25 Years of EdTech

25 Years of EdTech - Cover

25 Years of EdTech

Martin Weller, Professor at the UK’s Open University, got in touch regarding the aesthetic for a book he was earnestly applying the finishing touches to – 25 Years of EdTech.

Of course, as Martin knows, the Visual Thinkery process means that together we’ll create 10 book covers, as well as anything else we pick up along the way. This includes even suggesting alternative titles for the book (which is outrageous, when you think about it) but even this creates a different lens to get an alternative glimpse through.  

Interestingly, the first idea was the one that eventually stuck:

25 Years of EdTech - X-ray Goggles


But there are a few others that I think deserve an honourable mention. I was tickled by the idea of a relationship between parent and child (but I want to go this way!

25 Years of EdTech - Ed & Tech


And it’s not long before I’m drawing robots. (And then the world of assessment will be miiiiiiiine!)

25 Years of EdTech - The scaling up of Edtech


I like “The Web Years” as it reminds me of the common biographical strapline (the wonder years, the wilderness years…) and suggests that there has always been some sort of technology in Education, but only recently has it involved the web. Here we go again, here we go go go to the temple of consumption… (apologies – you probably didn’t need reminded of that song…)

25 Years of EdTech - The Web Years


ISDN – Now that will change everything…

25 Years of EdTech - Dodgy Connection


We’re never far from someone taxonomising all the things. But not me – I’m more of an alchemist…

25 Years of EdTech - Alchemist's Handbook


In reflection, there were small elements from a number of these ideas that made their way into the final cover. Some consciously, and others less so.

Now Remix this…

As part of the promotion of the book, AU Press asked if would be possible to create a remixable front cover. So I (Bryan) set about separating the visual elements so that they could be remixed using the Fabulous Remixer Machine. Hair highlights, skin tone, background – but maybe more importantly the text on the glasses and the strapline at the bottom. Have a go!

25 Years of EdTech - Remixer

And Finally…

Quite often ideas appear as mini-stories in 3-panelled comic strip format. A couple of these made it into the book. I don’t think it matters what the content relates to, there is always a place for visual humour… 

25 Years of EdTech - Year Zero

Radical Pedagogy

Radical Pedagogy

My wife is my signpost — for some things, anyway. She reads faster than me and tells me of books that I might like. I have but one requirement: at the end of the book, I want to be able to say “I’ve never read anything like that before”. As a result, I’ve been enjoying some Italo Calvino recently (no, I hadn’t heard of him either, but I’ve never read anything like it before…).
So how come all this Radical Pedagogy then Bryan? Well, this same wife is currently wading though a PGCE in her spare time, and asked if I’d create some slides for a presentation on Paolo Freire. The more I understand of his thinkery, the more I like him…

Subject — Verb — Object

As a kid in a classroom, I didn’t question it. I took what was laid before me, in the environment in which it was given. I was taught. I found it difficult to ask questions, as it revealed a lack of knowledge or understanding. The game was one of “how much do you know?“, maintaining our pecking order of perceived smartness. However, there were some teachers who came down to my level and transparently learned alongside me. It was different. They were different. The game was different: “where can we go today?

Monologue and Dialogue (a short poem)

The lecture.
At home, at school, and at church.
I’ve had so many,
but can recall very few…

The group.
At home, at school, and at church.
Articulating something half-baked,
in order to put it back in the oven and turn up the heat…

Bank of Education

Being in my kids room shortly before bedtime, and having momentarily confused Atilla with Genghis Khan (they won’t be happy), I instinctively reached for a handy volume from a colourful set of encyclopaedias. My search was fruitless. In the olden days, knowledge existed hidden away in pockets, which was fine if you knew which pocket and had the means to access it. However, one must not treat an encyclopaedia like wikipedia, for they offer two subtly different entry-points to learning: interest-led vs prescribed. By the way, are our schools more like encyclopaedias or wikis?

The Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (IMACS)

Teach kids how to think...

Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (IMACS)

The Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (IMACS) contacted me after seeing a piece of thinkery about the importance of creativity in schools get shared heavily on social media.

I met with their CEO, Terry Kaufman, over Skype for a couple of hours. Coming from a Maths and Software Engineering background, was immediately taken with their approach to helping kids develop logic thinking skills. However, articulating this to others – and particularly parents – is tricky. I couldn’t help but notice that he used the term “a toolbox” with regard to the logic tools they equipped their young people with. So we asked ourselves, what sort of toolbox is this? What would be in there? I even got my kids involved to help me see it from a different angle.

What a thoroughly enjoyable process! And here’s what we finally came up with:

What's in the Logic Toolbox?
Logic Toolbox - tools to help you think

You can read more about IMACS and what they do here: www.imacs.org.

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