My Actions Post Palooza

I have had an awesome few days at iPadPalooza on the Gold Coast as summarised by the blog posts below.  I like to take a copious amount of notes at these events as I find my memory later fails me for details when I am speaking to others..  So, this is what I will do and then over the days that follow – I tend to reflect and think on actions that might be relevent for my own site.

It’s interesting to me that my take-aways from events like this are no longer about the technology.   Of course, there were some great tips on apps from some truly talented iPadPalooza greats – especially to do with coding, art, connecting with nature and STEM – but my key learnings are always now about change and how it can be managed to cater for the future of the kids we work with.

So here are my take-aways:

Change is an opportunity to do things differently

This is something that has been at the forefront of my mind for years now.  I really need to accept however that this is not how everyone views change.   Design thinking is currently providing us with a tremendous opportunity – It’s providing teachers with a tool for change, innovation and reflection  and it’s providing teachers with a tool to design curriculum.   This is wonderful change.    Let’s keep the momentum going.

The need to keep going

We have come so far.   And it’s tempting to start congratulating ourselves and to risk ‘resting on our laurels’.    But when I hear from people like Richard Wells – I feel quite simply overwhelmed at how much further there is to go.   And I’m pretty sure that our system is 20 years behind that of New Zealand.  But what we have to do is to understand and appreciate that the small steps we have taken have to continue.   We have to stop accommodating teacher comfort and assumptions and the industrial model that we all still naturally operate comfortably within and we need to start evolving our community of learners towards a new model of learning – one that places students at the centre and one which fosters THEIR creativity, THEIR independence, THEIR resilience and THEIR knowledge of self and what THEY are good at.

  • We need to realise that our school vision is a tremendous opportunity to justify doing things differently.  We need to keep the conversation evolving regarding its implications.
  • We need to keep placing the reality of the future in front of our community ALL THE TIME.  Assumptions are quite powerful and we need to start initiating conversations with the reminder to put them aside.
  • We need to carefully consider groups like Yr 2 and 3 because they are the ones who will be the proof of our vision in 3 years time.     Are those groups starting 2017 with a new focus on process over product and design?  Are they?  How will their beginning of 2017 be different from 2016 after a year of learning?   WILL IT?

The need to include wellness in our approach

  • Michael Carr-Gregg was excellent in the way he made it so crystal clear that if we aren’t managing children’s wellness – then they aren’t learning at optimum levels.
  • Our new Social and Emotional program presents many opportunities in this regard.
  • There are clear alignments between children managing and growing their own independence and wellness.  We need to recognise the importance of this connection.

So, moving away from my broad ideas –

Practical ideas and possibilities:

  1. Can the school visit in Week 1 of Term 4 from NoT be focussed on Yr 2 and 3 teachers?
  2. Can the 2017 year start with activities designed to remind staff of our vision and what this means in a practical sense.
  3. The Yr 5 work on Design Thinking with Geography/DigiTech unit needs to be shared with staff.    Similarly the Yr 6 work using design thinking.  We need to actually hear from the teachers involved and learn from their experiences – warts and all.
  4. Is it possible that Week 1 of 2017 for every class has a focus on Social and Emotional Learning AND the Design Thinking process?  And that they don’t jump straight into more teacher delivered content?
  5. Can we speak to our student high achievers and ask them how learning could be different and what frustrates them?  Then share this
  6. Can we continue to work with our teachers to encourage reflection and growth in learning.
  7. The pitches from Round 2 PI need to have outcomes/results.

 

 

Reaching their Potential – iPadPaloozaGC

Taj Pabaris of course the Yr 12 student at John Paul College who is an entrepreneur, running his own company “Hello56”.

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Taj spoke in his usual dynamic manner, speaking directly and honestly about his school experiences and about the things that inspired him.   He cited three key elements that he would like to see developed in the students of today:

    1. Flailing  (Failing+learning)
    2. Creativity
    3. Digital Literacy

Bella Paton- Yr 12 student at St Hilda’s spoke about her journey as a singer/songwriter.

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She discussed how she had liked singing at school but had got bored with choirs and performances and how she knew she had needed to find her niche.   She had been shown Logic as a music design and production tool and had started writing and creating her own original music which she sells through iTunes.   She finished her address with her own song which, when combined with her story, quite inspirational and humbling.

She has uploaded her songs to iTunes

Christopher Hills 

Chris is of course quite well known for his use of assistive ‘switch control’ on apple devices and how this allows him to be so much more than his disability.

The impact of this technology on his life has been amazing as he has a career that is flourishing.  Hills lives with cerebral palsy and quadriplegia, and is able to toggle through screens, surf the web, edit video content through the use of this program.

He was, quite simply, amazing and had the audience completely 100% awe-struck by what technology was enabling him to do and be.

