THEME & STRANDS
“A trend can be toward something or away from it. There is a considerable advantage in noticing and acting on a trend before others.” Edward de Bono
Disruptions to Learning Ecosystems
As in nature, entire learning ecosystems can stay stable for quite a long time. Then some large external event, for example Covid, can disrupt the whole ecosystem causing specialist species to go extinct. An example is the swift, brutal transition from dinosaurs to mammals after a large meteor strike massively disrupted earth’s climate and habitats and its inhabitants.
In the third decade of the third millennium educators need to reflect on the learning changes and challenges accelerated by the twin Covid and Misinformation pandemics and the urgent need to move to a low carbon future with new energy solutions.
ELF21 delivers timely, cost-effective, replicable leadership resources to where your people are, to engage you and your senior colleagues on your challenges.
“The time and money costs of virtual sessions are much less- and much more accessible- than in-person events. The spaced menu of food for thought and action is sounder educationally than the big dollops delivered in the traditional feast then famine approach of all day or multi-day events.” Lyall Lukey, ELF Convener
Virtual ELF21 on Zoom will comprise 4 x weekly sessions from 9 June 2021. Each session features live thought and practice leaders in TED-type presentations, small group breakout conversations plus presentation videos and other digital resources for education leaders at all levels.
Series 1: Knowledge Ecology in the Covid Era
-Ideas, technology and trends that are defining future learning and work practices
Series 1 will pick up on Covid lockdown leadership lessons for educators, local and global energy challenges and innovation, the acceleration of online learning and major changes to Vocational Education and Training in the wake of the formation of Te Pūkenga in response to changes in the future and nature of work and the need to develop dynamic skills.
New Zealand’s national and regional Covid lockdowns, though shorter than elsewhere, affected most aspects of education at once. It was not just the move from classrooms to remote device screens; it tested basic ideas about teaching and learning, the role of Edtech, attendance, assessment and the human nexus that holds it all together.
Lockdowns have also pointed to obvious inequities in resources and support for learners at the school, family and workplace levels.
“Its always important we continue to think about how to evolve schooling so the kids get the most out of it.” Miguel Cardona New US Education Secretary
Covid-19 has made us all participants in in a global experiment reshaping how we learn, work and live. A year after New Zealander’s first lockdown a rethinking is underway, with a sense that some changes may last.
In Session 1 Derek Wenmoth, suggests that the COVID pandemic has thrown back the curtain on a great deal of what needs to be improved or addressed in our current education system, including a high degree of inequity across all areas, especially access to online learning.
He says the responses we saw during the 2020 lockdowns promised some transformative action and outcomes. But slowly we’ve seen a ‘return to the old normal’ mindset. The ‘big ideas’ that were evident have faded into obscurity as the old patterns of thinking and acting take over.
“2020 reinforced the fact….Network is just omnipresent,. We aren’t going online. We live online.” Om Malik True Ventures.
There has been a deepening of online living, learning and working, at least for those with devices, bandwidth and digital skills. Teaching, coaching, meetings and conferences have been rethought: originally for convenience, then for safety, later for effectiveness and efficiency in a giant acceleration of ongoing trends.
“From early humans rubbing sticks together to make fire, to the fossil fuels that drove the industrial revolution, energy has played a central role in our development as a species. But the way we power our societies has also created humanity’s biggest challenge. It’s one that will take all our ingenuity to solve”. Justine Rowlatt & Laurence Knights
Ecological thinking is a powerful lens for understanding complex adaptive systems in terms of the relations of organisms-and organizations-to one another and to their environment and their interdependence.
In the Covid era this helps focus on understanding dynamic systemic change requiring adaptability, resilience and flexibility. These concepts are useful models and metaphors for leading change as Dr Amelia Sharman points out in Session 1.
A new era of innovation?
“….Today a dawn of technological optimism is breaking. The speed at which covid-19 vaccines have been produced has made scientists household names. Prominent breakthroughs, a tech investment boom and the adoption of digital technologies during the pandemic are combining to raise hopes of a new era of progress.” The Economist 16/1/21
When it comes to doing things differently and better how many of your education colleagues appear to have been inoculated against real change? What can you do as an education leader to engage them in a process which lowers change resistance and opens minds to fresh possibilities?
The Power of x10 Thinking
Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, School of Thinking, Sydney addresses the challenge of getting by-in Session 2 of ELF21 Series 1. Why is it hard to get buy-in? Because the most difficult feat in human thinking is to escape from your present point of view. In the human brain lateral thinking is not natural but it can be done. How? When? Why? In this session you’ll get new software for your brain to accelerate your and your colleagues’ innovation capacity and speed of thought.
Leaders Leading Better
The fourth and final session on 30 June addresses the twin challenges for education leaders of overcoming resistance to change and building mentally healthy leadership teams.
Cathy Sheppard, BSI People Skills, suggests that Covid has shown we need to prepare students for a very different world from what we grew up in, with the pace of change increasing exponentially. She asks how can what we’ve learnt recently change the way we, as leaders in education, lead better when it comes to communication, adaptability, resilience and culture change, so our students will be better equipped to respond to the needs of humanity going forward?
Mentally Healthy Workplaces
Anne Riches, The Mindfield Navigator, Sydney, in a conversation with ELF convener Lyall Lukey, discusses creating mentally healthy workplaces and learning spaces. In the Covid era a major change focus for leaders in all organisations is on mentally healthy workplaces. How can your learning community be an open, safe and supportive mentally healthy workplace?
Drawing from her own personal and professional experience as a change leadership specialist working with hundreds of organisations in Australia and around the world, Anne increasingly works with leaders to be mentally healthy themselves; recognise, support and effectively manage colleagues who are struggling and create psychologically safe places to work. Programme Registration Options