Sunday, June 11, 2017

Food for thought for planning for next year wherever you are.

Dear all,

As another successful year comes to a close at ISHCMC I believe we can be proud of many of the things that we are achieving. Our vision for education is constantly being reinforced and strengthened by researchers and journalist who are awakening to the fact that tomorrow will be different from yesterday. Hence, as this will be my last Food for Thought for this academic year I have decided to continue with my theme of the past few weeks because this will be something that we need to give attention to next year at school; the identification, scope and sequencing and subsequent tracking of the skills that we believe will be important for the future of our students.

I believe that we are pushing education in the right direction and that our students are being energized, engaged and empowered by their learning. Hence I decided to have two sections to this weeks Food for Thought. the first is introducing you to the Institute for the Future and their thinking. This is a document I'd like you all to read, Future Work Skills for 20120 that they have produced that could form the foundation for how we look at and frame our skills needed by our students for their future's. It links very closely with my last few posts.

"In the 1990s, IBM’s Deep Blue beat grandmaster Gary Kasparov in chess; today IBM’s Watson supercomputer is beating contestants on Jeopardy. A decade ago, workers worried about jobs being outsourced overseas; today companies such as ODesk and LiveOps can assemble teams “in the cloud” to do sales, customer support, and many other tasks. Five years ago, it would have taken years for NASA to tag millions of photographs taken by its telescope, but with the power of its collaborative platforms, the task can be accomplished in a few months with the help of thousands of human volunteers. 
Global connectivity, smart machines, and new media are just some of the drivers  reshaping how we think about work, what constitutes work, and the skills we will need to be productive contributors in the future. 
This report analyzes key drivers that will reshape the landscape of work and identifies key work skills needed in the next 10 years. It does not consider what will be the jobs of the future. Many studies have tried to predict specific job categories and labor requirements. Consistently over the years, however, it has been shown that such predictions are difficult and many of the past predictions have been proven wrong. Rather than focusing on future jobs, this report looks at future work skills—proficiencies and abilities required across different jobs and work settings. "

The report concludes with this advice for educational insitutions:

"Educational institutions at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels, are largely the products of technology infrastructure and social circumstances of the past. The landscape has changed and educational institutions should consider how to adapt quickly in response. Some directions of change might include:
 » Placing additional emphasis on developing skills such as critical thinking, insight, and analysis capabilities
 » Integrating new-media literacy into education programs
 » Including experiential learning that gives prominence to soft skills—such as the ability to collaborate, work in groups, read social cues, and respond adaptively
 » Broadening the learning constituency beyond teens and young adults through to adulthood
 » Integrating interdisciplinary training that allows students to develop skills and knowledge in a range of subject"

To end this Food for Thought I'm going to share this video, The Elephant in the Classroom. I believe this talk raises questions that all of us at ISHCMC have been thinking about over the past four years. But instead of so many schools and systems who have ignored the elephant in the room we have as a group of educators faced our fear of change and started down the road to creating a school that is fit for preparing students for their place in the 21st century. The opening of the new secondary campus and the additional refurbishment of our present primary campus will further display our commitment to this change whilst providing all of us with the opportunities to further demonstrate that we are educators for the 21st century.

Thank you for a wonderful year at ISHCMC. None of what we have achieved would have been possible without your open mindedness and commitment to our mission and students.

Only three days left of the year.

Have a relaxing Sunday,


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Dear all,

Hope you all enjoyed the staff party last night at the end of  yet another wonderful week at ISHCMC. We have achieved so much this year and time has flown by that it is often hard to stop and put what we are doing into perspective. in the last 7 days we have had an outstanding Graduation for the Class of 2017, a PYP exhibition that powerfully demonstrated the ability of our students to articulate their creativity and thinking that was seized upon by the IBO and shared globally through a webinar in which our students were again outstanding. Add to this chess tournaments, Grade 10 work experience, string ensembles, live outdoor music assessments, students selling at our own Market@the square and one see how we continue to build diversity of opportunity at ISHCMC. With 8 days of the year left, we are in for a very exciting end to the year, looking at our calendar everyday is full of great learning activities and celebratory events.

This weeks Food for Thought is really a consolidation on the thinking that I hope I have provoked over the last few weeks. The first video is is a humorous TED by Garry Kasparov talking about why we should not fear artificial intelligence. The talk tracks his relationship and famous battle with Deep Blue through to his work today alongside computers. It again emphasizes that technology is an opportunity to be embraced not something that we should be scared about. It just means we have to accept and work with artificial intelligence not against.

A second consolidation of our thinking comes from the Andraka family. Here is mother Jane Andraka giving advice to parents about what they need to do to support and prepare their children for their lives. Of course being an ISHCMC parent reduces the need to follow some of her instructions because many of her ideas are ones that we are trying to follow  in school. These ideas are fully supported in our mission. Obviously energized, engaged and empowered students are far more likely to be creative and innovate. but deeper than that within our Achievement Culture we use supportive language, ensure that our rules do not create a box in which students live and through this environment we encourage students to develop their interests, take risks, fail and try again. It is important that our hidden curriculum is not about teaching students obedience and uniformity but rather how to be successful and be the best they can be. 

Some good quotes at the end that create an environment for a a growth mindset:
  • Problems in the world are opportunities
  • Innovation comes from discontent
  • Petty rules stifle creativity so have less rules and more independent thinking
  • If you live inside the box it is hard to think outside of it.

Now you might be thinking its alright for a mother to make such a suggestion but how about the proof. Well here is her son talking on TED about his work regarding pancreatic cancer. As they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. For me the question for us to think about is if this student had these ideas at ISHCMC would we have been like the 199 university professors who dismissed them as rubbish or incorrect procedure, or, would we have encouraged the idea to flourish with our support?

 For me the question for us to think about is if this was an ISHCMC student who had these ideas would we have been like the 199 university professors who dismissed them as rubbish or incorrect procedure, or, would we have encouraged the idea to flourish and supported his idea? Who are we as a school?

If you want to find out more about what Jake Andraka is doing to do there are several more recent video on youtube for you to watch.

Have a good Sunday,