies need supportive cultures.



Q: How does a business unit get the best out of strategy in periods of uncertainty and structural change. (How do you get buy-in to achieve what needs to be achieved?)



The Culture of a Business Unit


Business Unit Questions:

  1. How do our artifacts describe us?
  2. What artifacts actively attracts people to use our services?
  3. What artifacts actively discourage success?

Immediate culture questions

  • Vision and Mission 
    • how is the vision made evident throughout all of our activities?
    • is the vision and mission persuasive? 
  • Collaboration 
    • how do our projects cross support and benefit each other?
  • Education 
    • how do project leaders co-educate each other and what artifacts demonstrates a culture of co-learning?
    • Is our unit a skilled team or a unit of skilled individuals?
  • Recognition 
    • how are achievements (both small and large) celebrated?
  • Traditions
    • how adaptable is our business unit to change?

Belief Strategy Clients

Business units who are charged with innovation, change of practice and emergence must contend with many complex cultural artifacts across many sites. This includes working with other business units, divisions and (in the case of education) school sites. It is important to have a persuasive business culture and a belief in our services, if we are to influence other site cultures.

Purpose and Belief:

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action through purpose (read more).

  • People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it  
    • Inspire by Why then How then What
      • Have a Purpose and have a Belief in your purpose
      • Have a strategy and plan.
      • Have explicit results.

  • Believe in what you want your clients to believe in.

Strategies - Clients

Strategies that involves innovation, change of practices and emergence will require elements containing conflict and common interest.

Strategy: How and What

  1. Look forward and reason backwards.
  2. If you have a dominant strategy use it. 
  3. Eliminate oppositional dominant strategies from consideration (if it is doesn't support the purpose).
  4. Look for equilibrium if other strategies are beneficial and supports the purpose. 

  • Most people will  think only one or two steps ahead (strategic steps to what they want). 
  • They will not have a clear purpose, sufficient strategic steps and explicit targets to achieve what they want.
  • Good strategists need to know what steps are required to achieve the explicit want.
  • Good strategist plan three, four and if needed five steps ahead.

Why, how and what trumps let a thousand poppies bloom

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Project Management - celebrate small achievements

Purpose of this Blog

To encourage professional workers to recognise their small achievements, celebrate the small achievements and share the small achievements across the work unit.

Project Management - the importance of celebrating small wins at work

Managing projects can be a complex process involving time, risk and priority management. Managing multiple projects that involves working with a multitude of clients and within a hierarchy of positions, over distance and involves "wicked problems" requires strong hard and soft management skills. The soft management is more difficult to identify and yet it has significant impact on the success of a project. This blog discusses  soft management skill. It focusses on enabling achievement recognition to benefit the individual and the work unit.

Recognising achievements and failures effect the personal attachment to the project and in general the potential successful outcomes. Most importantly it effects the disposition of the business unit. Failures have the biggest influence and recognising successes is harder to recognise. Interested 3rd parties within the unit can quickly identify failures even if they are hearsay. As the failure predisposition  is persuasive it is important to construct a disciplined process  that identifies achievement of tasks and celebrates achievements gained.

The Hard 
The hard is well documented and can be managed through sequential and complex project management processes. The hard is important as it is the common path to maintain relevance, effectiveness and efficiency.
  • A Project brief identifies the purpose, objectives, completion measurements, risks and timelines. 
  • A Project plan assist the manager in identifying each component (variable) and engages a method of attack. Project based applications need to be employed to assist in managing the complexities and enabling the project to be completed within predicted time and budget. (All things considered and planed for)
  • Project iterations realigns the project as unknowns are identified and key component alter. 
The Soft
The Hard doesn't account for the what Dr. Teresa Amabile calls Inner Work-life. Her thesis is that Inner Work-life influences the outcomes of professionals in their efforts to be successful.
  • Inner Work-life = Perceptions, Emotions, and Motivations.
The inner working life effects the outcomes of a project as it influences the  individual mindset and transmits influence onto the culture of the work unit . A work unit is largely a construct of people. Each person has a inner work-life is and each inner work-life influences  each other inner work-life. A work unit success is heavily influenced by the interaction of each inner work-life.  Dr. Amabile's research identifies companies who have failed due to the inner work-life of the workers.

