Thursday, December 13, 2012

Conveyal of Content is a Commodity

"Education teaches you to cope with certainty."
"Learning teaches you how to cope with surprise."
"Every day is a surprise. There is no certainty."

Stephen Heppell is well known internationally for his research and practical solutions and suggestions for the future of education. The three quotes above are from him - as part of a video put together about the future of learning.

There are a number of things that resonated with me when I watched this video. I'll mention them here and then put the video in for you to watch.

1. The video brings together the thoughts of a number of people that I have to some degree or other heard of and heard from in the past. Heppell of course has been to NZ a number of times and has somewhat of a legacy here. Seth Godin is another well known IT, marketer and thinker. Don Tapscott - whose quote opens the video - has written extensively about "Growing up Digital" and "Grown up Digital"
2. "The graduates of Education must be uniquely valuable, not identically valuable" - so says David Warlick.
3. More children will leave school over the next 30 years than have ever left school. Period. So, if we can make a small change now we will impact a lot of people.
4. I had only the night before seeing this video signed up to a course at So, I was pleased to see something I had gone past the mere viewing stage to see what the next level was like was featuring here. Labelled as the "world's best courses, on line, for free" I'm looking forward to taking my first course with anything between 10,000 and 100,000 fellow course members come February next year. Yes - you read right - 10,000 or more students. [Of course there are other similar ventures - like Harvards and MIT's edx site.]
5. A big point for me is one that I have made on and off now for several years. And that Daphne Koller says far more eloquently than I ever will... "conveyal of content is a commodity".

Here's the video ...

So - what will make the difference to the student of today ... the leader of tomorrow? Whatever you do, don't get bogged by the content - it will change and there are far better mechanisms than you to deliver it! Do get bothered with sharing the learning journey with those in your care. Foster creativity. Foster mistakes. Embrace that which makes the journey easier. Challenge existing "truths". And if you must assess, then build a meaningful assessment of learning that goes past the narrow confines of the examination paper and the examiners marking scheme. [I mean, so what if the student doesn't use the exact word that the examiner wanted them to use ... or they have just recorded an answer using one less line of working than the examiner was expecting... or they used a diagram to explain a concept that the examiner was expecting words for ... apart from the examiner, who cares? In "real life" you get the opportunity to discuss opinions and ideas ...]

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