œ Operation Education: een lerende organisatie, volop in beweging – terugblik en vooruitblik

Eind van het jaar, tijd voor reflectie. Een terugblik op 2014 maar eigenlijk een terugblik op de afgelopen 2,5 jaar sinds de start van œ Operation Education. En plannen en voorproefjes: een Education Warehouse, een nationale onderwijsdag, het freedomlab en meer.

Dit vind je in dit blog:

Waarom œ Operation Education begon

œ Operation Education begon in september 2012 met een TED talk van mij. De vele duizenden reacties en interacties die daarop volgden hebben ervoor gezorgd dat het verhaal en œ Operation Education niet meer van mij alleen is – maar van vele duizenden mensen samen. En het gezamenlijke verhaal is dankzij al die ontmoetingen steeds verder verdiept, verbreed, aangescherpt en doorontwikkeld. Maar er is vooral gecreëerd: nieuwe netwerken, boeken, platforms, initiatieven, organisaties, studio’s, samenwerkingsverbanden, inzichten en ga zo maar door.

œ Operation Education wil de beweging, zelfs de transitie, van het onderwijssysteem versnellen. Van een systeem dat in de basis iedereen langs dezelfde lat legt, naar een systeem dat faciliteert dat iedereen tot volle bloei kan komen.

Deze transitie is al jaren bezig en al niet meer te stoppen, maar het gaat nog langzaam. Ik – en al die andere mensen die samen met mij œ Operation Education vormen – wil de transitie versnellen, verbreden en verdiepen. En ik wil dat deze verandering gedragen wordt door de gehele samenleving.

Hoe doe ik dit? Ik doe het samen. Met andere mensen. We verbinden, versterken en maken zichtbaar. We maken voor iedereen zichtbaar wie en wat er is: de mensen, de kennis over leren en ontwikkelen en de goede voorbeelden die bewijzen dat het kan. Daarnaast stellen we fundamentele vragen, vooral over het ‘waarom’: waarom doen we de dingen zoals we ze doen, is dat nog logisch, kan het anders? De meest fundamentele vraag is de meest belangrijke en vormt de basis van alles wat we creëren: wat is het doel van onderwijs?

Er zijn netwerken en organisaties die een soortgelijke visie delen en hetzelfde doel nastreven. Om de beweging daadwerkelijk te versnellen zouden er nog wel tien van dit soort organisaties moeten ontstaan, elk met een eigen DNA, persoonlijkheid, achterban en invulling.

œ Operation Education bouwt infrastructuur om context en voeding te geven aan het verbinden, versterken en zichtbaar maken van al deze netwerken: fysieke infrastructuur, in de vorm van fysieke locaties en netwerken en bijvoorbeeld boeken, en digitale infrastructuur, zoals platforms, intranetten, websites. Continue reading œ Operation Education: een lerende organisatie, volop in beweging – terugblik en vooruitblik

We have to educate for value, not for tests. You can accelerate the change, here’s how.

Value is a verb – it’s the positive things you do

Let’s take a bit of distance from your everyday life, and look at society as a whole. In an ideal world, everybody has value for society. And everybody wants to be valued by others, no matter who you ask. Value is not only about money. People who have value for society are people who care, who inspire, who lead, solve, develop, create, teach, give, organize, research, design, develop, repair, reflect, help, protect, connect, create, improve, who make something grow, who make something beautiful, who make you happy or smile…

These are all verbs. It is not about what you have (money, or knowledge) or your title (status), it is how you use yourself as a tool to make things better. People who are valued, are people who do positive things. To use yourself as a tool, you have to first understand yourself and your strenghths.

Value is very personal. Everybody is capable of having value for society, irrespective of your age, IQ, school grades, income, diplomas, location, race or religion. Continue reading We have to educate for value, not for tests. You can accelerate the change, here’s how.

Facebook page live: Operation Education!

I have just put up a Facebook page, which will allow to share the thoughts and ideas much more easily. Codename: Operation Education.

http://www.facebook.com/operationeducationglobal

If you feel you can contribute to the content on this page, to enable more people in the community, please let me know so I can think about it and perhaps assign you as a contributor/ manager.

