Tuesday, 1 December 2015

#OEB15 Chairing the New versus Old Schools session #SPL07

This Friday I am chairing a session on New versus Old schools during Online Educa Berlin, looking at the emerging schools and learning centres. In the session I have the opportunity to listen to, and moderate debates with Maurice de Hond and David Cummins. If you are interested, or if you are an un-schooler, new educational thinker... join the session on Friday 4 December, between 12 - 13 o'clock on the spotlight stage room Potsdam III.

Now in preparing this session, I contacted both speakers. And admittedly when I was reading the name of Maurice's new school (The Steve Jobs School), I was thinking "oh no, wondering why they used that name... marketing!" .... but in less then a minute that man enlightened me and got me enthusiastic. This is not just a hyped name, it is a truly well-build concept. Maurice's school concept is actually making a start of personalised learning from primary school onward. While still checking the boxes and demands asked by government (mandatory curriculum) he manages to refurbish established schools into a new concept school that allows young pupils to choose their own focus of subjects, plan their week, and learn by slowly (or quickly) building autonomous learning skills. In order to achieve this, he has twisted the school lessons a bit (e.g. using stamgroepen (something like kernel groups)) and he has built software that enables planning, assessment, and scheduling including learners, teachers and parents alike. Nice one! To give an idea of what one of the schools looks like, I am embedding a nice video (English subtitles). 

David Cummins will focus on the Hacker school, which has also stolen my heart by their conscious aim to attract the less common learners as future programmers. They really put energy and zest into the concept of diversity and culture. Which to me is always a positive action.