Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Rise of The Empowered Employee

This vision is interesting to have in mind because there is an intime connection between this new mindset of empowered employees and what we do in education, the goals of the educational system. There must be a change in how we organise the learning experience. I propose a shift in the view of students as patients as empty vessels that receive almost submissively  the learning plan, the schedules, the learning goals to students as agents of her/his learning experience. That is not a default mode. It has to be learned and practiced so it becomes second nature. The best way to do it -in my perspective- is through the daily learning experience. In my view, there is nothing more powerful than the every day experience, it is the best opportunity to teach.

I use the analogy of how I educated my own children (3) using as opportunities the daily experience. I used simple issues to teach profound values and important skills -emotional and intellectual-.
That is what I suggest with using the daily classroom experience which is almost ubiquitous in young students, it happens 5 days a week and it implies a huge amount of students time.  There, we as teachers should use a different approach to learning encouraging students to be agents instead of patients. We must encourage students to use the affordances of Web 2.0 to orchestrate their own learning transforming themselves into self-organised agents. “The ability to self-organise in order to produce and repurpose products and information” (a sentence I took from the blog I am linking)  should be a goal in the classroom. That is perfectly possible. It is a matter of changing our approach to learning and teaching -of course!  All this happening in a safe environment with a trusted community where learning therefore making mistakes and improving  is the default mode. This is an ideal condition for this learning to happen.
My proposal is to use the PLE as an approach to learning improving the agency of the students, empowering them and giving them the freedom to self-organise their learning experience so they are in the future strong and already empowered “gig employes” or even better “gig entrepreneurs” that engage actively in their society which is no longer a local one but a global and digital one, where living is understood as a two dimensional presence: virtual and physical.
Existing in this new society demands a new mindset that an important percentage of young people have had the chance to naturally grow into it but teachers not necessarily have done so. Maybe this is also a good chance for teachers to transform into empowered employees that inevitably are part of a global gig economy!
Enjoy the read!!

Interactive Complexity Time Line Map

An incredible interactive map about how the concept of complexity and related issues have evolved throughout time.

I have seen this map before and I have even made a print to study it in more detail but I did not have access to the interactive version.
Thank you to Giorgio Bertini and his incredible project of Learning Change and the overwhelming amount of excellent resources he always is putting out there! Thank you so much for your generosity!!

Here is the link to an article where Katy Börmer explains this art of map making. And if you want to know more about her project of places & spaces here is the link to the web page.
She made a short film “Humanexus” together with other people. Here is the you tube video with the making of the film which I found fascinating.
An information scientist, an artist and a musician at Indiana University got together to create a short film about the ways humans have spread information throughout history, and now the film will be presented at the world’s most prestigious film festival, the May 14 to 25 Festival de Cannes” (Quoted from the web page)

I hope you enjoy it!

What is creativity in maths?

This is a bit of a longer article I found in + Plus Magazine:

Where were your most creative experiences at school? In art class? In music? English? In your maths lesson? That last one might not be the obvious choice for many of us, unless you were lucky enough to have a really inspiring maths teacher. But that is exactly the type of opportunity we are hoping to create for maths students aged 7-16 as part of the project, Developing Mathematical Creativity, with our sister site, NRICH.

One aspect of the project that we are particularly excited about is highlighting the role of creativity in mathematics research. All mathematicians tell us that doing original mathematics is highly creative – but what exactly do they mean by that? We asked some researchers from a range of subjects about the role of creativity in their work.

Working within constraints

We started with David Berman who has a very interesting perspective on creativity. As well as being a theoretical physicist at Queen Mary, University of London, he also has a long standing collaboration with the Turner prize winning artist, Grenville Davey. Deconstructing the artistic idea of creativity, Berman told us that rather than an unbridled release of ideas where anything is possible, beauty comes from creating work withing very tight syntactic constraints. “Think of music: the tight system of key and chord makes music very constrained and yet capable of amazing emotional power,” he said. For example Schoenberg’s* experiments with atonal music, though completely new and boundary breaking, were far from unconstrained. “Maths is like this. There are enormous syntactic constrains but still enough freedom to say something new. The beauty lies in between the constraints of syntax and the freedom of meaning.”

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