I have finally managed to put my mission into something shorter than the manifesto:

I want to create a massive movement to empower parents and students of all ages to take charge of better education. We need an education which is focused on developing our own talents and value, instead of complying with an imposed and outdated curriculum.

This is also the mission of the Facebook page. Please share, contribute and make things spread!

Uncollege – Hacking your education

Yuri van Geest (thanks!) pointed me at this site and book: Uncollege. “Ditch the Lectures, Save Thousands, and learn more than your peers ever will”.

Both book and organization were created by Dale J. Stephens, a young guy who calls himself “Chief Educational Deviant” of his organization. He will have his book published (at age 19!) by Penguin. Which is a pretty big thing for a 19-year old.Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will!”

“In the last five months of my life–since I founded UnCollege–I’ve crossed more items off my bucket list than I thought I’d live to see. I’ve traveled the world, been on national news, received a fellowship, and now signed a book deal.”

From: Interview FastCompany

I especially like their very powerful ‘Letter to Parents‘:

First, here are some of the challenges:

  • Self-directed learning is not easier than school. It is more work to determine who you are, what you want to learn, and the best way to go about it. Your child will have to research, create, connect, plan, manage, and self-evaluate. However, it is incredibly valuable to be able to do these things, and these skills will serve your child well in life.
  • You will have to explain, defend, describe, and strongly support your child over and over again. Be proud that you have a child who dares to be different. Trust that they will figure out what needs to be done. Unfortunately, many people feel threatened by someone taking a different path in life. These people will feel a great need to tell you why you and your child are wrong, making a huge mistake, and so on. Be strong, be open, and find a statement you feel comfortable with that will inform critics without prolonging arguments.
  • Your child will have to be determined, persistent, resilient, and confident. Having you listen and ask thoughtful questions may be very useful to them, perhaps in different ways than it would be to a student following a standard, classroom-based curriculum. Some of the things they try may not work the first time. Some people may say no or not answer calls or emails. Your child may need to rethink a situation and try a different approach. Again, these challenges are worthwhile and develop essential problem-solving skills.

Second, here are a few of the joys:

  • Being the parent of a happy, thriving, engaged, and courageous young adult;
  • Being amazed by all the practical life skills they are learning and applying that seem light-years ahead of many of their peers;
  • Watching doors open to your child;
  • Seeing the world become their oyster;
  • Seeing your child make new friends, new colleagues, and amazing new connections with mentors and people around the world. (Sometimes you get to enjoy these connections, as well.)[/box]

More info on the website: Uncollege.org

œ Operation Education

[Post only in Dutch for now]

œ Operation Education voedt de beweging gericht op een revolutie in het onderwijs.

We creëren schaalbare oplossingen waardoor mensen in staat zijn betere, bewustere beslissingen te nemen over onderwijs. Om zo gewoonten te doorbreken, systemen en processen te reorganiseren en uiteindelijk het oneindige potentieel van de mensheid te ontketenen.

Meer informatie vind je op de website van Operation Education

Oneindig potentieel

We focussen op veranderingen in het onderwijs, op het transformeren van onderwijssystemen zelfs. Tijden veranderen, en onze onderwijssystemen moeten bij de veranderende tijden aansluiten. Wij geloven dat onderwijs iedereen moet voorbereiden op deze snel veranderende samenleving – en beter nog: hen in staat stellen hun eigen toekomst vorm te geven, hun eigen waardevolle samenleving te ontwerpen.

Ons ultieme doel is het ontketenen van het oneindige potentieel van mensen, van de mensheid. Het geeft ons richting, en we zullen er alles aan doen om het proces te vergemakkelijk om daar te komen.

Proces voor verandering

Systemen worden gevormd door mensen, mensen die beslissingen nemen. Wij maken het mogelijk dat zij betere, bewustere keuzes maken met betrekking tot onderwijs – keuzes die ze maken als ouder, leraar, schoolleider, politicus of student.

