Sunday, 11 October 2015

Inspirational bloggers

#EdBlogNZ Challenge WK 2

3. If at Ulearn - Find 2 bloggers you admire, shake their hand and take a selfie with them to post on your blog. If you’re feeling really generous buy them a coffee! Write about it too!


I walked into Permission 2 Play.
I registered, turned around and hey -  three bloggers almost standing in a row!
Bloggers who inspire me...
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Rachel Bolstad @shiftingthinkng
Rachel is my thinking about thinking about thinking about thinking and thinking about gaming chum. It’s all about the game, it’s all about the play, it’s all about the rethinking of the teaching and learning landscape.
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Marianne Malmstrom @knowclue
Marianne dives in and out of tweets that I’m super inspired and excited about. Conversations that inspire me seriously influence my next action. Marianne is about action and making the learning humm. So as you might imagine I’m so there.
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x-ray bex @paradisecreated
Becs is like my Welly Y 7 / 8 Bestie. We really cook up a storm when we are within wifi reach and face to face don’t get me started. Becs is one stunning educator. Two words to describe Becs. Grit and Style!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Moores Law - act and do different

#EdBlogNZ Challenge WK 2


2.  Find a blog post you have written in the past. Consider whether your thinking on the topic is the same or different and blog about why your thinking has changed or expand on your original ideas.
At Ulearn15 David Seymour talking about the importance of #MooresLaw and the vital role of teachers as disrupters. During David's talk I started thinking about a past blog post on Moores Law
I wrote this blog post (see below) almost two years to the day.
I am struck by how relevant this is - right now in regard to the things I’m thinking about.
It is from my thinking around Moore’s Law that propels my sense of “slow cooked - urgency” I”m writing my reflections in green.


Conflict, Change, Ideology, Innovation


A Perennial Question:
Q: What is going to disrupt us enough to interrupt the cyclic recapitulation, of linguistically dressing up, old ideas in a new way? (It hast' happened yet - buzz word bingo is alive)
A: Understanding the critically astounding relevance of Moores Law and ideas presented by Brynjolfsson and McAfee?


Two weeks ago (two years ago!)I was with a group of classroom teachers discussing the book








“Race Against the Machine is a portrait of the digital world – a world where competition, labor and leadership are less important than collaboration, creativity and networks.”


Suggests that with exponential growth and development of digital technologies sits alongside, in fact has caused, the increase in unemployment.


In Brynjolfsson and McAfee's words, "The root of our problems is not that we’re in a Great Recession, or a Great Stagnation, but rather that we are in the early throes of a Great Restructuring."

Moores Law maintains that computing power doubles every two years. The exponential growth looking like an enourmous J curve!


To grasp the full picture of exponential growth Jane Gilbert talked us through a story which illustrates this outrageous growth. (This activity is really powerful and well worth doing)
Ray Kruzweil 's story.


"In one version of the story, the inventor of the game of chess shows his creation to his country’s ruler. The emperor is so delighted by the game that he allows the inventor to name his own reward. The clever man asks for a quantity of rice, to be determined as follows: one grain of rice is placed on the first square of the chessboard, two grains on the second, four on the third, and so on, with each square receiving twice as many grains as the previous square.


“The emperor agrees, thinking that this reward is too small. He soon sees, however, that the constant doubling results in tremendously large numbers. The inventor winds up with 264-1 grains of rice, or a pile bigger than Mount Everest. In some versions of the story, the emperor is so displeased at being outsmarted that he beheads the inventor.”


That tale is bracing enough, but there’s a kicker: The most profound effects of the doubling phenomenon aren’t felt until you reach the second half of the chessboard."
Brynjolfsson and McAfee, believe that we are only just entering the second half of the chess board!


Jane gave us a chess board and rice to really see this idea play out.












I awoke the following morning:
My first thought was Really?
Then I realised I was seriously unsettled.
So unsettled that it has taken me two weeks to write this post. (And 6 days to reflect on it!)
I think about the students in my classroom and then I know I have the dreaded question...


Q:  Am I teaching for unemployment?
I'm teaching for my students to have the capacity and skills to create and be ready to engage with an ubiquitous future. I continue to find the idea of teaching for unemployment difficult to accept.


Following this question...
Andy Hargreaves spoke at an IB conference #IBAEM2013 in the Hague asking...
Q: Are we teaching for employment or citizenship?
I completely agree we are teaching for citizenship.


Thanks to @catherinecronin  (Who's work and research interests are online and open education, digital literacies and social media in education.)
I tweeted and tumbled over,
Selwyn, N & Facer, K's new publication.










I have returned to this publication 6 times in the last four years. Yes really! The best thing is the  Ministry of Education Library has a copy.
The chapter I read suggests that it is time we looked at technology and education in a very different way.  In doing so it is possible to race not against but with the Machine!


" .. instead of being distracted by our own (often privileged) personal experiences of digital technology, this book  starts from the premise that we need to work instead towards understanding and acting on educational technology in terms of its complicated and often unjust connections to the larger society."  Selwyn and Facer pg 4


Selwyn and Facer suggest we need to engage with a critical study of Educational Technology
1.  Move away from technology being a means to an end as this does not ask us to question or understand the 'full nature and value of education'.
2. "..disrupt the deterministic assumption that technologies possess inherent qualities and are capable of having particular predetermined and predictable 'impacts' or 'effects' on learners, teachers, wider society." pg 8

Selwyn and Facer are able to show that the relationship between education and technology is a historical and present day narrative about Conflict, Change, Ideology, Innovation.  
At present , in schools, I do not think we have even touched the edges on these ideas.


