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Posts Tagged ‘Learning is Delicious’

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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& The Pull of Learning

I started these posts by looking at the outcomes of #BectaX and identified three possible policy outcomes that would reflect the debates and proposals that group of motivators and builders came up with; Infrastructure, Collaboration & Participation. I suggested wrapping them up in a Web 2.0 programme of CPD for all educational professionals. In election week, with a plethora of suggestions for education policies post-election, I am going to look at how Obliquity might help and why learning is a Pull that fits well in an emerging world of social media.

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Managerialism v Professionalism

I was going to entitled this post after Malcolm McLarens’ keynote at Games-Based Learning in 2009 “Never-Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Txt Pistols” as his talk captures the tension between Innovation and Control that occurs when any new technology enters education. McLaren, like McLuhan, was arguing for the conversational crafting of new creative potentials, something social media makes readily available. The delicious crowd-sourced ideas of #BectaX were arguing for a socialised, participative, learning exchange, roughly speaking, “every learner their own TxT Pistol”. New media, new technologies in fact, create new affordances for disruptive innovation, as they offer new tools and processes for problem-solving. Social media offer the opportunity for the “creativity, innovation and collaboration” of Group Genius to became processes welcomed within educational institutions. We play, we learn, we imagine new futures; the point of course is how do we realise them? (more…)

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On Reflection

#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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#BectaX

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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