Hiervoor gebruiken we een 4-stapsproces dat we aan het testen en valideren zijn en er zo uitziet:operation education

We nemen mensen, communities, mee in dit proces. Het proces dat begint bij loslaten, loslaten van onze gewoonten nadat we ons bewust zijn geworden van het ‘waarom’ daarachter. Waarom bijvoorbeeld hebben we jaarklassen? Waarom gestandaardiseerde testen? Waarom hogere en lagere scores, waarom classificaties? Waarom een lange zomervakantie? Waarom één norm voor alle kinderen? Er zijn zoveel vragen te stellen over leren en onderwijs. En op basis van de antwoorden op deze vragen, de achtergrond ervan, kunnen we bewustere keuzes maken, kunnen we gewoonten doorbreken.

Als we dan het huidige systeem, of elementen daarvan, kunnen loslaten, kunnen we bij onszelf nagaan wat het doel van onderwijs is, voor jouw persoonlijk, voor de community. Als je helemaal opnieuw zou mogen beginnen, welk systeem zou je dan creëren, wat vind je belangrijk om te leren, hoe past dat in de snel veranderende wereld van vandaag en morgen, wat is het doel van jouw onderwijs?

Pas dan kunnen we keuzes maken uit de vele en diverse onderwijsvormen die bestaan, kunnen we leeromgevingen kiezen die passen bij onze visie op onderwijs. En zodoende ontstaat vraag naar die onderwijsvormen, vraag naar nieuwe onderwijsvormen, en is er grond voor het versterken en opschalen daarvan.

En dan brengen we verandering van systemen teweeg en creëren we ruimte voor iedereen, ruimte om tot volle bloei te komen, om van waarde te zijn voor jezelf en voor de samenleving.

Een begin

We hebben al veel positieve feedback ontvangen op het model. Maar we zijn er nog niet, nog lang niet. We moeten echt begrijpen hoe gedragsverandering kan worden bereikt en hoe de dingen die we maken snel kunnen schalen. Dus dit is slechts een begin!

De enige manier om ons doel te bereiken is naar ons idee het creëren van schaalbare oplossingen, zodat iedereen, over de hele wereld, daar gebruik van kan maken. Op weg naar ontketening van het oneindige potentieel van mensen en de mensheid.

Lees meer over onze activiteiten en ervaringen op ons blog.

Relevant sources for education innovation

I have collected a number of interesting sources for further reading and watching in this post. The list is not exhaustive, but I have included the ones that are most meaningful for me.

If you are completely new to this subject, please start with watching Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talks on Education:

A highly recommended book is ‘Why School?’ from Will Richardson. Downloadable via the TED Books app (on for example your iPad), 35 pages for just EUR 2.39 or USD 2.99. Must read.

I find the following international sources very interesting:

Specific implementations that resonate a lot with me:
I have listed several interesting Digital platforms for Education innovation in this list.
In the Netherlands (Dutch/ Nederlands):
  • Hetkind.org (heeft als doelstelling om te verbinden, inspireren en legitimeren), initiatief van van NIVOZ
  • Innofun (helpt onderwijsorganisaties bij maximaliseren rendement, oa via social media implementaties)
  • Edushock (oproep tot meer creativiteit en innovatie in het onderwijs)

 

 

Amazing video: The Independent Project

Make kids feel in charge of their own education. Yes, they are capable of doing that. Proves this amazing video of the ‘Independent Project’, a school-within-a-school started by a group of teenagers (14-18 years) in the USA.

Please watch it, there are some amazing quotes.

The video was created in 2011, you can find more information and recent updates on their website: http://theindependentproject2012.blogspot.nl/

(source: Teachthought)

 

CONNECT Online: Web Platform

I want to set up an online environment which enables the sharing, scaling and continuation of what happens during face to face meetings or events. Online can cross borders. I’m convinced that (parts of) what we are looking for has already been developed/ worked out elsewhere. And that solutions can work on a global scale.

There are already a lot of online environments, websites and platforms focused on this subject. I feel that what we need is more a community/ social sharing environment which enables the ‘wisdom of the crowd’, in a well facilitated manner. My main question is: what type of environment can help bring together all the ripple effects, to make it a tsunami?

I’m thinking of using a Winkwaves “Kenniscafe” but am open to other suggestions.