A few days ago @FDHarrington (A Secondary School Physics teacher) asked the question in his blog:
How do we convince others about the need for change?
Facer tweeted a suggestion, plain and simple.
"Start acting where you can."


Q: What does acting look like?
A: It is the process of doing. Be the change you want to see, include as many others networks as possible as diverse as possible. Have an open hand. Engage in activities that motivate creativity, change and foster strong collaboration towards idea improvement and the building of knowledge. Since writing this blog post I have read Jim Daytor’s work. 
Daytor suggests.
"Any useful statement about the futures should appear to be ridiculous."
- Jim Dator


Q: What does acting sound like?
A: It is the process of speaking up. If opportunities arise where assumptions can be questioned step in, up and out! Be reflective, speaking ethically and critically. Know your research, be the research and share! It is possible that acting different needs to be so different that we feel unsettled. When our puse beats faster. That feeling when perhaps we are not ready. That may be the time to act.

Knowledge Building



#EdBlogNZ Challenge WK 2


  1. Write a blog post about an education question/ challenge/wondering that you have or are facing. You don’t need to have the answer/solution.

DG: 1 Coffee 1 Blogpost
I often think about two questions.
  1. What might a knowledge creating culture look like and sound like in a classroom?
  2. What might be a useful metaphor to describe Knowledge Building?

Knowledge building may be defined as the production and continual improvement of ideas of value to a community, through means that increase the likelihood that what the community accomplishes will be greater than the sum of individual contributions and part of broader cultural efforts.”


Carl Bereiter and Marlene Scardamalia  discuss the conditions that are required to create knowledge. (Thanks  to my colleague Ally Bull for reminding me about these themes)
The themes are
  • Knowledge advancement is a community rather than an individual achievement
  • Knowledge advancement is about idea improvement rather than progress toward a true or warranted belief
  • Knowledge of in contrast to knowledge about
  • Discourse as collaborative problem solving rather than argumentation
  • Constructive use of authoritative information
  • Understanding as emergent


I wrote about Knowledge Building in a blog post in 2013. Since this blog post I have continued to think about Knowledge Building.
One response to exploring this question was the development of Maths Like a Pirate.
At present I am thinking Knowledge Building sits with a relationship to design thinking, complexity theory and strong collaboration. I am exploring how to work with these in my classroom teaching and school wide leadership.


“It’s in the spaces between the people, between people and ideas, and ideas and other ideas that creativity and new knowledge lie.” Jane Gilbert 2013

Possible Metaphors...


Fruit Salad: Where each separate ingredient comes together to make a flavour that it could not have been created on its own.


Music: Where two instruments come together to produce music they could not have done on their own.


The one problem with the two metaphors is they can be treated like jigsaw puzzles and can be untangled from their complicated states. I’m needing a metaphor where like an egg once a change has occurred, in this case boiling, it can no longer return to its  original state.


So I’m wondering about  Fire as a metaphor for Knowledge Building.
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He manako te koura i kore ai.
He manako te whakahanga te matauranga i kore ai.


No use wishing for a crayfish.
No use wishing for knowledge building.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

"The inspiration in the room is the room"

#EdBlogNZ Challenge WK 1
2. Write about some legendary bloggers, educators, inspiring leaders that help you to dream bigger?


DG: 1 Coffee 1 Blogpost
I’m currently staying with family in Auckland NZ & running out of roasted Wellington coffee!
During 2015 the following people and spaces have inspired me to think, act and do things differently. To critically reimagine education, schooling and my own teaching practice. 
It is with thanks to so many NZ educators, the teams at Edge Work — Educational Futures Network, @Welly_ED and @ridgwayschool that I have been able to explore what 'doing different' might look and feel like. 
The inspiration is always in the room!

Esko Kilpi @EskoKilpi

Jennifer Garvey Berger @jgberger

Keri Facer @Kerileef


Naomi Klein @NaomiAKlein
Seriously disrupting for me as a classroom teacher.

Riel Miller @RielM


Stockholm Resilience Centre  @sthlmresilience
Web Site: http://www.stockholmresilience.org 
What is resilience?

Monday, 28 September 2015

CYNEFIN Framework


#EdBlogNZ Challenge WK 1 
Think about your teaching practice. How has it evolved over time? What are you currently working on developing in your practice? What tools have you used during this inquiry time? Blog about it!



DG: 1 Coffee 1 Blogpost




I’m currently working with what does it mean to teach for complexity.


As a mental model I am using the CYNEFIN framework.


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The CYNEVIN framework offers me an explicit ability, with others, to oscillate between teaching and learning in certain and uncertain spaces.


An example is, whilst teaching mathematics in the complicated / Good Practice space (Based on the idea it is not only what we know,  but what we can do with what we know) I am able to explicitly nudge the teaching into an Emergent Unknown space. Which is called the Complex space. The tricky thing for me is to sense how long students can be within the Emergent Unknown space.
When teaching, I hold the complicated / certain space and complex / uncertain spaces lightly.

The challenge is to keep these spaces in balance.