Tag Archives: Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson

Teachers are like gardeners …

Another wonderful sound-bite from Sir Ken Robinson:

” A great gardener, a great farmer, depends upon plants growing under their care, otherwise they’re out of business. But the irony is that every farmer and gardener knows you cannot make a plant grow. You cannot do that – you don’t stick the roots on, paint the petals, attach the leaves, you know. The plant grows itself. What you do is provide the conditions for growth. Great farmers know what the conditions are and bad ones don’t. Great teachers know what the conditions of growth are, and bad ones don’t. With bad teaching all this potential of students shrivels in the face of it. With great teaching all this stuff starts to flourish and flower. And that, to me, is the great gift of teaching: to recognise that growth is possible, at any time.”

Sir Ken Robinson – Teachers are like gardeners

Image source: Sebastiaan ter Burg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Going home?

Going home?

As a parent of two lovely and very bright boys aged 4 and 5 (or, as they like to say, nearly 5 and very nearly 6) I feel the pain of all parents who don’t think the schooling is capable of adapting to all possible levels of children’s capabilities within the defined age/year structure that children are subjected to.

My 5 year old (year 1) has a reading age of a year 3 child, and is doing sums (numeracy) of year 2 and sometimes year 3. Yet his teacher has him doing number-bonds to 10 … something he could do 2 years ago. He’s been stuck here for a year already, not because he’s not developing, but because the school doesn’t think he can do it. He brings a new book home to read every other day from school and has read it within 20 minutes of getting home, he can answer quite difficult questions on the subject, characters, locations, emotions, etc. of the story. He writes lots too. Loves it.  Continue reading


Books vs eBooks: it’s about WHY as well as WHERE?

So, I buy books and eBooks. It’s not a massive revelation, but if all you read is websites like Mashable or The Verge it might seem unusual to do both.

What I see discussed about the difference between physical books and eBooks is about where we choose to read them. Plenty is written about where we read each type (and why) or how you buy or read them … but for me it’s also about why I buy and read them on the different formats.

I’ll own up to to it now and say that, yes, I do use a large online retailer for the majority of my books … I don’t have much spare money for this activity and I need to be careful about how much and how often I spend my money.

I am quite particular about the way I buy my books. I tend to buy fiction books to read on either my Kindle or using the Kindle App on my iPad. The Kindle is so much more flexible in its ease for carrying and holding than both the physical copy and iPad Kindle App (although I may have the iPad on me more often than the Kindle). I have all my Kindle books on my Kindle (I’ve still a long way to go before I start to find the limit on space), so it’s easy to choose my next book.

Continue reading

VideoScribe HD App

VideoScribe HD App

VideoScribe HD AppVideoScribe HD (iPad): I’ve enjoyed watching videos from RSA Animate, as have others, that take an audio track (usually a presentation or speech) and animates the drawing of concepts and take-away quotes. The best of these is the speech of Sir Ken Robinson ‘Changing Education Paridigms’.

“Award winning software, Sparkol VideoScribe is a completely unique way to create engaging animated videos quickly and easily. Often called Whiteboard animation or sometimes Fast Drawing, VideoScribe replicates the stop-motion capture style of drawing that’s so popular on commercials at a fraction of the cost.”
VideoScribe HD (£3.99)

Advertised features of the App include (and are also available on the PC/Mac 7 day free trial):  Continue reading

Sparkol – VideoScribe in Education #edtech

If, like me, you like the effects and impact the RSA Animate videos have – taking a speech or audio recording and making an animated film of the important elements (like Sir Ken Ronbinson’s talk) – then you’ll love VideoScribe.

“Create engaging content for your lessons without being a designer or being an animator whizz. It’s simple. Inspire young imaginations, facilitate learning and help your messaging ‘stick’ in their minds.”

Here is the demonstration video from Sparkol, see what you think.

YouTube:VideoScribe in Education

Is anyone using this? I wanted to try it out but balked at the £16 per month / £119 + VAT per year cost (how long does the free trial last?). I can see it being really good at animating a podcast or recorded lecture, much like the RSA Animate videos, and maybe bringing tutorials or seminar session recordings to life … but how much time would it take? Could students use the Institution license to produce work as part of a project or assignment?

Education’s ‘Death Valley’ from Sir Ken Robinson

From the first TED Talks Edu programme Sir Ken Robinson outlines his view on what is needed to progress from the imminent ‘Death Valley’ direction to a flourishing, nurturing environment where children grow with and in their learning:

“Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.”

Sir Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley

Some choice words from Sir Ken on education:

“There are three principles on which human life flourishes,and they are contradicted by the culture of education under which most teachers have to labor and most students have to endure.”

Continue reading

Leading a Learning Revolution #LWF12

Here is the closing statement from this years Learning Without Frontiers from Sir Ken Robinson. I enjoyed the whole three day conference and this was a nice round up of the event, just a pity he wasn’t able t be there in person.

“Reforms are required for our industrial scale education systems but what forms shall they take, what will they value and what purpose shall they serve? In closing the LWF 12 conference Sir Ken Robinson reflects on what has been heard and discussed with previous speakers and offers a call to action for the delegates to look at the future with a new determination based upon the challenges that future generations face and where our education systems will need to nurture the creative innovators upon which our future well-being will be placed.” Sir Ken Robinson, January 2012.

