New imagery for schools and schooling

I am fortunate to be attending the ACEL/ASCD conference in Sydney where I have the good fortune to be able to hear in person from some of the key thinkers in education from around the world.

I wish I had the time to share the inspiration – but I am busy helping with podcasting and interviews (follow up chats) for ACEL.

It would be hard to pin down my favourite presentation or workshop. How can we make choices when we are hearing from so many.

A highlight of day two was a very reflective talk from Peter Senge. He used narrative as a way to help us reflect on the changing shape. You know, it’s not about education any more – its about changing society, and changing the way we support our young people to grow in knowledge, competence, understanding and responsibility for a safe and viable future world.

John Connell followed with an excellent keynote presentation, which also captured the pervasive media world of our students, and the imperative that we allow creativity to drive change and development. Drop over to John’s highlights of the conference, to see how vital the discussion at this conference really has been.

The final sessions of the day were a particularly fine opportunity to hear Andy Hargreaves and Michael Fullan debate the future directions in effective school development – where we maximize the capacity of teachers and leaders to create relevant and authentic learning for each of our students.

A comment at the end from Andy reminded me of one thing that was of interest to me at this conference. Andy reminded us that we don’t know just how the technological and social networking dimensions of our student’s online immersive lives will influence the shape of the education delivery in the coming years.

Lets not lose sight of this, inbetween the new school structures that we are building. It seems that with the exception of Greg Whitby, John Connell and Westley Field, we have inadequate coverage of Web 2.0 as platform, of social networking, of creativity in the real world of our students.

I hope that those in senior educational roles do not lose sight of this while they are discussing assessment, ‘effect size’ measures, curriculum mapping management styles, leading learning etc.

Overall a great conference – yet a starting point only for re-shaping schooling for 21st century learning.

Lets not forget that that some of the social networking tools that are driving our student’s experiences were developed by young people – out of school, and as an aside to the learning that education seems to be involved with. Lets meet online in these spaces for the next ACEL conference :-)

Photo: Valley between buildings.

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