It’s only during the past year that I discovered what a remarkable woman Louise Michel was having seen the French film Louise Michel La Rebelle and heard @paulmasonnews talk on the Paris Commune at the Really Free School. She was a key Communard in the Paris Commune of 1871 who was tried, convicted and sent to New Caledonia for 9 years before being part of a general pardon and returning to France in 1880. In New Caledonia she supported the political and educational struggles of the local people, and on her return to France she returned to her political activism, was imprisoned again in 1883 but remained an active educationalist. Like all true revolutionaries she saw that education was where activism had her home.
#contextisqueen We use the concept Context is Queen as a result of research we did when commissioned to identify a Digital Divide Content Strategy (by the DfES). We concluded that, rather than there being some explicitly defined content that was socially inclusive, so proving that Content is King, in fact socially inclusive learning was better served by tools and skills appropriate to context. In fact social inclusion requires a move from Access to Content to Context; Fair Access is not enough. As a consequence Ronan O’Beirne ironically coined the phrase ‘Context is Queen.’ So on International Women’s Day here is a little more on Louise Michel and also on some of the women working today to make Context the Queen of Learning; which is why we created the hashtag #contextisqueen for Twitter. (more…)
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Posted in Policy, tagged #BectaX, Becta, BIS, Ewan Mcintosh, FERL, heather brooke, HM Treasury, ILT Champions, Laws, Learner-Generated Contexts, Learning is Delicious, Open Context Model of Learning, secret state, TeachMeet on May 24, 2010 |
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XBectaX not #BectaX
Heather Brooke in the Secret State, published in April, flatly states that there is no way that we will invent a “British Google” as the UK Government is far too obsessed with secrecy to allow it to happen. I was part of the team who developed a prototype “Facebook for Learning” for the DfES in 2003, who then paid management consultants £4m to describe it as a “Google for Learning,” which I always assumed was simply out of ignorance about social media. Well it was 2003, and all the expensive management consultants could come up with as a metaphor was Google. So maybe perhaps, yes, that did set off the alarm bells in the Cabinet Office and they closed it down to restrict civil rights, as Heather Brooke suggests. Ignorant Cock-up or knowing Conspiracy? Who knows? (more…)
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Posted in Learner-Generated Contexts, Policy, tagged #BectaX, 2010 Election, Education Policy, informal, learner-centred, Learner-Generated Contexts, non-formal, Participative Knowledge Economy, Policy Forest, Web 2.0 on April 20, 2010 |
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As mentioned in last weeks blog Education policy tends to focus on institutions and management rather than on learners and professionals. These big picture issues not only allow politicians to show how well (value for money) they spend our tax-pounds (School buildings), but also to retain the political assumptions behind the policy. Critically the current approach to policy formulation hides both the context within which education operates and ignores the learning and teaching process itself. Education policy continues to remain concerned with discussing the business model and not the learning-process. So lets look at what education policy might be if it was the learning that really mattered and it we focussed on learner-centred approaches.
This blog is concerned with promoting the Open Context Model of Learning and the post-Web 2.0 views of Education of the Learner-Generated Contexts Group. As a group we also realise that you have to change education policy to get the kind of systemic transformation necessary to implement the learner-centred approaches we advocate. As a result we have already spent some time reviewing what a learner-centred policy in the 21st Century might consist of. Over the past two years we have surveyed a range educational professionals on what their preferred policy might be in a project called the Policy Forest. So let’s examine what happened when we offered a range of possible policy statements reflecting traditional, web 2.0 and learner-centred approaches.
If you would rather take the survey before learning of its outcomes then download the Policy-Forest-survey. (more…)
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Posted in Policy, tagged #BectaX, #leadersdebate, £10k, collaboration, Community of Practice, FERL, i2010, i2015, Infrastructure, Learner-Generated Contexts, Learning is Delicious, participation, Policy on April 13, 2010 |
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#BectaX took a fresh look at new technologies and schools by bringing together social media experts and teachers, workshopping a range of possible ways of using new technology to develop “a growing community of movers and shakers from education and digital media collaboratively (designing) solutions to identify how education might evolve in a connected world.”
As I commented in my previous post, part of the outcomes looked for from #BectaX were policy recommendations. Well I identified three, which may not be part of any Party Manifesto’s, but could be part of the post-election debate. Labour have just published their Lemon-Jelly inspired Manifesto cover (pdf) which manages that difficult trick of looking like a cross between a British Rail poster for the Chiltern’s in the 1930s and heroic Soviet Realism from the same time, but without the workers. I guess that is a graphically accurate summary of their policy achievements after 13 years, so fair enough. The tick-box driven design lets us know we can expect even less from more of the same. However there are three real issues we can pick up on from #BectaX; Infrastructure, Collaboration & Participation. (more…)
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Posted in Learner-Generated Contexts, tagged #BectaX, Annette France, Cramlington, e-safety, Ewan Macintosh, FERL, iGoogle, just-b, Learner-Generated Contexts, Learning is Delicious, YooDoo on April 1, 2010 |
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Well organised, chaotic, frustrating, fascinating, optimistic and dynamic event, which allowed for policy, research, comment, argument and debate to speed-date each other in a twitterfall of networking, finally topped off with a learner whisper that roared with youthful wisdom and eloquence from the very edge of Skype, thanks to the kids from Cramlington.
Education in schools is hemmed in and shut down by the political constraints that come from the combination of their in-loco parentis responsibilities and the artificial demands developed by the current managerial target culture that denudes teachers of their professionalism. Teachers have to both manage kids and meet targets for which the rewards are elsewhere. Learning, motivation, identity and values get lost in the current mix, which is why trying to do something stimulating relating to schools can be so damned frustrating. (more…)
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