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Michael Carr-Gregg

Michael is a well know and widely respected authority on wellness in young people we were fortunate to listen to a keynote presentation by him at iPadPaloozaGC.

His website 

He started talking about the findings from the annual Mission Australia Survey in which the data shows a worrying trend each year.  This survey collects information on what young australians are worried about.

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15 000 students are surveyed each year.

Their biggest problem is coping with stress

And when they are stressed, their learning is impaired.   This fact is undeniable.

He asked us to think about what we are doing about conflict resolution, anger management as schools – what are we doing to educate students about how to deal with these things.

A picture of student in Yr 12

30% are depressed

41% are stressed

18% are suicidal

  • Do students know the difference between sadness vs depression?  We need to raise their awareness of emotional coping strategies.
  • Mission Australia – Youth Survey showed that over 60% of our young people don’t know how to cope with stress.

Rates of suicide

Latest figures – 2864  suicided             60 000 thinking about it

Suicide rates – highest in 13 yrs

Suicide accounts for over one third of deaths in this age group.

Girls – 50% increase in 15-24 age suicide rates

The cost of supporting people with a mental illness  is enormous.

ANSWER:

Shift to a 21st century model of health

Give them the skills and strategies to manage their well-being

Technology matters to young people and so we need to leverage it.

  • Face-time – the most confidential way to have a conversation
  • It provides them with the flexibility and confidentiality
  • It is the way they communicate
  • Their worlds are seamless
  • Their real work is both off and online.
  • Teenagers check their phones on an average  56 times a day – once every 15 mins.
  • 9 out of 10 teenagers use their phone when they spend quality time with their parents.
  • 7 out of 10 – mates

This does not mean that there aren’t dangers and we have to acknowledge the dangers and educate them.   Let’s stop demonising technology however.  It is too much an integral part of their lives.  What we have is an unprecedented opportunity to manage kids.

Office of Children’s eSafety Commission

iParent – great resources for parents.

Case Study   How might we use technology to enhance the well-being of a student on the gold coast?

  • Case study student presents as anxious and has taken cannabis, her anxiety interferes with everything.

Single greatest predictor of well being in young females – friendship

  • Admits she is a perfectionist.
  • Physical manifestations – dry mouth, not sleeping, anxious, won’t stay asleep, can’t concentrate
  • Diagnosis – Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Treatment:

  1. Make sure she is educated about her disorder.     3 different ways to do this.

    And then start dealing with her problems:

1. Sleep (9 hrs)  They need this.  Single most important.   Psycoeducation in sleep.

  •  He will send her information about sleep and provide infographics.   
  • Show  her a TED talk by Geogie Prof Russell
  • Use an app ‘Recharge’ which teaches them about the importance of sleep.
  • Use an app Snorelab – to monitor snoring

2.  Breakfast – most teenagers don’t eat breakfast and they are incapable of learning if they have not had breakfast and haven’t slept.

  • he sends her information on the importance of having breakfast
  • he lets her know about the mood/foodl ink
  • he gets her using an app for the mediterranean diet.

3.  Anxiety

Interesting to think about what the research is saying about meditation.   Harvard Uni took volunteers through this program and they spent 27 mins a day on it.  The scans documented improvements in grey matter in the hippocampus and this is the area of the brain associated with stress.

4.  Exercise – personal trainers via an app.  Couch to 5 k

Zombies, Run – for boys

5.   Frienship (as she is worried about how her friends are).

Use The Check-In  app – YouthBeyondBlue

6.    Cannabis – Clear Your Vision

14.   App – Icope

iPadPaloozaGC – Richard Wells

Richard Wells – Twitter: @eduwells  His Web which is a collection of some awesome resources including posters and infographic collections.

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Richard is originally English and moved to NZ after he saw the potential for a different kind of learning.   He actually spoke about visiting NZ with his wife and young child and passing a school with a front fence you could step over and several students up a tree.  Both of these things seemed symbolic enough  (pointing to a different kind of Education system to what he was used to) for him to move his family from England.

He started by talking about the way USA and Australia viewed schools and teachers and that the entire system is basically built on a distrust of teachers and the view that teachers need to be manipulated to get them to do what we want them to do in order to get the results that are seen as optimal.

Podcasts mentioned – “Curious Minds”, “The Originals”   and the term ‘Vuja De’ – the idea of seeing school for what it is.  Comedy is often a clever way to make us see things for that they actually are.

The vuja de mentality is the ability to keep shifting opinion and perception.  It can mean reversing assumptions about cause and effect or what matters most versus least.    It means not travelling through life on automatic pilot.   

Bob Sutton – “Stealing up for Excellence”

WHY do we need to change?    (Making a case at our sites)

We were shown an image of Spok and a tricorder:Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 6.10.07 am.pngWell, this is now near reality and already in clinical trials – see this link with the winners to be announced at the beginning of 2017.

