Wednesday, June 1, 2016

EduTECH 2016 Day 2 - Possibility and Creating Preferred Futures

Jane McGonigal Presenting

For me Day 2 at #EduTECHAU 2016 was about possibility.

Anthony Muhammad began the day speaking passionately about the endless possibilities that arise when we make conscious - and then question - the mindsets and assumptions underpinning our educational processes and structures. 

Jane McGonigal closed the day by showing how a futures perspective can open up a space to think about possibilities in the present. She provided a forecasting  framework to help imagine education in 2026 so that we can create preferred futures.

I resonated strongly with these messages. 

Muhammad's words sit comfortably within the holistic and integral frameworks I use that highlight the importance of culture - and question our implicit assumptions and world views. He questioned the often self-fulfilling 'bell curve' mindset.

McGonigal's words reminded me of the importance of social foresight, creating preferred futures and my time playing Evoke six years ago. Her work has helped shape my educational practice over the last decade.

At #EduTECHAU McGonnigal's ideas had close links with Larry Johnson's (now ex-NMC) presentation which asked if our strategic thinking is based on a world that no longer exists. Both spoke about the future already being here - but not evenly distributed. They both mentioned Bitcoin and Blockchain - and the importance of asking 'what if' questions.

Viv White's presentation on how students excel in Big Picture Schools reminded me of the times I taught Student Directed Inquiry (SDI) in years 11/12. Students followed their interest/passion for a year which made up 20-25% of their course load. 

White spoke of recent agreements for Big Picture School students to bypass traditional tertiary entrance which opens up new possibilities for students who become deeply engaged in and responsible for their own learning. I remember an external assessor from university commenting that many SDI students were performing better than her 2nd year students. 

When you tap into student interest and passion the genius within blossoms.

I wasn't expecting to hear these views at an educational technology conference. 
For this I have to thank the #EduTECHAU conference planners for their visionary leadership.

It seems to me the educational technology agenda is about to move on. I'm looking forward to participating - and this might start with a visit to Jane McGonigal's Learning is Earning game to collectively imagine education in 2026.

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