Talking with the Ministry of Education

I am currently working as the Principal of Special Projects for the Gulf Islands School District in British Columbia.  This is a new position for me – and I’m creating it as I go.  I thought I’d share with you some posts about where I come from.

Enjoy this video, made when I, as Principal of Gulf Islands Secondary,  took students to the Ministry of Education to talk about innovation and the future of learning.  We enjoyed a close connection with the Ministry with frequent visits and conversations.

Kids Have Got It Figured Out

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
~ John Lennon, Musician (1940 – 1980)

I love TED.  So many interesting, motivating, thought-provoking short talks.  This one caught my eye.  A 13 year old talks about hacking his education.

Flipped Classrooms

The concept of a flipped classroom is not new.  We’ve been talking about it for a few years now.  But there aren’t many teachers who have taken the leap – or should I say the flip….

Here’s the concept.  Traditionally kids go to school, the teacher stands in front of them and teaches, there may be some questions to answer while still in class, and then the kids go home to face their homework on their own.  It just doesn’t make sense.  The teacher is the best source of help there is – a subject matter expert.  So flippers do it the other way around.  The lesson is on a video and assigned for homework.  Class time is spent working individually on problem sets, projects and labs with the teacher helping individuals and small groups who need the help.  The added advantage is that parents can also watch the lesson so they can help their own child more confidently.

Graham Johnson, aka Math Johnson, has flipped his Math classes.  His blog – flipping math – is a great read.  It’s well worth scrolling back and following his journey.

http://flippingmath.wordpress.com/

School in the Cloud

Education is in a very exciting time of change.  And it’s about time.  The world works and thinks different than it did when I was wee.  School needs to prepare our youth for today’s world.

School in the Cloud is a “Self Organized Learning Environment” (SOLE) where students have control over what they learn and how they learn it.  The concept belongs to Sugata Mitra and is inspired by his experience of watching children in India interact with an internet hole-in-the-wall.  It centers around children’s innate curiosity.  Love it!

TED:  Build a School in the Cloud

The first official SOLE based School in the Cloud has been opened in the UK and it’s exciting to follow its progress.

TED blog:  First School in the Cloud Opens in the UK

I’ll be watching for more about this concept over the coming months.  It’s heading in the right direction.