Friday, 12 October 2018

ULear 2018 - Mike Walsh - Preparing the next generation for the algorithmic age

Keynote - Preparing the next generation for the algorithmic age
Mike Walsh

We live in an age of wonder - cars that drive themselves, platforms that anticipate our needs, and robots capable of everything from advanced manufacturing to complex surgery. Automation, algorithms and AI will transform every facet of daily life, but will the next generation be prepared for the radical redesign of the workforce and the skills that will be needed to survive? While many fear that robots will take their jobs, the rise of machine intelligence begs a more important question: what is the true potential of human intelligence in the 21st century?

The role of education now is to build the society of the future - what do we want and need our students to become and learning now so that our future will thrive.  

We are focusing on what millennials are doing and wanting but we really need to pay closer attention to our 7 and 8 year olds.  They are the generation of digital natives who can intuitively use the current technology.

As we have grown up the Big Data wave has become bigger and bigger.  Our experiences are being continually personalised based on our trends and patterns to live a more individualised lifestyle.  What will this be like for our kids growing up?

An example of China - using We Chat or WeiShing as a platform for individualised living and society.  You cannot live there without it , even homeless people have a smartphone which enables them to use this app.  It is used for everything from booking services, buying food, communication, coordinating aspects of daily life, fines etc.  People earn a social credit score which can then fine the for wrong behaviour - jay walking, disruptive behaviour… the consequences vary but can lead to people not being able to leave the country if they have not earned enough points. - is this the start of the future for other countries? Is this too dystopian?  

When AI and automation started happening in the industrial revolution the jobs of people changed.  The machines did not take away their jobs but instead made them automated so the role of people changed to maintaining the machines and technologies.  This made many industries more efficient and therefore productivity increased and sales went up seeing an increase in industry.

People get initially worried that AI will take away their job but it is more about realising that AI will assist us to become more efficient and the role and job of humans will change to focus more on relationships - the aspect that AI cannot do! We still need human interaction to remain connected!

Using an educational lense, it may be beneficial to teach students in a structured way that allows them to unpack and understand problems and solve them. This is Computational Thinking.  We do not need to just teacher students to code but more the understanding behind this to break down a problem and find strategies to automise its solution - as this is efficient and more cost effective.

As a consequence we need to teach our students and learners how to be accepting of ambiguity and the uncertain.  Our learners and younger generations are not used to hearing the word ‘NO!’ - we need to get them understanding that no is going to be a increasingly common language because AI will not be able to understand and complete everything - humans will need to problem solve this more.  

We also need to learn to centre ourselves to be able to make sound ethical judgements.  Understanding the obvious rights and wrong but also the shades of grey that will occur when we outsource work to computers.  Many of the leaders of the future will find themselves in this position where ethical decisions have to be made is response to AI.  Eg. Mark Zuckerberg did not break any legal laws when he sold information and rights to Cambridge Analytica. When he compromised was the laws and ethics set by people.  How do we ensure that out learners develop a good moral compass? What does this mean for our teaching today?

Thursday, 11 October 2018

ULearn 2018 - Break Out - Teaching with Thinking Dispositions

Break Out - Teaching with Thinking Dispositions
Karen Boyes

FAIL - first attempt in learning

Our students are so scared of getting things wrong that they shy away from giving new things a try.

The Learning Pit -
What do students do when the answer is not always apparent?  
What do we teach students to do when they are stuck?

What makes successful people successful?
What are they doing and what dispositions do they encompass?

It doesn’t matter whose research we are using but rather that we are using these disposition to create a mindshift in education and student thinking.

Many schools put up key words and values and cultures but are they actually taking the time to unpack these ideals with students so that they know how to put them into practice.  

Metacognition - thinking about our thinking
½ - ⅔ of people are actually aware of their thinking
This is about the art of stopping and slowing the process of learning down so that there is enough time to reflect and analyse our thinking and learning process.

TAPS - thinking aloud problem solving
In junior classes this could be as simple as starting as affirmations.  Saying them aloud and then internalising the thoughts.
We want students to think about think about their process.  

Add these numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Top to the bottom
  • Bottom to the top
  • Grouped in 10s
  • Grouped in 11s
  • Mathematical formula n=(n(n+1))/2

It is not about the answer but as humans we always want to know if I am right or not.  We want students to change their thinking to focus on their process and compare the strategies they used.  

