Sunday, 7 September 2014

One More Challenge - Are you in?

Inspired by the challenge of producing a one minute video for the First Google Teacher Academy in Brazil (Yay! I got in), I would like to challenge you to embrace a new way to summarize your qualifications, background, skills, experience and personality.

Are we ready for a shift in the process of hiring applicants, granting scholarships, accepting proposals and advertising ourselves?

What about our students? Are they confident enough to select media, the right words, and find a valuable delivery strategy in order to draw enough visibility to nail that exceptional job, attract new customers, to be picked for the presentation of their lives- or even just to make new friends?

So…I challenge you to think about it…and if you like a bit of adventure, I challenge you to make your one minute videos and invite your students to make their own.

This is my go at it! I hope you enjoy it =)
- It is in Portuguese by I think you will get the message.


Friday, 22 August 2014

On cardboard boxes, whatchamacallits and education - Why do we need to embrace the Maker culture?

What education needs is a good old whatchamacallit. Not the temporary workaround patching type, but the mechanism that emanates creativity and ingenuity, the contraption that promotes remixing, repurposing, divergent thinking and vision.

What education needs is to embrace ingenuity and never let it go. We are all born craftsmen, and from an early age we are ready to dream up the next great invention. We turn pillowcases into invisibility capes and cardboard boxes into treasure chests, rockets, boats and closets.

But spend a few years in an educational institution that does not understand the power of play and creativity (you have heard of places like that, haven’t you?) and you end up losing faith in imagination. The problem is that with that, we also lose our ability to invent, reinvent and think like scientists-the type that enjoys questioning everything and always asks: what if?

But education is not all about pillowcases and boxes, right? What about standards and tests, and the curriculum? How can we explain all this to parents, governments, students and also to the general public?

It's simple! The Maker culture carries some pillars that can be taken for life: agile and distributed processes, openness to new experiences, sharing and the acceptance of failure as a path to success. Indeed, if our leaders were to adopt the last pillar, we would have a much better world!

Failing is good, especially if we fail early and fail cheap. Can you imagine the amount of money we could save?
Encouraging the Maker culture means to encourage imagination, thinking, organizational skills, and, of course, learning by doing and play. We need more content producers, more solutions to our problems. We need sharp minds!

So this is what I urge you to do: get to know a bit more about the Maker culture, create collaborative spaces in your schools, communities and companies. Invite everyone to get their hands dirty, to tinker and play.

Celebrate your imagination… and if your pillowcase no longer fits you as a cape… don’t you worry ... we can always invent new fabric, a new hero and a new way to make the world happen. Now tell me, what would you do if I gave you a cardboard box?

If you want to know a bit more about the Maker culture and cardboard boxes, check these two links: The Global Cardboard Challenge Maker Faire

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

What's Coming Up Next?

Another year is coming to an end, and this is just a quick post to let you know what has caught my attention in 2013.

2013 has produced both exciting and quite unglamorous news for education. As always, the discussion tech or no tech permeated the discourse of many schools administrators and teachers.However,the accelerating pace of change has shown that innovation suggests much more than bringing gadgets and new tools into the classroom. What we are witnessing now is the reconfiguration of the classroom and learning environments.

So, in my opinion, what are the top 10 trends in education that we cannot afford to ignore?

1. Big Data;
2. Adaptive Learning
3. Learning Spaces Design as an agent for maximized learning experiences
4. BYOD and Tablet Computing
5. PBL and Tinkering
6. Coding as a second Language
7. Gaming and gamification
9. Wearable Technology in the classroom
10. 3D Printing

These are just a few of the changes that have caught my eye. I´ll be addressing each of the trends in future posts. Please leave comments, and let me know your own view on top trends to watch for.