Listening to Howard Gardner this summer he was genuinely surprised how few educators were familiar with Moocs. Although you may not be familiar with the term Mooc it is likely that the concept of massive, open, online courses is not new. There are ample sites that connect you with course materials, communities, videos, readings etc. Some of you may have spent time exploring I-Tunes U where whole courses can be accessed via an App. If you have the technology then people can effectively learn anything, anywhere, including courses from some of the most renowned universities. A colleague of mine recently shared the website Coursea https://www.coursera.org/ where you can search for different free online courses. You might also wish to explore Future Learn (https://www.futurelearn.com/) which is an online platform of free courses from UK universities.
I was interested to read an article on the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24166247) as Harvard University is suggesting that the institution has now developed the “post-Mooc”. Spoc (small, private online course) has now arrived on the scene.
Whether we are talking about Moocs or Spocs it seems to me that the concept of online learning and access to free courses is a game changer. It is now far easier for learners to access information of choice, and engage with and create learning communities. I wonder how well schools are preparing young people (and the wider school community) for game changing technologies.
I thought I would share a current Harvard Project Zero initiative as it might be of interest to schools.
The Out of Eden Walk features award winning journalist Paul Salopek who is following the migration routes of early human beings out of Africa. There is a free online learning platform where students can engage with each other and also with Paul Salopek during the 7 year journey. It is evident from the early blogs that this is a fantastic opportunity for learners to explore concepts such as perspective, community, global interactions, culture, interdependence and civilisations. Through the learning platform learners will share their personal reflections on their own communities and have their interest in the wider world sparked by the views and experiences of others. Through understanding the perspectives of others and making global connections, this project looks to be a fantastic tool for promoting global citizenship.
Next month Tobin and I will explore Future of Learning ideas at the IB Regional Conference in the Hague (see research and higher education strand).
Yesterday Tobin Bechtel and I had the pleasure of facilitating a session with the IB academic team at their offices in the Hague. It was fantastic to work with such a committed and thoughtful group of educators as we consider the learner of the future and what this might mean for the IB. One of the tasks that we did was to reflect upon the IB mission statement and consider what words or phrases would continue to be relevant in the future.
Singapore invests in innovation and creativity
For the past few years Singapore (with some of the highest student achievement according to PISA) has been investing heavily in the arts to promote innovation, creativity etc. From a different study that I read recently one of the big needs in Germany over the next 20 years will be creativity and innovation. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to visit the Singapore School of the Arts ( http://www.sota.edu.sg/ ) and it is fantastic to see that the arts are becoming central to this particular education system.
Economist Jeffrey Sachs is a plenary speaker here at the Future of Learning institute tomorrow. He will be speaking in the context of globalization. In this presentation at the Global Grand Challenges Summit 2013 he explains the some of the challenges being faced by the world, now and in the future. From an educational perspective, I wonder how global challenges of sustainability might shape the future of learning? #HGSEPZFOL
This short video is a summary of the NMC Horizon Report. The full report can be downloaded from http://www.nmc.org/horizon-project/horizon-reports/horizon-report-k-12-edition . The report is the outcome of work from international experts in educational technology. #HGSEPZFOL
Today and tomorrow we will hear from Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and the Future of Learning 2013 #HGSEPZFOL . This video is a great introduction to her work.
Along with Tobin Bechtel I am currently in the process of setting up a community of European international schools. This is a community of educators that examines ideas from the Future of Learning summer institute where I lead a learning group. FoL is held at the Harvard Graduate School of Education as part of Project Zero. In addition to examining ideas, the community will aim to close the gap between ideas and putting these into practice. If interested in joining this community register with Google + and then contact me via Twitter @PrincipalThinks, Linkedin or email@example.com. You will need a Gmail account (Google +) to participate in this community. Earlier this year we facilitated a seminar at the ECIS Leadership Conference and will facilitate further sessions at the ECIS Annual Conference in November and the IB Regional Conference in October. #HGSEPZFOL