The Soft - working units
Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions (Principles of connectivism WikiPedia). A working unit is as strong as the connections occurring within. To achieve a strong working team the following soft needs need to be committed to;
  • an understanding of the teams worth.
  • a sense of active contribution to the development and well-being of the team.
  • the sense of improved collective competence.
  • individual willingness to develop interpersonal support.
  • a willingness to collectively share and celebrate success.
The Progress Principal video
Is based on how workers make sense of their workday. If the person's inner work-life is positive they perform better. Dr Amabile states the making progress is the biggest influence on an inner work-life.
  • Progress influences Positive inner work-life influences better performance
  • Progress can be achieved through small wins
  • Small wins influences Positive inner work-life influences better performance
  • 28% of small things had a strong impact on peoples work-lives
    • Negative small things (setbacks): are stronger than positives (2 to 3 times stronger). Negative small things effects on the inner work-life can last up to 2 days
    • It is important that positive wins are celebrated to counter the significant effect setbacks inflict on the individual and ultimately the team.
Harness the Progress


Key Points
To harness small wins individual workers need to;
    • focus (30min on what is meaningful to the workers self-worth and what is important for the organisation)
    • and keep track of small wins.
Managers can assist through;
    • providing catalysts - goals and importance of work to the unit.
    • supporting autonomy - how to meet the goals
    • enabling resources - to get the work done - help and access
    • and providing the human support - respect and value
Harness the Progress Strategy
  • Daily - weekly small success plan 
    • 5 minutes what Tasks  needs to be achieved 
      • start of the day
    • 30 minutes Focus 
      • tasks that promote self worth and is important for the unit
      • any time of day but requires no interruption
    • 10 minutes Diary 
      • end of day reflection
      • small successes 
    • 15 minutes Celebration and Communication
      • daily or weekly 
      • small successes that have been achieved
      • via the work unit's social media (G+ circles) communications system.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

21st Century: The Learning Challenge Part 2

PISA (Programme for International Student Assessments) results are aligned with 21st century skills (critical thinking and problem solving)

  • The future of learning will focus on problem-centred instruction and will dismiss the 20th century methods and curricula that is based on basic skills.
    • Teachers need to dismiss instruction that outputs master memorizers, regurgitators and fact toters (testing for the correct answers).
    • Teachers need to enable instruction that outputs problem solvers.  
    • Teachers need the skills to manage “ill defined" problem based learning programs.
    • Students as problem solvers need to have critical and creative skills.
    • Students need to access technologies that supports problem solving.
    • Technologies cannot be limited to a standardised "one size fits all".
  • The present situation in schools is that instruction is largely 20th century based. 
    • Most teachers prerequisite learning standards based on emphasis of memory, regurgitation and recall - with technology as an add on.
    • A minority of teachers prerequisite learning standards based on rigorous thinking and authentic problem solving with technology as the conduit.
  •  The change from 20th century instruction requires leaders to;
    • direct teachers to modify their methodology to output problem solving learners.
    • employ technologies that afford critical thinking and problem solving

Education Leaders need to support the minority of teachers who are applying 21st Century learning practices and direct the majority of teachers to stop employing 20th Century didactic practices.
  • 21st century requires people to access and use computers in a different manner than in the late 20th century.
    • Schools and computing technologies.
      • Whilst profound technologies become transparent through ubiquitous application, the computer technologies in the school are still devices seperate to the core of learning. The computer technologies do not play an ubiquitous role in learning. They are an add on.
      • Computers technologies do not have a pervasive presence in learning.
      • Computer technologies are generally associated with 20th century pedagogical practices
        • didactic teaching, 
        • content delivery -  ingestion and regurgitation.
        • testing for the right answers 
      • Schools need to invest the time to develop a learning culture based on critical thinking and problem solving  that sources a complexity of computer technologies to enable ubiquitous learning.
        • Ubiquitous learning is a revolution. 
        • Ubiquitous learning is the function that calls on ubiquitous technologies.
        • Ubiquitous technologies need to be transparent to be persuasive.
      • Instruction and the activity of learning needs to be transparent to be persuasive
        • Learning is lifelong and lifewide 
          • Divisions between the classroom and normal life needs to blur.
          • Division between classroom technologies and normal life technologies need to blur.
        • Learners take control of learning as active and participants in the discovery and creation of knowledge.
          • Instruction needs to be student centred and not teacher centred.
          • Computer technologies needs to be controlled by the student. Students are active in the choice of and the application of technology.
        • Students apply their identity as a resource and contribute their experiences to the learning culture of the classroom, school, local and global community.
          • Instruction engages learners  to meet their aspirations and realize their potentials.
          • Computer technologies are chosen for personal needs and aspirations. 
          • The computer technology options should be broadened in range and mix to accommodate interdisciplinary problems.
          • Learners need to use/apply a repertoire of digital media to develop adaptive computing skills based on conceptualisation, pattern recognition, schematization, taxonomies, domains of knowledge/content, appropriateness and identification of relevance.
        • Students need to be connected
          • Instruction needs to encourage distributed cognition, collective intelligence and collaborative cultures.
          • Computer technologies need to have the capacities for collective participation and collaborative creativity.
Computer Technologies cannot be used as an add-on to instruction. For computer technologies to be ubiquitous the instruction needs to be ubiquitous. The function of problem based learning requires that the form of computer technologies are to enhance distributed cognition, collective intelligence and collaboration. 

