Replied to Will We Need To Rethink Better? (DCulberhouse)

“Building back better” is comparable to remodeling an old house (reform), whereas, “Building back different” is comparable to deconstructing that house in order to construct a whole new building (transform). Which is a whole different level of thinking, requiring new models and maps.

David Culberhouse pushes back on the call to build back ‘better’ and argues that instead we need to focus on building back differently.

If we are going to be able to move from reforming to transforming, to move from “Building back better” to “Building back different,” we will have to become much more aware. Aware of how much of what we consider for the future, of the ideas that are informing that future, are often projections pushed forward from the models and maps that have been constructed from both the past and the present.

His issue is that a focus on better often limits us to models and maps that have been constructed over time, whereas the focus should be on strategic thinking that is focused on the future.

This has me wondering about the place of history within all of this and the importance of not repeating the same mistakes twice.

Replied to Restart, Reframe or Recast – Tom Barrett’s Blog by Tom (

If our approach to transition is to recast, this is fundamentally different from restarting. We apply an intentional force to what we have. Reshaping it to a new form of our own design. Not simply restarting with what we had.

There has been so much discussion about the ‘new normal’, however where your post differs Tom is that it breaks down different ways of imagining this. Personally speaking, I think we are always in a state of flux, but instead choose to hold onto the regular habits as if they always mean the same thing. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb suggests in The Black Swans:

Reality is not Mediocristan, so we should learn to live with it.

My thoughts have been around restarting. I think that I inherit this from Will Richardson and his mantra to do things ‘different, not better‘. However, even when I think about Richardson’s work, much of it is about reframing education around learning. However, the more I think about it, such approaches as disciplined collaboration seem to be as much about recasting the materials that we already have in a new light.

I think that this will be one of those provocations that I will come back to regularly as it helps in making sense of the change at hand.

Replied to Transforming Exponentially (

Let’s commit to working together, sharing openly, and transforming our practice exponentially.

David, I really liked your closing remarks about moving ‘slow and thoughtful’ in this time of change.

Collaboration will be key. This is not a time to try things on isolation, it is a time to work together. For now changes have been forced upon us. These changes can lead us to rush and just do small incremental changes in individual practice. Or we can be slow and thoughtful and ensure that these changes lead to a collective, exponential transformation in the way we look at content, skills and competencies, as well as our assessment and evaluation practices.

There is a lot written about the move online, such as Dean Shareski’s This is the Time. Although this time provides us an opportunity, I think that if we rush too fast that we will get the bends. I will continue to come back to Dave Cormier’s pre-pandemic piece on sustainable change. Working together we need to use the opportunity to bring everyone along with the journey.

Replied to

On the one hand, I completely agree with this and the fact that it has to happen. However, as someone who lives in the administrative machine (pls forgive me), I recognise the significance of the change and why many vendors – right or wrong – have put it in the ‘too hard’ basket.
Replied to How to Use Learning Goals to Pick the Right Technology Tools by By AJ Juliani (A.J. JULIANI)

In an effort to acknowledge and combat the Edtech Hype Cycle, let’s talk about the learning first, while realizing technology is a part of our lives and is here to stay (and will always be evolving!).

I am glad that you have pushed beyond SAMR AJ. I have tinkered with the Modern Learning Canvas in the past and, like Trudacot, like the way in which it allows you to capture the wider context. In the end, EdTech is an enabler, the conversation I think we need to be having is how it then impacts and integrates with some of the other areas. From this perspective, I find Doug Belshaw’s essential elements of digital literacies a useful provocation for digging deeper.
Liked The Social Learning Guidebook: A Free Resource (Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog)

You can download my new Guidebook on Social Learning here. It’s intended to form a concise, practical, guide for practitioners who are trying to transform learning, through more social and collaborative approaches. It builds upon work i’ve shared previously, both in long form books (‘Julian Stodd’s Learning Methodology’, ‘Welcome to the world of Social Learning’, ‘Learning Technology’, and so on), as well as numerous articles on the blog (including this is key ‘Introduction to Scaffolded Social Learning‘).

RSVPed Interested in Attending 10 Principles for Schools of Modern Learning Course – Modern Learners

Schools around the world are changing. In this self-paced course, you’ll learn how to create modern learning experiences your students need to thrive.

Building on the work of the 10 Principles for Schools of Modern Learning whitepaper, this course looks like an interesting opportunity to work collaboratively to develop a clearer appreciation of modern learning. Not sure if I will participate, but definitely interested.
Liked The Power of an Idea Meritocracy (

An Idea Meritocracy is an environment in which the best idea wins. The best idea is determined by the quantity and quality of the data, not by positional power. I have studied examples of companies that have created Idea Meritocracies, including Google, Intuit, Pixar Animation Studios and Bridgewater Associates. In those organizations, an Idea Meritocracy has played a key role in driving consistent high performance and has warded off complacency and group think by empowering employees to have the curiosity and courage to challenge, to explore like scientists by asking the three W’s: Why? What if? Why not?

Liked School Reborn 2020: Part 3 by Richard Wells (EDUWELLS)

Ideas and connections made in just the first 6 months of our two-year journey include: timetable redesign ideas from staff and students; how to fit mentoring into the existing timetable until we change it; how we can develop project-based learning within the existing structures to prepare material for 2020. Teachers have made their own links with other integrated and project-based schools (without being asked to).

Bookmarked Imagination as a Precision Tool for Change (Sean Michael Morris)

The project of critical pedagogy is not simply the project of improving education, or of learning, but rather the project of becoming more fully human.

Sean Michael Morris discuss the process of critical change and transformation. He unpacks power and agency, suggesting that where we need to start is with imagination.

Instead of looking for another tool besides Turnitin for plagiarism, agency asks us to intervene upon the assumptions, acceptances, and adaptations that surround the agreement we generally hold that plagiarism is both unquestionably a problem and inevitable in every student population. Also, that we are helpless to its cresting wave.

And to look that deeply at our assumptions requires a willingness to believe in monsters washed up on the Chilean shore. We must not only want to see the world as it could be, to be intrigued by its possibilities, but we must be able to see it as it could be otherwise.

Liked A Framework for Thinking About Systems Change by Davide ‘Folletto’ Casali (Intense Minimalism)
  • Confusion → lack of Vision: note that this can be a proper lack of vision, or the lack of understanding of that vision, often due to poor communication and syncrhonization [sic] of the people involved.
  • Anxiety → lack of Skills: this means that the people involved need to have the ability to do the transformation itself and even more importantly to be skilled enough to thrive once the transformation is completed.
  • Resistance → lack of Incentives: incentives are important as people tend to have a big inertia to change, not just for fear generated by the unknown, but also because changing takes energy and as such there needs to be a way to offset that effort.
  • Frustration → lack of Resources: sometimes change requires very little in terms of practical resources, but a lot in terms of time of the individuals involved (i.e. to learn a new way to do things), lacking resources will make progress very slow and it’s very frustrating to see that everything is aligned and ready, but doesn’t progress.
  • False Starts → lack of Action Plan: action plans don’t have to be too complicated, as small transformative changes can be done with little structure, yet, structure has to be there. For example it’s very useful to have one person to lead the charge, and everyone else agreeing they are the right person to make things happen.
M. Lippitt’s (1987) model of change is best represented through a graphic:

A Framework for Thinking About Systems Change

via Doug Belshaw