Replied to Networking, PLNs and Design Thinking – Design and Play Podcast by Steve Brophy; Dean Pearman (

Where have we been? Steve begins by sharing the behind the scenes of the new University Campus at Ivanhoe. Year 9 is traditionally recognised as the year where students provide the most challenges in terms of disengagement, behaviour, and lack of direction. But is Year 8 the new Year 9? Dean and Steve talk about how their collective schools approach this challenge.

Design thinking pops up again (it does in every episode!) and Dean reflects on his human-centred approach to learning and schooling after appearing at the Leadership Exchange. Networking is a key factor in this approach and Dean and Steve talk about their respective network development journeys. The lone genius is a myth as the greatest ideas of our time have come from people bouncing off each other. Dean proposes 5 key stages of networking from his own experience.

Stages of networking

  1. Reach out
  2. Twitter – Twitter chats, hashtags, following thought leaders. LinkedIn
  3. Blog – evolve thinking
  4. Giving more – connect with people on a deeper level and work together. Reading
  5. Outside networks – bringing ideas from outside education

The Design and Play podcast began due to a desire to do deep work together. The learning that we do within our networks needs to evolve. We also jump into design inspired archetypes to help break our assumptions about schools and leadership. Do you have a bias towards actions or do you embrace ambiguity? Finally, we discuss 1:1 programs and our questions and worries about the current state of our own programs. The wicked problem – how do we best serve our students’ needs with technology? Is our current approach enough?

Great to have you back on the airwaves Dean and Steve. I thought you both might have gotten stuck down a well.

Really interesting comments about 1:1. For me, if it is not being done right or with intent, then it is worth questioning it. Also, left thinking about PLN and the way in which it changes and morphs over time. I too have gone off Twitter a little bit. Still happy to engage, just with more purpose I guess.

Something that I was left wondering about after listening was the role of the survey. I know that we can ask questions and do quizzes (something that has come up with Gonski 2.0), but I was really intrigued by Donna Lanclos’ argument against all this.

In a recent presentation, she put out the call:

Please, let’s not profile people.

When you are asking your students and staff questions, perhaps it should not be in a survey. When you are trying to figure out how to help people, why not assume that the resources you provide should be seen as available to all, not just the ones with “identifiable need?

As much as it is easy, lean, agile, what is the cost of this efficiency and quick feedback?

Listened Taking the time to be offline by Dean Pearman; Steve Brophy from Design and Play

In our first real episode for 2018, we revisit the importance of offline time and switching off. This is always a challenge when work is something you are incredibly passionate about. How do we develop good work habits when the lines are blurred so much? We explore the third space, a concept developed by Adam Fraser designed to help people transfer better between work and space. We once again circle back on time tracking and managing our time. We explore the value of what to measure when tracking time. Steve explains his tracking of interruptions and the use of reticular activation to intentionally manage his focus and habits. We talk about the books we read and those that just couldn’t bring ourselves to read (#blurredlines). This leads to a rich discussion on real evidence of learning and design thinking as a mental model. Student centred learning features as Dean explores his school’s new Inspire Me curriculum and the removal of the curriculum safety net.