Ubiquitous learning can only occur when the instruction and technologies are in unison to meet the needs of the lifelong lifewide learner. In essence the learner needs to have control of the learning and technology. Teachers and service providers need to empower the learner to take control and not with-hold responsibility.

21st Century: The Learning Challenge Part 1

Friday, September 28, 2012

Open and Free: Forget privatisation of knowledge (it's so 20 centryish)

Why I like freedom
Open Linux
Open Ubuntu
Open Google
Forget privatisation of knowledge (it's so 20 centryish)

If NASA can send an open source robot to the moon why can't you?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

21st Century: The Learning Challenge

These notes are abbreviated; ebook text highlights and notes by jjfbbennett. I do promote the reading of this book to gain a deeper understanding of 21st C teaching and learning.
21st Century: Rethinking how students learn:
Whilst the following notes are inspired by the book they are not directly associated with the book.

The challenge
  • To equip students with 21st Century skills.
The connection 
  • The link between skills and knowledge are interdependent
  • Effective teaching requires students to learn skills 
  • Life long learning ability requires adaptive learning skills
  • Students need the literacy and numeracy skills to have the fundamental capacities for lifelong learning
Plan for the future
  • Foreseeing what future skills student will may need - is essential. 
  • Teachers need to plan for adaptive learning skills.
  • Teachers cannot focus only on present day skills.
  • The relationship between the educator and learner needs is key to students gaining 21st Century skills
Participatory learning
  • Learning needs to be outcome based. 
  • Students need to actively participate and self direct their learning needs.
  • Students need the skills to collaborate to achieve team based outcomes.
  • Students need to have a post school vision that is skills based
    • to manage work pathways
    • to enable career flexibility
    • identify suitable TAFE options
    • to enter university
    • to contribute as a citizenship in a digital global world. 
Gardner's 5 Minds of the Future.
  • Discipline mind
  • Synthesizing mind
  • Creative mind
  • Respectful mind
  • Ethical mind


Students need to have the following skills to participate in the knowledge industry.
  • communication skills, 
  • problem solving skills, and 
  • critical thinking skills 
Society needs

Society needs a highly skilled and adaptive workforce
Only people who are highly skilled and can manage knowledge will keep up with the needs of a fast changing and technology scientific society.

If you don't know the internet you can't be my teacher, I need someone who knows what I know.

To be highly skilled and a manager of knowledge students need digital literacy skills. It is the platform for developing life long learning skills.

Schools are not engaging sufficient number of students to become adaptive life long learners.
How should schools plan and enable programs of instruction to develop students to gain skills in
  • innovation, 
  • creativity 
  • analysis
  • problem solving
  • knowledge management

Schools play a critical role in a countries ability to maintain living standards.

“I do believe that it is necessary to stress that for most countries today, human
resource development and human capital formation are either extremely
important, absolutely vital, or a matter of life and death. In the case of
Malaysia…we think it is a matter of life or death.”

Abdullah Bin Ahmed Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia (Opening Speech of
the 2006 Meeting of the Association of Commonwealth Universities)

"Higher quality school leavers will support higher quality university graduates, which will mean increased skills, greater innovation and most importantly, a boost to national productivity."

It’s becoming clear to me that the crisis in youth unemployment around the world is not just one of the aftershocks of the global economic downturn, but may also have roots in education systems that are not adequately preparing students for 21st-century economies.
by Barbara Ischinger
Director for Education

The Problem

Students need to graduate with
  • an entrepreneurial mindset 
  • capable of responding to change in a positive manner; to 
    • take on leadership roles 
    •  and have effective working interactions.