For this part, I’d like to reach out to those who have already done a lot of research in the subject of innovation in education (several have already contacted me) to get more understanding of what is missing to make this movement much, much bigger and well known.

And of course I’d love to get input from, and cooperate with, people who are good at creating and facilitating active online and social environments. Please reach out if you recognize yourself in this description and want to join forces.

Please share your thoughts, suggestions in the comments below or via the contact form on this site.

CONNECT Offline: EVENTS

Nephtalie Demei (the founder of TEDxAmsterdamED) and I will pull this initiative – we are already drawing the contours. They are as follows:

  • Quarterly or bi-monthly events.
  • Format: TEDx meets unconference. High quality, high involvement, high energy, great output, big effect.
  • Starting point: everybody is the expert. We want less ‘broadcasting’ and more co-creation sessions, where smaller groups (max 40p) discuss topics brought up by the attendees themselves.
  • Similar to TED, in case of oversubscription we will select the attendees of each session.
  • In general, the sessions are meant to unite those who: share the vision, have great ideas or initiatives, want to be inspired or are otherways interested in these subjects and want to contribute to enlarge this movement.
  • The events should ideally be free for participants, costs covered by sponsoring.
  • Topics include: showcasing & discussing existing initiatives, what should children learn, how do children learn, how can good solutions scale, how can they be financed, bringing together initiatives in need for funding and investors, etc.
  • Starting point: no complaining at how bad it is now or talking about today’s problems in education, instead a positive forward movement towards creating the new reality.

What is needed:

  • A team of highly motivated organizers, including the following functions:
  • Curator(s): decide on the themes, format, speakers
  • Facilities: organize venue(s), logistics, necessary technology, subscriptions, etc
  • Sponsors: gets financing to keep the event free for attendees
  • Media: get media-attention incl social media, simulcast/ livestream the event and/ or make content incl videos available immediately afterwards

The organizing committee is made up of passionate, highly motivated people, who go for nothing less than top quality.
It is logical that ‘we’ start in the Netherlands, but of course such initiatives can start anywhere in the world. I’m envisaging a similar movement to what Mobile Monday achieved 3-7 years ago.

If these events become successful, we can think of ways how to scale the format in order to reach more people.

Please reach out if you want to help organize these events – Nephtalie and I will get back to you soon. You can also share your ideas and thoughts in the comments below!

Digital platforms [part 1]

Many of the world’s most renowned educational institutes such as Princeton, Stanford, MIT and many others are joining forces and creating online environments which allow everybody with an internet connection to follow its courses. Often for free. Already today, millions of students are studying a wide variety of subjects – this number is expected to increase dramatically over the coming years.

Examples of such online platforms:
Coursera https://www.coursera.org/ (courses from 33 top universities incl Princeton and Stanford)
Udacity http://www.udacity.com/ (online courses aimed at better preparing students for real life, partners with renowned IT companies)
MIT-Harvard OpenCourseWare http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm (free MIT course materials)

Khan Academy http://www.khanacademy.org/ (free online education for primary and secondary school)
[A group of people is working on translating Khan Academy also to Dutch: https://sites.google.com/a/khanacademy.nl/stichting/]

Gaining knowledge via video courses enables another phenomenon: ‘flipping’ the classroom. Students are given the lecture as homework – so that they can go through the lessons at their own speed. In class, the course is being discussed and teachers can provide support when students are stuck. Many of these platforms also provide exercises online as well as an online system to monitor the student’s progress.

Other interesting digital developments include:

eLanguages.org – will merge together with GlobalSchoolNet.org into iPoPP [link]. eLanguages.org is an online platform which allows teachers from all across the globe to create courses and projects together. It was created by a Dutch guy named Ralph Genang and is active in 196 countries and used by 120.000 teachers today.

There are many many more platforms than I have listed above. I will share more in the coming weeks – and please share your favorites in the comments below!

I see “digital” as an enabler for scale & the valuable human factor: by taking away the ‘robotic’ tasks (such as delivering the same lecture over and over; monitoring student progress etc), the teacher has more time and space for looking ‘into’ a student.

This post contains only a very small selection of digital platforms that will disrupt education. What am I missing? please share in the comments below!