Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Boma NZ Education Fellows January

I am so excited!
We had our first meet up for the 2020 Boma NZ Education Fellows tonight. This programme is powered by Christchurch Airport - a huge input from them paying for our amazing trip, wages for staff, and some yummy food - thank you!!
A chance to finally start getting to know the amazing people I will be working with over the year. I want to make the most of this opportunity that I have been given and it certainly looks like it is going to be a great group to work with. You can read a bit about the group here. We were working with Kit Hindin and Rebecca Robertson who took us through some great activities.
After having a drink and some nibbles we started with getting to know each other a little - They got us to say our name and say something about a teacher we had. There were some great stories came out of this, some around the old style punishment with rulers, others around staff that really supported and grew their students. It shows a bit about how education has changed over the years. My memory was about my music teacher at Darfield High School, Stu Martin, who really supported and grew my passion for music. He took me to the Nambassa Music Festival in 1981 where I actually met Dizzy Gillespie (I have photos to prove it - really). An amazing experience that I have never thanked him for, but it changed a lot of things in my life, so thanks Stu, if you are reading this.
They then went through some slides with us about the year, giving us an overview of each month. They talked about being entrepreneurs and what that might look like for us. We did some getting to know each other activities as well. I really liked the questions we had to share answers with others, quite hard to think of answers for all of them, but great to get a bit of insight into how others think and function. A few of the questions I did answer were:
If you could be rid of one of your fears, which would it be?
If you knew you only had one year left to live, what would you change about the way you live?
What's a lesson you have had to learn over and over?
On sticky notes we brainstormed ideas on, firstly, 'what is wrong with education', then on another window, 'what opportunities do we have in education today'.
A few of my contributions were:
Wrong - Fear of change, lack of flexibility, not future focussed, lack of understanding around future job opportunities
Opportunity - Social media available to connect with others, tech connecting us globally, AI and VR available to extend learning
A few others I really liked were around assessment (quite a few people felt this was an issue) and also issues around our mental health and anxiety problems.
Using these ideas we did our next exercise. There were a wide range of notes to choose from as we did our next exercise, to brainstorm 6 ideas and their solutions (Design 6). I came up with the following problems and solutions in that time:
Fear of technology - Use tech to make things easier and use ākonga to help support those older with a fear of tech
Time for teachers - Use AI to do mundane tasks
Connection to real world - Use Skype/AR to connect across and build connections with community and business
One size fits most - Using tech to differentiate learning, range of learning at individualised pace
Lack of time and resources to bring about change - building resources to support kaiako
Lack of connection to self - Using AR/VR to communicate personal/community/whānau journey

We got together in two groups to put a list of our rules and expectations together. Some fun ones turned up, such as we should wear our Sunday best, tidy hair and shiny shoes, but also ones such as active listening, constructive criticism and being present in the moment, which will probably make it onto the final list. I also asked about sharing what we do and how that relates to the blogging that I do - I'm sure they'll let me know if I over step the mark (please do!). Good to get some ground rules sorted from the beginning.
Over dinner we talked about the rules together and clarified a few things, then they posed another question - 'What is the purpose of education?' Much discussion about this and it evolved into defining education and defining success. Great to have these discussions and really interesting to hear other people's views.
We had a question session and they outlined the trip to the USA we are doing in April. It sounds amazing. We will be visiting IDEO, the June Jordan School for Equity, have a workshop with David Clifford from the Stanford d.school and more (more details later). Very exciting!

Thanks so much to Kit and Rebecca, Boma and Christchurch Airport, and the other Boma Education Fellows - it's going to be a great journey.