Teachers needs are not in unison
  • 21C skills are seen as add-ons to what presently is provided in todays schools. 
  • They are add-ons to what described as a crowded curriculum. 
  • Teachers are not moving past the curriculum to engage the students with 21C skills.
  • Teachers are effectively stating I don't know how to do it so I will deny my students the opportunity to do it.
  • Teachers need to be digital literate
Professional development
  • Teachers need to be supported by sustained professional development if more students are to engage in 21C knowledge and skills. 
  • Teachers need to develop skills to manage the crowded curriculum
  • Teachers need to be trained in hands on inquiry based learning methods that employ higher learning skills associated with the Blooms revised digital taxonomy.

Students Need
  • Students need to interact with knowledge in a different way. 
  • It is important that knowledge can be recalled but it is now important that students know how to rapidly access the required knowledge.
  • Students need to re-purpose and use the knowledge in a creative and innovative way. 
Form follows function. If the function of learning is to generate engagement, collaboration and problem solving - the form a classroom takes is what?
So how do you identify a same as same as classroom and one that attempts to meet the needs of the 21st century?

Students designing schools

Rolex Learning Center

Schools should 
  • be a place where teachers and students want to learn
    • be a learning center
  • decentralize the classroom
  • enable the uptake of personalized learning
  • assist the development of life long learning practices.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What needs to change in cricket to engage me

As an Australian my cultural heritage was embedded heavily in cricket - through many hours of listening to, watching, playing, supporting and discussing. I have now lost interest in the game - well more specifically test cricket, one dayers and now 20 20.

  • Test cricket is just out of touch.
  • One day games are too long and take too long to get engagement. Simply putting, I cannot dedicate one day to watch a game. 
  • 20 20 is slightly better but my interest falls from one 20 to the next 20 session. It is like reading two books one after the other. It is not a game it is two games connected by a score.

Get rid of test cricket. It is too centred on the players, ex players and a hand full of die-hards. It is tedious, there are too many non event draws and is biased by climatic conditions. Borrrrring

One day games just take too long. There are better things to do with a TV, mp3 or tablet. My day is too interesting to waste on one game.

20 20 is half way there. For it to become interesting and attract my attention it requires the following.

  1. A batting team and a bowling fielding team - why does the climax of a game rest on the worst batter and the best bowler? 
  2. 4 quarters are required (rather than 2 halves) - bat 10, bowl 10, bat 10, bowl 10 - this would engage me as the two teams achievements are entwined rather than separated.
  3. New ball - a new ball every 2 overs plus if it is hit into spectators let the spectators keep it. This keeps the ball alive and bright to see.  Excitement of the new ball is what is needed not a dull dead thing.
  4. No LBW - It is frustrating and there are too many wrong decisions. A wrong decision can influence who win. 20 20 is all about runs and not about wickets. The highest score wins not the most wickets. I am not interested by how many wickets. I am interested by the score.
Basically until the game becomes more spectator orientated and less player and expert orientated it will not attract my attention - other options are easier to consume and have less time baggage. I no longer go to bookshops and I no longer watch cricket. I use to love bookshops and cricket but now I can fill my day with many other activities.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sad Sad Songs


  • Are your dream realistic?
  • When do you move on?
  • What do you have that you need to let go?
  • How do you give up riding a dead horse?
  • How do you replace a failure with a new dream?
  • Should you disengage because of difficulty?
  • How do you create a brighter future when the present is dark?


  • Finding it difficult in deciding how to move past an issue.
  • Only remembering emotionally stimulated events and not day by day activity.
  • It is a challenge to keep up and move with change.

Emotional Intelligence

  • recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior, know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.
  • You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
  • You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Designing Professional Learning for Teachers

Designing Professional Learning for Teachers

Questions of expectations - from the participant's perspective - to assist in designing a user focused event/program/workshop/webinar .

This is a list of questions that  a deliverer should ask of themselves when designing a professional learning event  for teachers .

1. Why should I attend?
2. What do I need know to be ready for the event/workshop?
3. What am I expected to do with this knowledge once I return to school ?
4. What will I learn & will it be at my level of knowledge ?
5. Why is this training important to me - is it relevant?
6. How will this benefit my student's learning?
7. How can I logistically apply this in my classroom?
8. How can I share this knowledge with my peer teachers once I return to school?
9. What resources can I access once the event/workshop has concluded?
10. How will this benefit my job performance and my career?
11. How will this change my teaching practices?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Engaging disengagement

Disengaged students

If the data is consistent 10% of youths between the age of 16 to 18 are not engaged in education, employment or training (a stitch in time: tackling educational disengagement). The ongoing cost for people who have disengaged will grow ever-increasing as society relies less on unskilled labour.

