Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Capital Letters - Karen Melhuish - Keynote #2

I was looking forward to Karen's presentation - she is always entertaining, engaging and usually delivers a thought provoking presentation! 

I loved the opening hook- best new words of 2015 - 
VAPE - Oxford word of 2015  - particularly of interest as we have had a rise of e-cigarettes at school this year. 

However more interesting was what the Kids chose-  # 
This pretty much sums up what is happening to language - symbols and emoticons are the rage. 

Karen challenged us to question - Why are we, as English teachers, still relevant?How do we connect with our learners? 

So much is happening world wide - leads us to pose questions - especially around what does it mean to be a citizen today? The cost of technology had been a main driver of education worldwide. 

This creates its own challenges around cybersafety - scams, bullying - we have the technology in our hands but have still not learnt how to manage that technology safely and respectfully - this is major challenge for schools and teachers. 

Digital technology enables every person to have a chance to speak out! The rise of citizen journalism - anyone can report anything, anytime, anywhere. This is  empowering and emancipating - a phone, a camera - anywhere anytime!

Karen introduced the idea of the  metaphor of the 'commons' - in days gone by a public land - shared. She challenged us to think about the Internet as a 'commons' a place that is shared and respected so that we can all benefit from their use.

A nice quote from Kerry Facer - the future is an ongoing process 'in which we can intervene'.

Ministry of Education - acknowlege the following 
- change in the nature of work
- change in how knowledge is viewed
How do we manage this? 

For years we have been trying to get kids to contort themselves into education systems that does not fit them!!
There is an increasing call to do things differently!  Just look at the data around the well being of our students at school - this is increasingly worrying - ERO's recent report acknowledges this. 

Cells and Bells - where are the cells and bells in English?
- single text choice
- teach by standard
- streaming 
- no connection to other areas 
- limited reference to best practice 

7 principles of learning -

All of these lead to the 'unbundling' of thinking. 
How do we unbundle structure? content? 

How different is English from when you you at school?
They should be looking different - and if they are not, what do you need to change? 

We may not always agree with what creators of texts say, but we need to be able to assist them to be able say what they want in a way that makes a contribution in a meaningful way. 

Edutronic - UK English Dept website - 

What does making meaning look like in 2015 and beyond? How do we make Emhlish relevant ? 
-how do we navigate the personal and digital world?
- how go we connect the dots between what we do in English and what the kids do in their world? 
- what does literature look like ? 
- what does poetry look like? 
- can game be literature? (Gone Home)

What does creating meaning look like 2015 and beyond? 
What should English look like? 

Find out what will connect the students to our programmes??
Our can we connect ourselves? 
Make your visible learning!

Take away point - if it's good enough for the kids in our class them it's good enough to share !! Great 'mantra' for moving forward.

Kia kaha Karen 

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