This week in my reflection and review of Chapter 4 of the powerful book OPEN: How we'll work, live and learn in the future by David Price I will share our progress with going SOFT and how we will create a Global Learning Commons.
How can you embrace SOFT in your workplace?
The acronym SOFT stands for Share,Open,Free,Trust. Price explains that.'life is already becoming harder for any leader who doesn't embrace SOFT'.(Price p 43)
Last week we went SOFT with our school community and invited them to a Fish & Chip learning evening. We encouraged them to bring their own food to share with their family and bring any devices as well.
We invited students and parents to share their learning and collaborate openly through interactive activities. We created an informal yet supportive learning environment where the participants were free to explore and experience blended learning. Mutual Trust in being OPEN to promoting student lead learning and honest feedback from all particpants was the key to a highly successful evening. One parent bravely shared her feedback publicly on the school Facebook page:
'Pleased I came last night. It was very informative and encouraged me to stop burying my head in regard to advancing technology. The best part for me was listening to the students. It has prepared me for what's ahead and allowed me time to advance my own learning so I am in a position to help and guide my daughter when the time comes. I look forward to more of these informative evenings. It's nice to be able to be involved.' St Joseph's school parent
One outcome of our SOFT event is that one teacher is organising student lead workshops for parents.Student tutors with their own techie support students will become activators of learning for willing parent learners.
What does it mean to create a Global Learning Commons?
Price recommends that we create a 'social learning environment.'(page 90) An informal environment where rich learning is 'inclusive and innovative' and 'isn't done to us but by us' and we are learning 'for the of love it'.(page 78,79) It is the technology that makes it global. Price explains that participation, passion and purpose are the key characteristics of the Global Learning Commons.(pages 80-86) I believe that Price' s key Learning Commons' principles (page 87- 89) should be shared with all educators and I will share them with my work colleagues this week.
The 'informal' setting for our Fish and Chip evening where children and friends were free to learn with families was a Learning Commons in action. Sharing our learning via Facebook and Twitter connected us globally. The ignition of passion through enthusiastic participation with a definite purpose to engage everyone in deep learning were evidence of Learning Common characteristics in action. Numerous requests for similar events, parents wanting to learn from students and students wanting to share their learning mean that we must embrace the values SOFT and in Price's word 'learn how to adapt and adapt how we learn'.(Ch 3 page 75)
We are bravely embracing our learning from OPEN: How we'll work, live and learn in the future by David Price. In my next review, I will explore Chapter 5 'Getting Engaged'. This is a topic that engages me intensely. My recent report on engaging students in deep learning is a hot topic. Since presenting to schools in the South Island, I have been invited to share my learning on engagement to leaders in the North Island and I am busy preparing an engaging 'short,sharp and shiny' overview video to accompany my presentation.