This is a process which needs to be modelled so that student know how to collaborate and engage with other people's points of views.

Taking Responsible Risks
Helping students to get outside their comfort zone while avoiding the panic zone.  This is about teaching them that it is ok to be in a learning zone where you do not have the answers and you might feel the struggle.  

Fostering the sense of adventure with students so that they know that learning is exciting and full of new possibilities.  Students often do not think they have this power and often so not have the strategies to deal with the struggle when they are faced with it.  Eg. spelling and unknown word. What can you do or use to assist you with this? - often this will move you from your comfort zone to the panic zone.  If students recognise that there are strategies to assist them then they are more likely to move into the learning zone.

RR - Responsible Risk.  Encourage students to put this in the margin and give the unknown a try.  9/10 times this happened children actually go the process or working correct and possibly the answer but the idea was more about fostering risk taking rather than content based learning.  

Responding with Wonderment and Awe
You cannot teach this is has to be caught.  
Model this authentically to students as if they see that you are having WOW moments throughout your day - they will instinctively crave this too.  

Take the time to stop and see the magic.

Questioning and Problem Posing
Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution.  If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.  

We needs to help students get to the main problem and the crux of the problem.  
Children should be asking most of the questions in a classroom not the teacher.  

While teachers are busying planning and marking and designing and creating content the students are having a life.  We need to get smart as teachers and reverse the roles more.

Teachers demonstrating does not always give them the best learning because they generally just see that you can do it and they can’t.  It is more effective to coach then through the learning process.

Get children to think like a subject specialist - what type of questions might a subject specialist ask?  

Remain Open to Continual Learning
Getting students to think of themselves as life-long learners

Students are coming out of schooling with a higher level of knowledge that those in the workforce.  It is ok to keep on learning and learn from others - this is how we progress and develop our own expertise.

Vulnerability is key - recognising when we do not know everything and knowing that this is exciting and where the learning is about to take off.  Learning does not stop at 10, 12, 18… students need to understand that the end of each section of schooling doesn’t mark the end of a chapter but it marks the beginning of the next chapter.  

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.  Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable but they aren’t a weakness” - Brene Brown

ULearn 2018 - Pasi Sahlberg - If you don’t lead with Small Data, you’ll be led by Big Data

Keynote - If you don’t lead with Small Data, you’ll be led by Big Data
Pasi Sahlberg


Learning analytics, algorithms and big data are knocking on the doors of many schools promising fast improvements and new
solutions to wicked problems facing schools today. In the midst of datafication educators need to remember the power of small
data: tiny clues through personal observations, collective human judgment, and raw instinct that can lead to big change in
schools. Leading with small data requires collaboration, trust and professionalism as key features of educational change.

Big data is what is behind different social medias and this is why you should consider leaving Facebook etc because it is no
longer safe.  Something to consider with Cambridge Analytica

What is BIG data?
“Extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends and associations, especially relating
to human behaviour and interactions”

If you have a travel card, debit card and cellphone people can tap into and predict what you are going to do next - data mining
information about you based on your movements and looking for trends and patterns of behaviours.

Chris Anderson, 2008 - Wired
Learning to use a "computer" of this scale may be challenging. But the opportunity is great: The new availability of huge amounts
of data, along with the statistical tools to crunch these numbers, offers a whole new way of understanding the world. Correlation
supersedes causation, and science can advance even without coherent models, unified theories, or really any mechanistic
explanation at all.

Can big data make education smarter?

On one side of the coin we have BIG DATA
  • Big trends
  • Processed by machines
  • Algorithms and Analytics
  • Reveal correlations
  • Predict the future

Video (click on picture):
School: AltSchool

What is missing? - relationships, whanangatanga, connections, small data

The other side of the coin is SMALL DATA
  • Tiny clues
  • Processed by humans
  • Collective professional wisdom
  • Reveal causations
  • Understand the present

What is Small Data?

Martin Lindstrom - Small Data (book)

What do we need to do?

Build Trust-Based Professionalism

Ensure a community based thinking organisation
Relate through shared culture and values.
Through having this relationship - you can strengthen small data

Professional Wisdom as Evidence
PISA, Big Data, can’t completely cover what you need to do.
You also use Professional Wisdom as evidence (experience, wisdom, subjectiveness, values). “I think this will work / this works”.
You also need to find a balance between small data and big data to ensure effectiveness.  

