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Remix

Remix

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Remix by @bryanMMathers is licenced under CC-BY-ND

We are nodes on a network. We’re influenced by others. We, in turn, can influence others. Our creations contain flavours and mixes of whatever has gone before, for who bakes a cake without any ingredients?

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Cities of Learning

Cities of Learning

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Joining up informal learning opportunities in a locality makes a lot of sense to me.

The Cities of Learning programme has its roots in the Chicago summer of learning – which was instrumental in the use and promotion of Open Badges back in 2013. It gathered together over 100 organisations, a lot of them civic institutions, to provide small connected programmes of learning throughout the summer. Open Badges were used to recognise achievement and gather data. It was funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

I recently attended an event hosted by the RSA exploring the possibility of applying some of that methodology in the UK. Watch this space…

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Credentials big and small…

old school vs new school credentials

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Every time I find myself on a beach, I’ll be looking for a pebble that catches my eye. I’ll pick a few contenders, and over the course of a two week holiday will end up with maybe 100 pebbles. At the end of the holiday, I’ll take maybe two or three home. I have attached meaning to them.

I hired our first Rookie at wapisasa because of his ability to solve a Rubik’s Cube in under a minute, amongst other things. To me (as someone who needs somewhat longer than a minute) I saw persistence and a pattern-oriented mind that enjoyed solving problems. The small stuff matters, but is often unnoticed or undervalued.

This illustration originally formed part of some visual bloggery with Dr Doug Belshaw.

A subjunctive mood…

A subjunctive mood

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Primary schools in the UK have gone grammar mad. Essentially, although a kid may be dynamite in other areas, they can be labelled “below age related expectations”. What does that even mean?

In actual fact, we are natural grammarians. Kids sponge-brains can soak up new languages amazingly quickly, without any formal learning. It seems we are built to communicate. However, we are not natural statisticians. The brain has all sorts of clever short cuts (or biases) when it comes to making decisions. One of these biases is known as “post hoc ergo propter hoc“, (after this, therefore because of this). Essentially it’s the brain linking cause and effect between unrelated events, and the reason why the personal experience of a politician’s education gets turned into education policy.

For “smart” people, this isn’t very smart…

P.S. Here’s Michael Rosen’s take on the fronted adverbial…

 

How do you want to be?

How do you want to be?

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Done. Done and done. Now doesn’t that feel good?

It was only when I first worked in Tanzania that I realised how task oriented I am. We are. It’s cultural. What surfaced as a frustration at how others worked, resulted in a reflective realisation that to me the priority was doing and completing the task, and not the people I was doing it with. In Tanzania, I saw a respect and interest amongst people there that was really quite beautiful. I see now – the problem is at my end.

Haraka haraka haina baraka… (hurry, hurry, has no blessings – Swahili wisdom…)

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Reading – World Book Day

Reading - world book day

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When it comes to reading books as a youngster, my experience was one of homework, context, someone else’s knowledge, questions and comprehension. I thought of reading as something that belonged to school. A tedious necessity. Not something I would do for kicks.

My kids experience is somewhat different. It’s choice, interest and curiosity driven, fascinating, a journey. They read and re-read.

Somewhere the purpose of my reading got skewed. I wish I’d figured this out earlier…

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