Tuesday, February 18, 2014

From here to there

Today we had an R&D Core Team meeting.  It was great to hear back from the various task forces on how their work has been progressing, but even more exciting to me was hearing about what we will be doing after our current task forces reach the end of their investigations and write their reports.  We are going to start to look even further into the future!  At the moment we are looking a couple of years down the road - some of the things the R&D task forces have reported on over the past year or two have already become embedded in our practice at ASB, for example a new school calendar that includes intersessions, PBL, gamification, BYOM and so on.  This is because we were looking a short way ahead - the "near horizon" in the language of the NMC (New Media Consortium) Horizon Report - which means we want to implement these ideas now.  However what we also want to do is to look ahead to the "far horizon" and the trends that are happening in the world which sooner or later are going to impact education.  We want to be ready for these changes too, and so we are all going to read and discuss the book Sixteen Trends:  Their Profound Impact on Our Future by Gary Marx.

At the moment I've just looked at the contents and I'm intrigued by some of these trends, and curious about how education will have to change in order to accommodate them.  Of course I'll be blogging about these to reflect on my reading.  Here are some that I've found most interesting:

  • For the first time in history the old will outnumber the young:  the baby boomer generation of teachers is retiring which could well lead to a shortage of educators.
  • Standards and high-stake tests will fuel a demand for personalization in an education system increasingly committed to lifelong human development:  the shift will be from standardization to personalization and questions will have to be asked about the relevance of standards in producing students who are able to thrive in a global knowledge/information age.
  • Release of human ingenuity will become a primary responsibility of education and society: we are moving from valuing knowledge acquisition to valuing knowledge creation.
  • Competition will increase to attract and keep qualified educators:  the important questions schools will ask themselves are how are we gong to get them? and how are we going to keep them?
As well as looking at these 16 trends, we are also forging ahead with some ASB initiatives such as Re.D Studio (Research and Development Studio), a sandbox for emerging tools, methods or learning approaches that will be launched at the upcoming Un-Plugged for both teachers and schools who wish to try out new ideas with others, and the International Research Collaborative (IRC), which is already in its second year of studying specific topics across international schools in the world.  Read more about the IRC here.

It's exciting to be joining with other educators on the journey from here to there.  Once again this evening I am feeling grateful for the opportunity to work with people with vision who care about the future of education.

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