Howard Green talking about modelling schools as complex learning systems. Top level purpose is about creating sustainable learning systems. Core processes for this are leadership learning, teacher learning, student learning and community learning. How do we develop rapid prototyping and feedback loops at all these levels in the organisation and how do we explore the relationships between learning at all these levels.

Learning is fractal – identity, authenticity and agency are key processes within a learning process. This works for schools as organisations as well as teachers, leaders and children. Going through the process of mode

lling is as important as the outcome – and learning from the evaluation of the prototype learning processes at all levels.

Using  data to enhance learning for the individual, the organisation  and the community. Complex data – quantitative, qualitative and narrative all captured for feedback to enhance learning.

The purpose of the school is to enhance learning and acheivement of students. The core processes through which that purpose is achieved are leadership learning, teacher learning and student learning. The challenge i.s to understand how these processes are fractal and inter-relate with each other

Social learning analytics focus on how learners build knowledge in formal and informal relationships. Ubiquitous social media which is mostly off the radar for formal education – can we make it work for learning? There’s a huge amount of free and open content – how do we help people negotiate the information, filter it and select what they need?  Living in the knowledge age…and we kno

Simon Buckingham Shum

w what sort of skills are necessary.  There’s also a growth in post-materialist values which fuels the democratisation of knowledge and social learning – or vica versa.

Rebecca Ferguson

Network Analytics: identify individuals who support my learning, people with relevant interests, and origins of conflicts. Not interested in echo chambers…what sort of groups can support learning.  OU has an intern working on network awareness….how can we tune SocialLearn to support networks.

Discourse Analytics: the ways in which learners engage in dialogue, with the ideas of others and how they relate those ideas to their own point of view and then explain it.   Disputational dialogue, cumulative dialogue, exploratory dialogue.  Using Elluminate chat to identify types of discourse.

Content Analytics: automated methods to examine, index and filter online media assets for learners. used to provide recommendations of resources tailed to he needs of an individual or group of learners. iSpot….capturing images to link to learning.

Dispositions Analytics: Dispositions can  render visible the complex mix of experience, motivation and intelligence which make up an individuals capacity to engage in learning opportunities. EnquiryBlogger ELLIment.

Context Analytics:  Seeks to understand the context of learning – and give you options which are relevant to your context at a particular place in time and space. A socialised analytic which shifts according to what people do with it.

Different Dashboard Views depending on who you are….teacher, learner, administrator….can we set them up so they make sense to the users. How can you develop them and present them usuably??

Social learning is redefining the learning landscape. It must enhance the learning process, building on extant and useful theory.

This video was made by teachers and students in Gapuwyiak School in Arnhemland in Northern Territory to describe what they are learning in school this term, October 2010.

Check it out. It’s all about ideas getting out there and changing things – viral movements for social change

The third Learning Futures engagement pamphlet Drawing on two years of work with over forty schools, this pamphlet is the third publication from the Learning Futures programme.  Here we examine what schools need to do in order to increase the authentic engagement of their students, and present findings that argue that schools themselves need to become more engaged – as learning communities, in learning outside school, in partnership with local communities and parents – if they are to see deeper engagement in their students.

I’m the lead researcher on this project and some of the key design principles are set out below:

Building on what we learned from year one, we can now identify several design principles which inform Learning Futures pedagogies.  These aren’t rules and they don’t form a blue print – they are design principles. We like to work with the jazz metaphor for organisational and professional learning  – here are some key harmonies and melodies which make the music distinctive, but each time a group plays, they produce something original and unique which reflects the context.  All of the principles operate at three levels: the organisation as a whole, teacher practices and student experiences.  A school is a complex adaptive system, where these principles are interdependent and together generate more than the sum of the individual parts.  It’s down to each school to draw on their own wisdom and experience in how they co-generate their own learning at each of the three levels.

School level design principles

The main school level Learning Futures themes have been refined into:

  • School as basecamp
  • Enquiry-based learning
  • School as learning commons
  • Extended learning relationships

Design principles for learning facilitators

A Language for learning: a rich language for learning through which we can talk about ourselves as learners and develop and own our own learning story.

Authenticity: the personal involvement of the learner in selecting a focus for their enquiry which has meaning and relevance to them in their lives beyond the classroom.

Active engagement: the production of discourse, products or performances that have relevance to learners beyond school and require more active engagement than simply repetition, retrieval of information and memorisation of facts or rules.

Enquiry: the co-construction of knowledge through disciplined enquiry which involves building on a prior knowledge base, striving for in-depth understanding and expressing findings through elaborated communication.

Coaching and Mentoring: learning relationships which are facilitative and empower the learner to take responsibility for their own learning over time.

Authentic assessment: both formative and summative which moves seamlessly between the personal and the public and is meaningful and real to the learner, their subject matter and their community.

Design principles for assessing student learning experiences

Core elements of the student experience that seem to enable students to do enquiry well include:

  • Self reflection and ownership of a learning identity and personal learning power
  • Structured choice of object or topic for learning
  • Generation of a range of information types through experiencing, observing, describing, questioning and uncovering stories
  • Knowledge mapping
  • Knowledge construction through higher order creative and critical thinking
  • Connecting with existing funds of knowledge
  • Negotiation and planning of externally agreed assessment criteria
  • Authentic assessment  events – public, presentation or exhibition

Design principles for  Coaching for Learning:

  • Encourage  authentic language for learning
  • Invite stories of the self as learner for identity formation and reflection
  • Use metaphor and image to access personal knowledge
  • Use the seven dimensions of learning power to scaffold enquiry
  • ‘Talk aloud’  to model  and co-construct new knowledge

The new Learning Futures pamphlet presents the big picture while the Learning Futures Evaluation Report 2010 unpacks more details. Both are now available on the learning futures website. This paper will also be a focus for the Professional Collaborative Enquiry masters unit offered at the University of Bristol in January.

I gave two presentations for the Australian College of Educators about the ‘capabilities’ required by the draft National Curriculum in Australia. One in Adelaide and one in Sydney. Teachers there are dead nervous about the apparent lack of integration and theoretical or pedagogical depths behind their list. I talked about several other ‘little lists’and suggested the four stations of learning provides a way to integrate capabilities with attainment. The thing that always impresses me with Australia teachers is how comfortable they are with research and how they take for granted professional learning as inquiry. Wish it was the same in the UK!”