Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Human Network

Found a DVD from Alan November in our office on Tuesday, so I gave Big Brother a miss and watched the 2005 Stoke on Trent Keynote instead. The message was similar to that which he delivered to us in Redbridge in June. And yet it still sounded fresh. Key things that stuck out for me were the following:

There are three skills that we need in the world of work and that we need to be equipping our students with:

1 The ability to access and deal with vast amounts of information

2 The ability to think and work globally and ultimately build communities

3 The discipline of self motivation and direction

I notice that Alan has refined this list slightly over on his blog and the other good news is that he is writing a new book!

The nature of work has completely changed, as we can move the work to where it might be cheaper or more competitive to do so. HSBC has bases in over 77 countries in the world, when asked what he thought the killer skill for an employee was, the CEO of this multinational said 'empathy'. The ability to show sensitivity across the global regions.

Estelle Morris made the comment that the day of the standalone school is over. We need to be helping schools and communities link with each other, and not just for the sake of gaining a skill for work but also to improve understanding @ a time when cultures are changing and blending with each other. I have been listening to lots of Alan's work this week on the way to work and his talks are full of examples of such global communication. For example the Indian girl who arrived in an American class and missed home. The teacher was able to connect her with her grandma, using nothing more than Skype. From that initial hook up, the whole class got excited and wanted to chat with children all over the globe.

I was told by a colleague recently,that Skype was dead and long live Click to Meet. Fair enough . And then I started using it ( Skype that is). So far I have connected with my Mum and Dad in Swansea (over 250 miles away), using just the Software and our cheap web cam. This meant they could see their grand children in almost crystal clear video. Once we got over the weirdness of video chat it became a natural way to keep in contact and free too! Since then I have connected with an ex-colleague from my y6 days, a guy who has now moved back to Dunedin in New Zealand (over 11855.762 miles away). He showed me round his house via web cam and we chatted about the differences between a day in Seven Kings and a day in Dunedin. I hadn't heard of Dunedin before I met him. During our conversations, I truly 'got' video conferencing. It is not that you have a project or that you 'do video conferencing', rather you are using the tool to learn about and communicate with others.

I hope to set up some links between Redbridge schools and other trusted readers of my blog in this coming year. I already have some interest, if you we haven't chatted/IMed?skyped already and you would like to hook up with Ilford,East London then leave a comment on this post. One person who has made the link between his class and a class in New Zealand is Paul Harrington, click here to read a May blog entry where wales and NZ meet via Skype. Maybe it is not dead after all!! Click here to watch a video podcast of the skypchat.

Alan mentioned that schools were not at the cutting edge of technology and that if we wanted to move our schools on with ICT, then the answer was not pouring more technology into schools!
Interestingly he called BSF one of the biggest waste of money. If we want to improve ICT and move on with ICT, then we need to look at industry. Industry where people use IM and blogs and Video conferencing. Well the first two are blocked and the second is in its infancy in schools.

While mulling over these thoughts I came across the following Cisco video shown on TeacherTube, a site I hadn't visited for a while . It is aptly titled the Human Network.

I think the message is clear.

updated 16th August- now using Youtube version- Thanks to Omar


Two Whizzy said...

8 Random facts Meme
Hi Anthony You've just been tagged.

First, the Rules:

1) Post these rules before you give your facts.
2) List 8 random facts about yourself.
3) At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them.
4) Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Mr Harrington said...

Hi there again Anthony, I guess we can't rule out any Web 2.0 tools until we have looked at their full potential ;-)

Anthony Evans said...

Hi Paul
I came across a kids version of skype yesterday - I am not sure how good it is or whether it adds anything (or detracts from) the original, check it out and let me know. I am going to have a look myself later today.

Its free by the way

OMAR said...

The Teacher Tube link is broken. "File not Found".

However, thanks for the link, as I've never been to Teacher Tube.