Technological change, greater labour market flexibility and economic reforms are transforming the workplace. In Australia the labour growth sections are;

  • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • Professional, Scientiļ¬c and Technical Services
  • Education and Training
  • Mining 
  • Construction 
The jobs in decline are;
  • Manufacturing 
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
The Future Of All Work, And Not Just For Creatives - trends in USA

The disengaged ex-students have a decreasing employment prospect. 
Has education failed these students? Whether the answer is yes or no there needs to be a stronger focus on trying to reducing disengaged students. 

What are the indicators?
  • a poor attitude towards learning and enjoyment of learning
  • a long tail of  underachievement
  • social background & attainment -> deprived backgrounds with good prior attainment
  • persistent truancy from secondary school
  • schools that suffers from poor behaviour and image
  • children from deprived backgrounds
  • children with special needs 
  • children in local authority care
  • children with ESL needs

The problem
Whilst the problem of disengagement and the immediate effect of  the disengagement is evident in older student groups it is the younger groups that require significant attention. Students are switching off  from education at an early stage.

Two questions
  • How can educators identify and risk manage behavioural disengagement, emotional engagement & cognitive engagement in the early stages of schooling?
  • If engagement is closely linked to inclusion and if the indicators (above) refer to exclusion how can schools provide a service for the excluded?
Inclusion programs are required however the programs required need to be a differentiated service.  
  • Inclusion programs within sport, recreation, cultural and participatory activities.
  • Identification programs to provide service support for low level truancy, health issues, police, pregnancy, drug consumption and family conflict.
  • Interventionist programs that support students through high level truancy, sexual violence, mental health, not residing at home and family breakdown.
Possible solutions
Inclusion programs will not work if  education is primarily focussed on classroom activities. Schools need to enable adaptive learning solutions. 
  • Formal recognition of activities outside of school
  • Informal eLearning essential learning packages (Games based)
  • Formal distance education eLearning solutions (course based)
  • Flipping the classroom - on-line content - supporting classroom based activities
  • Mobile learning solutions via social networking platforms
  • Flexible approaches to engagement 
  • Partnership programs operated by community service organisations
  • Alternative education programs such as the notSchool
  • Schools provide relevant programs of learning
  • Teachers provide inclusive instruction

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Paradigm ICT systems and Learning

I would like to take this opportunity to talk with you about a paradigm shift in relationship to ICT systems and education.
I would like to refer this paradigm shift to The Matrix movie. Your challenge is recognising whether you have taken the red pill or the blue pill.

So here is the red pill.
You are living in a 20th century paradigm.
Your paradigm problem  is to increase productivity.
To increase productivity you standardise operations.
This achieved via the following methods;

  • One software platform across your system
  • Limiting the type of devices connected to your system
  • You manage a centralised support system based on limited device type and platform.

Your system is highly controlled and managed by a centralised authority.
Your client's connect to your system

So here is the blue pill.
You are living in the 21st century paradigm.
Your paradigm problem  is how to continually adapt with rapid change.
To adapt your operations with rapid change you are standards based.
This is achieved via the following methods;

  • Employing cloud based platforms
  • Employing ubiquitous internet based devices
  • You manage a distributed support system based on crowd sourcing

Your system is decentralized and your authority is distributed
Your system connects to the client's

The red and blue pills are fantasy but there is a tipping point from one paradigm system to another.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Jonus Prostrate but Faceup Scene 2 Slide 5

Jonus Prostrate in Hate Scene 2 Slide 5

Jonus Prostrate but Faceup Scene 2 Slide 5

The noise, the silence, the tomb, the self.
What condition can remove this pity?
I am displaced with this attention.
I cannot compose my stature.
Forever crumbling and falling apart.
I am now the centrepiece for all to ridicule.
From hatred alone I despise those who watch and mutter.
I hear it all, I know it all and I feel it all.
Pathetic man, chalet, conceited prick.
Too weak to stand, too weak to kneel.
Fallen down into the swine's garbage.
In this time I will listen to the hypercritical judgements.
I will remember all.
In time I will return to seek victims for my malice.

Slide Show