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.