Collaboration – where do you begin? Six steps for your design team to get collaborative

A couple of days ago I concluded the three day Design for the Long Haul workshop with the team of teachers from an elementary school in Toronto. The ideas around learning design-thinking, collaboration and empathy mapping were relatively new to most of them. But they were up for the challenge. As a methodology, design-thinking is […]

What could be made possible if schools were driven by empathy?

What could be made possible if schools were driven by empathy? Leadership: A consultative culture prevailsTeachers: Focus on learning design not content deliveryStudents: Feel like they belong and their voice is valued, become co-designers Imagine the scene, I’ve found the perfect sofa. Colour and style matches with my dream for the space. I’ve sat on […]

Destination Christchurch NZ: An immersive professional learning experience.

Disruption has characterised this city. In February 2011, the land was disrupted by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake, causing significant loss of life and severe damage. Then in March 2019, there was ‘human’ disruption, with significant loss of life once again. I see a great sense of community and optimism in the people of Christchurch, where […]

Design the Learning Ecosystem: Don’t forget ‘How’ after #StartWithWhy

Design. design /dɪˈzʌɪn/ (vb) decide upon the look and functioning of a building, garment, object, system or experience Innovative.innovative /ˈɪnəvətɪv/ (adj) new ideas; original and creative in thinking Innovative design is changing the the way we navigate our world, reimagining future opportunities, solving annoyingly small or significantly huge problems, or just plain helping people. Design thinking is applicable beyond […]

Future of Learning: Empowering small ‘d’ designers

Why design matters “I believe it’s one of the most positive tools at our disposal to improve our quality of life”. Alice Rawsthorn, TED2016     The principles of design can be translated into everyday situations to make the world a better place. In her book, Design is an Attitude, Rawsthorn writes, “Whenever human beings […]

Teachers as designers: Reframing problems, How Might We…?

The view of teachers is evolving from technicians who implement the educational ideas and procedures of curriculum to teachers as designers of learning environments and as experts in the art and science of teaching. (OECD p.21). As designers of learning and learning environments, design thinking is a necessary skill for educators to learn and apply. However, professionals […]

Simplicity & Nostalgia: A fractured fairytale of school.

Once, in a land that seems so far away, life was much simpler. Things were predictable. If you were successful in life, you went to school, learnt the stuff they told you to learn, passed your exams, studied your chosen vocation (chosen by whom was probably debatable), started a job, stayed in that job (and […]

Culture & values must relate to everything, even school uniforms. Especially for girls

As students in Australia get ready to head back (or even start) school, many are making sure that they have the right gear, in this part of the work this usually includes the school uniform. In an era that we espouse so-called ‘21st century’ education, characterised by ‘choice, autonomy and flexibility’, the school uniform seems […]

Innovating Education 101: From hierarchical to collegial leadership #innovatorsmindset

Just like the shift from the factory model of schooling, leadership in education (and in life) is transitioning from command and control, centralised power to shared and collegial model. The innovation trajectory of Atlassian, originally an Australian start-up, is remarkable and it has topped the BRW best place to work. Atlassian understands the idea of change and agility: […]

Innovating Education 101

(This has been prepared to share as a resource for a talk I recently gave.) The key to change is developing strategy by asking three simple questions… Where are we now? Where do we need to be? How do we get there? When I was in school it was like this: One teacher for each class […]