Light Offerings

Data, Quality and Innovation

Posted by jturner56 on September 24, 2017

Some thoughts from three readings this week

Lesson I took from this included

  • the importance of community-wide understanding and acceptance of purpose (the WHY)
  • the importance of total commitment, with partial implementation a corroding approach
  • the importance of trying to understand where “child-driven” and “education/school-driven” can and should meet; how this should devolve with age (even if school too often are going in the wrong direction). We sometimes get lost between learning (personal), school (community) and education (societal) rather than working together getting drowned out by ‘simplistic ignorance (as in ignoring complexity and political realities).

As one example, regarding Digital we too often find ourselves

  • in conflict between personal and system spaces (a still confused why)
  • with a lack of alignment between school decision making and what digital has to offer
  • facing an increasing pressure from the personal/social elements of digital on systems such as school education, as evidence in more recent times by the BYOD, Online learning choices and social media.

Education and School as a system is under pressures previous unseen on their roles as

  • a pathway to employment
  • as valued communities
  • remaining relevant to advancing lifelong learning needs
  • adjusting to the fast changing demanding nature of digital
  • data becoming a stronger ‘determinant’ on decision-making

Marketing and glossy ‘initiatives’ can provide superficial justifications. But education for a Digital Age still has a way to go.

Perhaps a more useful way to look at this is provided in Mitchel Resnick’s How to Make Every Grade More Like Kindergarten which highlights the four P’s: Students making projects, around their passions, collaborating with peers, and maintaining a playful attitude. 

Academic depth is still relevant to build  deep understanding and powerful models of learning. New data structures may help or hinder this. But in conjunction with the four P’s value can be added through stronger engagement, focus and the “21C learning approaches” of collaboration, problem solving and constructive critical thinking. This may also head off being run over by the likely next digital ‘innovation’ in education, that of machine learning led data and algorithms. It just needs a winning game plan and leadership by example. Then we will have true innovation for ages.


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