The future of learning in a networked society

Technology company Ericsson recently released a thought provoking video about the future of learning in a networked society. The video features interviews with educational thinkers including Stephen Heppell, Sugata Mitra and Seth Godin.

The video is a compelling exploration of the connective value of technology. The interviewees touch on the issues of standardised testing, the impact of online learning and the use of technology to facilitate collaboration.

You can watch the 20 minute video below and find out more about the project at the Ericsson website.


Hamish Curry, the Education and Onsite Learning Manager of the State Library of Victoria has kindly sent the following information:

HI warmly invite you to join me at the groundbreaking Listen2Learners event.


The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the State Library of Victoria, together with the UK’s Professor Stephen Heppell, are staging Listen2Learnersto enable you to meet students who are learning with technology and demonstrate how they are shaping their digital learning world.

Listen2Learners is a chance to understand the types of skills, expertise and enthusiasms which young people have, and to hear about it from the students themselves.  Creative primary and secondary students from across Australia will tell their own stories about how they are using technology to overcome barriers, meet personal challenges and access learning in the 21st century.

Professor Heppell, will be on hand to tell you what other systems are achieving by listening to their learners.

The event will be held on Monday 11 October 2010 in Experimedia at the State Library of Victoria.

Please visit any time between 10am and 2.30pm to speak with the students, meet Professor Heppell and network with like minded people from across the education sector and beyond.   Light refreshments will be provided.

Register your attendance here.

For a glimpse of what you can expect to discover at the Listen2Learners event, please visit the website and follow the event on Twitter # Listen2Learners.

I know you will value this opportunity to see the kinds of things students are doing with technology, driven by their own passions and interests.

I look forward to catching up with you at Listen2Learners.

Listen2Learners sounds like a brilliant initiative and Stephen Heppell is an inspiring speaker.

Press play

After pondering the future of libraries, including school libraries for a while now and thinking about 21st Century Learning after hearing Professor Stephen Heppell speak at the State Library of Victoria in November 2008, it’s probably time to address the concept of gaming in schools, libraries and school libraries.

Are you still reading? You haven’t fainted? Great! Library staff of all makes and models have always been exellent at managing change and the takeup of Web 2.0 over the past year or so has proven that to be true.

Gaming in schools does seem to inspire strong reactions in some people, however the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Knowledge Bank: Next Generation team are currently leading action research with selected teachers in Victoria to identify potential technologies that may support learning and teaching. This project is supported by The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, The Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development (Multimedia Victoria) and The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

In term 2, 2009, these technologies include gaming consoles such as Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360. Being a DEECD project, there are strict guidelines and record keeping so all research can be validated. This is a major step for the DEECD in acknowledging the educational potential of gaming and backing up ideas with action research. Bright ideas will keep you up to date with developments and outcomes of the project.

Some of you may have heard Derek Robertson speak when he was in Australia in November 2008. Derek heads up the Consolarium, which is a part of Learning and Teaching Scotland. The Consolarium highlights the positive outcomes of using gaming in schools and gives excellent examples of particular games and how they have been used by teachers. The Consolarium blog has been in action since September 2007, which seems like a long time in the world of technology. Derek has lots of examples on the Consolarium blog of excellent uses of games in schools.

In late 2008, an Australian study focussing on interactive entertainment was published. Some remarkable statistics were uncovered such as:

  • 88% of households own a device for playing games
  • The average game player is 30 years old
  • Female gamers made up 46% of the gaming population.

If these facts have raised your interest about the possibilities of using games in an educational context, the good people of the State Library of Victoria are offering a chance to find out what gaming is all about at an evening of interactive play and mini-tournaments. Discover a range of video games and consoles, and meet game experts from Dissecta. It will be held on Tuesday 7 April (school holidays so no worries about going out on a school night) from 6-7.30pm at the State Library, in Experimedia. The session is free, but bookings are required. Please click this link to book in.

Hope to see you there!

Stephen Heppell @SLV

For the final post about Professor Stephen Heppell’s inspiring talk at the State Library of Victoria on 10th November, Stephen mentioned some innovative things some schools are doing in the UK.

A primary school in East Kilbride (Glasgow) let their students use the ‘Big Brain Academy’ game on Nintendo DS handheld consoles for twenty minutes each morning. Performance in all areas of schooling has lifted since the introduction of the game. The culture of the school has changed, being ‘brainy’ is now cool.

Numerous secondary schools in the UK are closing their staffrooms and reopening them as cafes shared with students. The basic philosophy is that everyone at school is a learner (including teachers) and should share ideas and spaces.

Leasowes School has trialled a month long timetable of each subject and exam results have improved.

Just a few examples of how Stephen explains that schools need to ‘run, not follow’.

21st Century learning

Continuing on with Professor Stephen Heppell’s talk on 21st Century learning at the State Library of Victoria on Monday 10th November, Stephen outlined the 21st Century as ‘people centric’ where ‘helping people help each other’ is leading to the mass social construction of knowledge. People adding entries and editing Wikipedia, creating content in LibraryThing, YouTube, Flickr and the like (my examples) means that we (and our students) ‘are in a world we haven’t met before’. Stephen says ‘it’s time for schools to run, not follow’.

A recent UK survey by Ipsos asked students how they were currently learning in school. The responses were something like:

  1. Copying from books or the whiteboard (approximately 50% of respondents).
  2. Taking notes from a long teacher talk (approximately 30% of respondents).
  3. Copying from the Internet (approximately 20% of respondents).

When asked how they would like to learn, the responses were:

  1. Learning in groups.
  2. Learn by doing practical things.
  3. Learning with friends.
  4. Learn by using a computer.

When asked what they would like their teachers to be able to do, they responded:

  1. Edit a Wikipedia entry.
  2. Upload a video to YouTube and make a comment.
  3. Subscribe to a podcast.
  4. Manage groups in Flickr (and be able to spell Flickr).
  5. Select a safe online payment site.
  6. Turn mobile phone predictive text on/off.

Certainly food for thought, not only for teachers but also for school administrators. For a recording of Stephen’s session with Victoria’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Knowledge Bank, click here.

To read more about what Stephen has been involved in, his thoughts and projects, please follow these links:

Teachers TV

Internationally renowned educator Professor Stephen Heppell presented an enlightening lecture at the State Library of Victoria on the evening of Monday 10th November.  The topic of 21st Century learning and how we as educators address and change not only our practice, but mindset, is just one of the things that consumes Stephen.

One tool that Stephen discussed was Teachers TV (not to be confused with TeacherTube). UK in origin, it provides thousands of educational programmes on television and the Internet. Many of the programmes available are made by teachers for other teachers; they discuss new ideas that have worked well in their classroom. Teachers TV provides a subject guide to programmes, recommended videos and more. You can keep up-to-date with RSS feeds and if you register, you can download programmes to view later on, comment on programmes and access sneak previews.

Thousands of education programmes on TV and online

Thousands of education programmes on TV and online

Teachers TV is highly recommended as a free, reliable and credible source of educational videos freely available through the Internet. Teachers TV also provides links to educational websites that may be of interest.

More on Stephen Heppell soon.