The point of this is that we hear a lot about manual jobs disappearing but the reality is that – high end jobs (those of the middle class) are going to be under threat also from the exponential change that is occurring.

  • Driverless cars – there are 100 000 on the road now.  Statistically the man asleep  in the clip below is safer than the man holding the iPhone.   UBER and google have signed up.  Google have a fleet.
  • Image of man asleep in driverless car
  • Richard discussed how the light bulb killed the candle industry – but then employed about the same number of people.  But now…this is not happening with the jobs that are disappearing.
  • Driverless buses and trucks already being trialled.

We are entering a phase of heavy disruption where a wide variety of jobs are being replaced…..

Top 20 skills

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  • People will change jobs every 3 years for the students who walk into the world of work after school.   One element of this to understand is that technology is changing  rapidly but we also need to understand that the younger people have the expectation they can have things now.
  • Amazon are replacing factory workers with robots.  They are also looking into drones for delivery.   This YouTube clip shows this.

Yr7@30 47% jobs gone  This could well be a CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATE   – let’s halve that – still looking at tens of millions of jobs.

“Public outrage in this transitional period is unavoidable” – Oxford Uni.

The picture that’s in everyone minds won’t be realistic  – the picture that kids move from orange school buildings to purple uni buildings to blue work buildings – this is just not going to be the future for our current students.

Kids need to be resilient enough, self-aware enough and skilled enough to be able to cope in this world.

21st century schools in NZ – the whole focus has to shift from doing stuff (the focus is on output)  to be based around answering the question ‘who are you?’    We train them out of thinking about this within the first few years of school and we end up training them to  be a factory worker.

We need to be focussed on the individual….not the product.

This year, 7 governments have voted on the universal basic income Finland (guaranteed $2000 a month)……Switzerland has asked ‘ what would you do if your income were taken care of?”   WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?  needs to be answered.

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Traditional Model

1 teacher responsible for the whole class – usual model

21st century model 

All the layers have to shift so that the individual learners see themselves as being responsible for their own learning.

21st century school in 20th century buildings

Blog Post on Leadership by Richard with useful links to Ted talks etc.

Hobsonville Schools – NZ  “You have to lead with the community” and make it clear that    “it looks scary because it doesn’t look anything like you did at school”.

  • Kids – what is their mindset?   I am here to better myself  OR I am here to do work – because school was designed to create factory workers.    
  • NZ – the future is that every learner will plan their whole year.   No exams.  This is in 5 yrs time.   
  • Students often ask …”IS THIS ENOUGH?” and this is because they don’t see themselves in their work .  Another one:    “IS THIS IN THE TEST?”

Students who manage themselves are enterprising, resourceful,reliable and resilient.

They establish:

personal goals

make plans

manage project

set high standards

Recently at a conference in NZ – various schools were asked to present and each one, independently, chose Learner Agency  as the theme of each of their presentations.

Strategies for schools to initiate and manage change:

  • start with learner voice
  • start with the top students – the high performers – get their voices – they will be the compliant high performers.   We need to let the high performers fly.   Students have turned up because they have to.
    • Get some quotes from kids.   –  Examples from Richards students when he went searching:  top Yr 7 student     “They have templated inquiry”   “I started my journey to head girl in Yr 7”  “I made it to head boy because I make my bed”

Because girls are compliant – they perform better because our systems encourage compliance.   We should be looking for independence rather than compliance.  We are still stuck in ‘teacher issued’ education and a major part of change is simply getting adults to have faith in kids.

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Key elements –

Parents  (Why)    

Student Voice (top students)

Independence and adaptability

Faith in young people  (christchurch earthquake example)    #eqnz

Teach Process (How might we….?)  Design thinking can be one option.

Managing self

Teacher PD – visit schools

How to make learning visible?

Teach resilience

GOALS, TASKS, RELATE

When a teacher talks this is what happens:

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IDEA: “flip your teaching and then make learning active and personal for all”.

HOW MIGHT WE……..Why is this such a powerful phrase?

how – optimistic word

might – no correct answer

we – collaborative

SPACE    TIME   STAFF

IDEA – A week on design thinking at the beginning of the year.   Fun and nonsensical version  of design thinking so they have the process in their minds.

What can I do today??   What is my life going to be after school?

drawtoast.com – use this for some great resources for design thinking.

Learning must be visible 

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We need to provide kids with tools to track and discuss their own progress etc.

The teacher’s job should be to develop the individual to be able to set their own goals and monitor their own learnings.      Kids should know what to do when they are stuck….they should have strategies similar to the reading strategies that kids in JP know.

Idea – buy portable whiteboards and line the walls with them.   Make every wall an active space.   Get them to not sit down – spend an hour standing

Look further at:

Hobsonville Point Schools

Breens School

Look at solo taxonomy.