Happy New Year! We face the future of schooling with more optimism than with pessimism. As I go into schools I see change and innovative practice. Sure, its too often one-off but they are beacons of learning to all of us. In particular, I see more staff passionate about their work and a willingness to commit to ongoing learning as a community of learners. This is the engine room of change and diverse models of schooling.
It was Malcolm Gladwell who said that it takes 10,000 hours of (deliberate) practice to become an expert at something. While I’m not declaring myself to be an expert, bluyonder has been part of my professional practice now for more than a decade.
When the first post was published back in May 2007, blogs were still part of the ‘Web 2.0’ world. Today, social media is embedded in our daily lives and I believe that the influence of artificial machine learning and predictive analytics will be massive. If used in the way it is intended, AI will provide an extraordinary opportunity to finally emancipate teachers from the mundane processes of the industrial model of schooling.
Thirteen years ago, a cohort of learners began their formal schooling journey. Today, those students are graduates of the system and now embarking on new pathways that will hopefully lead to fulfilling lives and careers. So after 13 years in this space and 600 posts, I’ve decided to retire bluyonder. It’s time to look at new and different platforms for sharing ideas and crafting the new narrative for schooling in today’s world. I’ll continue to share my keynote presentations here for the time being but feel free to come back and re-read past blogs.
As I’ve often written, bluyonder has provided me with a forum for expressing thoughts openly, thinking critically and connecting with those who are as passionate about the work as I am. While I’ve received my fair share of criticism, there’s also been commendation. And if bluyonder has contributed in some small way to moving the educational agenda forward, then it’s been well worth it.
We stand together at the start of a new decade, cognisant that conversations must be on the new relationships between teachers and learners, between learners and the process through which each one grows in competence and wisdom and between what happens in school and outside of it. There are many forces seeking to control the agenda but the essential contributors and change-makers are our teachers, students and the learning communities of which they are a part.
As a former English/History teacher, it’s probably poignant to close with a video clip from a film I have referred to in many keynotes and blog posts. So as this door closes, I say thank you for your contribution to bluyonder and for continuing to stand up and challenge the status quo on behalf of young learners everywhere.