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How do you want to be?

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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Knowledge and Wisdom

“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgement. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.” (Prov 8:12).

How to portray knowledge or wisdom? – the question posed by Amy Burvall’s #VisVoVolley. To me, knowledge is a thing to be discovered, a thing of value. Wisdom is knowing how to use that knowledge…

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Reading – World Book Day

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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Learning – to what end?

“Dad? What does this spell? F-L-A-P-P-E-R?”

My 5 year old is an engineer in the making. He has a book of how to make a whole array of paper planes. And so he starts his self-crafted apprenticeship.

“Dad? Can you help me with step 10?”
But this is the Expert Section.
“Can you just do it?”
Ok…

A few weeks later, our house is full of paper planes. He has started to teach other kids. Some of the designs, he has modified to fly better (well, why wouldn’t he?). I just try to help out and follow orders. I can see his reading improving. He reads to decode the steps. I’m certain his maths and spatial intelligence has too. He creates, and enjoys his creation.

This is productive learning. I wish I’d figured this out earlier…

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Entrepreneurship

I remember being on an entrepreneurship course, not long after co-founding my first business. It was part of an excellent scheme that joined up experts, incubation space in Government buildings, and funding from the Scottish Government. It was just what we needed.

Each week a different expert spoke. Cash is King. David vs Goliath. Why you and your partners really really really need a shareholders agreement…

I remember the words the speaker spoke in relation to this drawing. “It’s the things you don’t know you don’t know that’ll kill you every time…”

I must continually gain exposure from other’s experiences. I wish I’d figured this out earlier…

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BadgeChain

The Open Badge standard is out there and can be adopted by anyone. The standard (being a standard) is de-centralised. However, the tools that comply with the standard often aren’t. And why should they be? The norm in platforms is to create a sticky one. Get people in, and keep people in.

There’s a collective hunch amongst a bunch of people I know and like (a number were part of the Mozilla Open Badges team) that Blockchain technology (made famous by Bitcoin) could provide a decentralised architecture for Open Badges.

If none of that makes any sense to you, worry ye not. But if you’re interested in why de-centralising credentials might make a difference, the Starfish and the Spider might prove a prudent read…

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Radical Pedagogy

My wife is my signpost – for some things, anyway. She reads faster than me and tells me of books that I might like. I have but one requirement: at the end of the book, I want to be able to say “I’ve never read anything like that before”. As a result, I’ve been enjoying some Italo Calvino recently (no, I hadn’t heard of him either, but I’ve never read anything like it before…).

So how come all this Radical Pedagogy then Bryan? Well, this same wife is currently wading though a PGCE in her spare time, and asked if I’d create some slides for a presentation on Paolo Freire. The more I understand of his thinkery, the more I like him…

 

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Subject – Verb – Object

As a kid in a classroom, I didn’t question it. I took what was laid before me, in the environment in which it was given. I was taught. I found it difficult to ask questions, as it revealed a lack of knowledge or understanding. The game was one of “how much do you know?“, maintaining our pecking order of perceived smartness. However, there were some teachers who came down to my level and transparently learned alongside me. It was different. They were different. The game was different: “where can we go today?

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Monologue and Dialogue

The lecture.
At home, at school, and at church.
I’ve had so many,
but can recall very few…

The group.
At home, at school, and at church.
Articulating something half-baked,
in order to put it back in the oven and turn up the heat…

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Bank of Education.

ALGAE… ASTEROID… ATOM… ah. No ATILLA THE HUN…
Being in my kids room shortly before bedtime, and having momentarily confused Atilla with Genghis Khan (they won’t be happy), I instinctively reached for a handy volume from a colourful set of encyclopaedias. My search was fruitless. In the olden days, knowledge existed hidden away in pockets, which was fine if you knew which pocket and had the means to access it. However, one must not treat an encyclopaedia like wikipedia, for they offer two subtly different entry-points to learning: interest-led vs prescribed. By the way, are our schools more like encyclopaedias or wikis?

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