Sir Ken Robinson – Leading a Learning Revolution

I’m looking forward to next years conference – LWF13 – but will wait until the theme and speakers are announced before I get too excited.

Learning Without Frontiers #LWF12

For all those who are as equally excited as I am, next week is the 2012 Learning Without Frontiers Conference. If you’re going and would like to meet up then please drop me a line, leave a message, tweet me, etc, etc.

I received an email this morning and have set up my LWF Profile page, which you can find here (plus links to find me on different networks, not that you needed telling):

So, what am I looking forward to:

  • Sir Ken Robinson: Unfortunately Sir Ken is going to be closing the Conference via video-link, but it is something not to be missed, if his other speeches are anything to go by.
  • Stephen Heppell:I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Stephen several times here at Bournemouth University – what seems a random journey through his thoughts and ideas at the time, when Stephen speaks, will end up as a carefully constructed story with which you will lose youself in. Amazing and inspirational.
  • Steve Wheeler:The ‘VLE is dead’ is here again … should be good if we get the kind of debate this topic has had before … ?
  • Dame Ellen MacArthur: Speaking about her foundation and it’s linking of “education and business to inspire young people to re-think and re-design their future”. Should be good.
  • Conrad Wolfram: The man behind the Wolfram Alpha ‘computational knowledge engine’ … say no more!
  • Keri Facer: Looking at the changes change in education that are emerging around economics, personal data and social movements.
  • Jacob Kragh (Lego Education): Anything with Lego is fine by me, but what’s even better is how it can be used to educate and learn, “from renewable energy to green cities, after-school clubs to robotics from pre-school through the secondary education”
  • Andrew Eland (Google UK): the “Google story, the importance of STEM education, the UK’s failure to capitalise on its record of innovation and engineering and Google’s position on this” could be interesting, and worth a little time to listen to Andrew.

… and of course meeting so many of my Twitter buddies! See you next week.

We are all rockstars

We are all Rock Stars! #edtech

As I find myself getting closer to a ‘big’ birthday (thankfully not this year) I have realised that I am reminiscing just as much as I am reflecting (good for CMALT!), and not just about work. This post helped me with a thought process I’d been struggling to complete for a while:

The most emotional time of our lives (so far?) are when we are growing into adults, the late teens, and the music we listen to then will always be associated with the emotions we had and continue to have. This stands to reason as

“our relationships with music really gets going when we enter puberty, and becomes most intense from then through to early adulthood. This is no coincidence. It is music that plays when we fall in love, when our hearts break, when we discover sex and learn the meaning of true friendship.”

In my late teens I, like so many others, thought/dreamed of being a musical genius of the likes of Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, or Eddie Van Halen (there, you know my musical tastes now). It didn’t matter that I had no musical ability at all, but it did matter that I couldn’t work out if I was going to sing/shout (Dave Grohl, Freddie Mercury, David Coverdale, James Hetfield et al), thump some drums (Roger Taylor, Mick Fleetwood, Lars Ulrich, Dave Grohl again, etc) or strum the gee-tar (Joe Satriani, Slash, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Michael Schenker, etc). These were my heroes, not because they were famous or rich, but because they used a talent to bring me happiness, put a smile on my face during all the usual teenage troubles.

What I know now is that I am passed the (st)age of rock stardom, and many other kinds of stardom for that matter. BUT, and this is important, the age of self-publishing has given each of us the ability to put ourselves out there on the Internet, and bare our passion or interest for all to see, much the same as the song/lyric writers did in the songs I head-banged to as a spotty teenager.

The bands I grew up to were doing much the same I am doing now – they wrote their songs because they wanted to, just like many of us are writing our blogs because we want to. The likes of Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Queen, and Whitesnake are Rock Stars to me, just like people like Steve Wheeler (@timbuckteeth), Stephen Heppell (@stephenheppell), and Sir Ken Robinson (@sirkenrobinson) are held in such high esteem to many of us involved in learning today.

If you didn’t see this post last year, then please check out the video “Obvious to you, amazing to others“. When I read the article on music I immediately thought of this video – the people I looked up to musically, and still do, are doing the same as I’m doing here, we are all writing about experiences, passions, interests, life. Whether you have a recording contract and a number one hit single or write a blog about your passion (coffee, learning, technology, poetry, swimming, etc) doesn’t matter – to someone you are their Rock Star, just like you have people you look to and think of as your Rock Stars.

Rock On!

Image source: Mark Wainwright

Video: Sir Ken Robinson “Changing Education Paradigms” (RSAnimate)

I saw this on Twitter and YouTube a couple of weeks back when Sir Ken Robinson mentioned he’d had the ‘RSAnimate’ treatment, and then promptly forgot about it.

Many thanks to Tom Whitby who re-tweeted it again this afternoon and reminded my what an exceptionally brilliant piece of animation this is, to accompany an insightful and thought-provoking talk by Sir Ken. Enjoy.

YouTube: Sir Ken Robinson “Changing Education Paradigms”

“This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award.”