Sunday, June 8, 2014

Disruptive Innovation and The Edge of Chaos

To be frank, I didn't have high expectations of the recent EduTECH Conference in Brisbane which I attended with the Senior Leadership Teams from both of the Hobby Point Schools. Even though I was going to be listening to gurus Sugata Mitra, Sir Ken Robinson, Ewan MacIntosh and Ian Jukes I felt that because I had viewed many of their TED Talks and/or read many of their books and/or definitley followed their thinking through Twitter connections I was expecting to hear more of the same.

I couldn't have been more wrong. Sugata certainly talked about the need to move from the industrial model of teaching and used his hole in the wall computers and granny-in-the-clouds examples but he also explored the Edge of Chaos which he suggested was where we needed to position ourselves to save education from becoming obsolete. For a great post written at the time of his presentation check out Claire's post.
Sir Ken Robinson was a special treat as he was not only a keynote on the first day but was also our dinner speaker that evening. The best accounts of his address and impact once again come from Claire's post and also from Lea's post.

Ewan McIntosh was a highlight for me and his description of agile leadership resonated with me. I have spent years reading about leadership and trying to find the right formula to follow. Rather than finding this answer I have stumbled along trying to do the right thing for the right people at that time. I think that is what is meant by agile leadership and as long as there is a healthy dose of moral purpose along with a growth mindset I am happy with the model. I also liked his interpretation of FAIL as First Attempt In Learning. Check out Claire's post.

But the highlight was the concluding keynote from Ian Jukes. He was passionate, energetic and the embodiment of urgency: "Don't say I didn't warn you!"

I have been believing for a while now that the secondary school system, in particular but not exclusively so watch out primary educators, was on the path to becoming obsolete. This statement has been a prominent slide in many of my recent presentations

I always talked as if the obsolescence was a number of years away but now I'm not so certain we have that sort of time. He talked of the impact of disruptive innovation that is the internet on many businesses. Agriculture has plummeted from being 40% of the labour market to less than 2% and of service industries that seemed to have survived were now on a decline. Creative industries now make up 38% of the job market and will pass 50% in a few short years. By 2022 we will all hold a device that is capable of holding the sum of all human knowledge and in 25 years (max) the 'devices' we own will be one billion times more powerful than those today!

Schools and educators have to get their heads around this environment as this is the world our current students will graduate into. We have to stop being the providers of knowledge as we will not have the monopoly on that anymore. Employers will not want people who have knowledge but rather those who know how to critically analyse information and then know how to use it. Already employers have moved on from the top 3 skills in the 1970s for employees as Reading, Writing and Arithmetic to them today being Team Work, Problem-Solving and Inter-Personal Skills.

His message, to me, was that schools need to choose how to respond to the disruptive innovation we are in the middle of right now. We can respond how the Swiss Watch Industry did to their own invention of a digital watch (sell the idea and die) or we can be agile and reposition ourselves as centres focusing on the dispositional curriculum, critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration.
Ian Jukes with Maurie

At Hobsonville Point Secondary School we have made our choice and we don't want to be alone. If you're wondering how to join in get on twitter and discover #hackyrclass and @edchatNZ

I arrived home from Brisbane at 1.00am on Friday morning after having read Jukes et al book: Living on the Future Edge and my mind was buzzing.

I walked into staff Friday morning Professional Learning to watch a presentation from Danielle on how she was using a new e-tool to provide timely and relevant feedback to her about how her learners were making sense of their work. Check out her post on this topic because it is something every teacher in every classroom could use today in the move to not only personalised learning but to the all important rigour that must permeate it.

Oh yes... and ERO is coming tomorrow. I'll let you know how that goes.