Posts Tagged ‘Simon Kidd’

Changing Education Paradigms

October 19, 2010

Thanks to Steve Miranda for posting this.

The changing face of education

September 8, 2010

This video from the New Brunswick (Canada) Department of Education indicates why education has to adapt to the rapid pace of change in our world.

If I were you, I wouldn’t start from here

August 12, 2010

There’s a well known joke about a tourist in Ireland who asks one of the locals for directions to Dublin. The Irishman replies: ‘Well sir, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here’. Being Irish, I can tell that joke with impunity! Indeed, like some others in this category, it’s hard to tell whether the joke is actually racist, since there is something of the ‘Wise Fool’ in the Irishman’s response. After all, if you want to get somewhere, then it’s better to start from a place where you have a good chance of reaching your goal. How does this relate to education? In precisely this way: if your goal is a new way of teaching, then it may be better to start afresh, rather than attempting to tweak a system you have inherited. As Ken Robinson puts it, educational ‘reform’ is simply tinkering with a broken model, when what is required is a revolution.

The significance of TED

August 12, 2010

I’ve embedded a few videos from TED in blog posts. After all, why try to explain the content of a talk given by someone when I can simply relay the talk itself? I’ve just come across this online article (How TED Connects the Idea-Hungry Elite) that explains the background and significance of TED. Unlike YouTube, TED organizes its own annual conference, and then makes the presentations freely available online. The Open Translation Project has further extended the reach of these cutting-edge ideas. The significance of this for education need hardly be spelled out. Here’s a key extract from the article:

if you were starting a top university today, what would it look like? You would start by gathering the very best minds from around the world, from every discipline. Since we’re living in an age of abundant, not scarce, information, you’d curate the lectures carefully, with a focus on the new and original, rather than offer a course on every possible topic. You’d create a sustainable economic model by focusing on technological rather than physical infrastructure, and by getting people of means to pay for a specialized experience. You’d also construct a robust network so people could access resources whenever and from wherever they like, and you’d give them the tools to collaborate beyond the lecture hall. Why not fulfill the university’s millennium-old mission by sharing ideas as freely and as widely as possible?

If you did all that, well, you’d have TED.

On grades: we can measure anything, but so what?

August 11, 2010

James Bach, son of author Richard Bach, dropped out of high school and taught himself computer programming, which led to a successful career in that industry. His Goodreads profile reads as follows:

I am the second son of author Richard Bach. I’ve been on my own since 14. I quit school at 16. I taught myself computing, and became a software testing expert.

I have made my way among educated people as an educated man, but I have shunned institutional education. I developed methods of teaching myself what I need and want to know. So can you.

I’ve done all this while suffering from a mild disability: I have almost none of what my teachers used to call “self-discipline.” Instead of discipline, I am driven by passion. Now that I’m in my forties, I want to share what I’ve learned about learning.

He has written about self-education in the autobiographical Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success.

In this post over at Cooperative Catalyst he provides some interesting reflections on the problems of using grades as a means of evaluating educational progress. It’s also worth reading the comments.

It may be the case that we can measure anything, but it’s more important to ask what the measurement actually tells us. In reality, it may not tell us anything useful.