Lead with small data
Look for opportunities to collect small data on students
Find the tiny clues which give you insight - eating problems, no sleep, external factors which impact on a child’s ability to learn
and develop. Looking and checking in that the work is pitched at the right level - starting with the small data and then use your
other skills, otj’s, big data to support you.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

ULearn 2018 Break Out - Empowering whānau and student engagement with Seesaw

Break Out - Empowering whānau and student engagement with Seesaw
Katrina Laurie and Ngaire Shepherd-Wills

Sandbox time to allow teachers to have time to practice without it being live to parents
Build consistency across the school.

Website page on school page

  • Giving whanau a window into the classroom  and a way to connect with student learning
  • Info about Learning journal or individual portfolios
  • Class blog info about community
(Kaurilands Webpage example)

Journal Purpose - specific updates about students
Should have a clear school purpose
Has to engage from the get go

Inbox - sending notices, permission, emails to parents and particular people

Blog Feature - general photos, infor pertaining to all students

Tips and Tricks
  • Account settings - where you add new classes and info about yourself.  Turn notifications off
  • Invited can be sent in different languages

Seesaw license - different stages for students to work through

  • Deepening the Learning Conversations
Parent focus with a specific feedback topic -
Eg. please listen to me read and comment on how I am working out tricky words by myself
What is the favourite part of my story?
Which strategy do you think is easier?
Teaching parents on how to comment properly and give meaningful engagement to their students

Teach through your shared writing lessons

  • How to comment
  • How to respond
  • How to ask Questions

ULearn 2018 - Hana O'Regan - Tō reo ki te raki, tō mana ki te whenua

Keynote - Tō reo ki te raki, tō mana ki te whenua
Hana O’Regan

How many of our people have had control over their own personal and cultural narratives as Māori and as Māori learners as
they have travelled along their educational pathways? How many of us have successfully been able to influence the views of
those around us with regards to the value of our language and culture and our ability to achieve educational success as Māori?
As educators and educational leaders, what tools have we had at our disposal to grow the capability of our sector to support
the development of positive dispositions of the Māori learner?

Our children are often confronted with the effect of our history, but not enlightened as to the cause. The danger of this is that
they are left to think, often unconsciously - that the educational stereotypes many of our whānau face today - are because they
are Māori.

  • Maori was the only non-academic language

Generally the negative stories are what we hear about with Maori learners - the potential, stereotypes, challenges - this is what
students now think about themselves as learners.  

This will continue to be the model unless the attitudes of people around them change - what do we think, share, believe and
what is our perception of Maori learners.  

Capability Development Requires Cultural Self-belief
To create an environment that supports the growth and development of our children’s capabilities, we must start with ourselves
as educators and the message and stories we share and know.

  • Acknowledge the existence of negative messages
  • Acknowledge how societal messages shape people's perceptions and students perceptions of themselves
  • Understand where these perceptions have come from
  • Identify what needs to change and how we do this

1. What are the commonly known characteristics or emblems of the New zealand / Kiwi identity?

  • When people think about and talk about ‘kiwis’ what do they think/say?

2. What are the commonly known characteristics or emblems about Maori?
  • When people think and talk about ‘Māori’ what do they think/say?
  • How do you think your child in your community, feels, when they see the positive and negative aspects shown and
  • highlighted or re-distributed, or reinforced…? How would you feel if these…

How can we protect our Maori students from the messages they are receiving from society?
If we hope to disestablish the negative cultural self believe then we as educators need to change the narrative and be prepared
to challenge the views to negate the negative stereotypes.

Maori being the tail, kinesthetic learners who are good with their hands and not really the academic types.  These are the stories
our children hear about themselves rather than the success stories - 47 different Te Reo Maori newspaper publications to show that
at the turn of the century more Maori speakers where literate (80%) than non-Maori (20%).  Success stories of famous Maori people,
Maori academic success, in the past which are forgotten and not told and taught in schools today. By making the links between
these success stories our students will be able to align themselves and make connections between their own learning and option.  

Imagine if these heroic and significant success stories were told to our Maori children as much as we celebrate Sir Edmund Hillary
and Neil Armstrong.