Saturday, February 15, 2014

Embracing change in education

When the rate of change outside exceeds the rate of change inside, the end is in sight. - Jack Welch

So often we hear that the world outside of schools is changing, yet schools continue in the same old way as they have done for several hundred years.  The quote above speaks to me of this.  I used to work at a school that paid lip-service to the necessity of using technology, yet administrators at the school were still heard saying things like "there is no evidence that technology improves education," or "cloud computing will fail".  Perhaps now they regret their words and lack of vision, I have no idea since I'm no longer there, but last summer when I visited friends who still work there it didn't sound as if much had changed.  However the world has moved on, and I have moved on, and I'm now at a school that is BYOD, BOYM, finding new ways for PD, reinventing the school year, adding maker spaces, gamifying learning, badging achievements for both teachers and students and so on.  We have a Research and Development team who are focused on the future and getting the school and the students ready for it by transforming teaching and learning.  We are matching the external changes with internal changes and one of the ways we do it is to listen to the voices of those closest to the pressures for change.  Often these voices are those of the teachers - who volunteer to be part of various R&D task forces and who volunteer to prototype the various R&D initiatives and so become the early adopters.  At other times the changes could initiate from the leadership team.  Wherever they come from, these changes are taking root in the school, giving us new ideas of how we can do things differently and what new things are possible.

ASB believes in sharing this transformation.  In two weeks time we are opening our doors again for the 4th ASB Un-Plugged.  Hundreds of educators from around the world will visit to observe, interact with our students and our teachers, and engage in learning institutes and workshops being run by leading thinkers from around the world as well as by our own teachers and assistants.  Check out the video below and the  ASB Un-Plugged website to find out more.

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