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Mark Osborne's discussion posts

  • Mark Osborne 04 Oct 2013 12:41pm () in Is your classroom too quiet for creativity?


    There's certainly a bit of research to suggest most students get less creative and more teacher-dependent as they move through compulsory schooing- and it's an interesting thought to connect it to noise levels in the classroom.

    I also think a lot about my own creativity and productivity and find that when listening to music, I'm much more focused and 'in the flow'. So perhaps we could even widen it to include personal music players and student creativity as well. I might go and have a look for some research to see if anyone's looked at it.


  • Mark Osborne 04 Oct 2013 9:11am () in Is your classroom too quiet for creativity?

    Interesting research from the University of Illinois:

    Your initial thoughts on a new product design are due tomorrow. Which means you better shut your door and block out all distractions so you can get those creative juices flowing. Right?

    Wrong, says Ravi Mehta, assistant professor of business administration at the University of Illinois. What you actually need to stir those creative juices is some noise. About 70 decibels’ worth—equivalent to a radio or TV on in the background, or someone running a vacuum cleaner.


    Here’s what they found:

    • A moderate level of ambient noise—again, the ideal is 70 decibels— induces processing disfluency. In other words, it disrupts the flow of thought. And such disfluency leads to abstract thinking, which in turn enhances creativity.
    • There is an inverted-U relationship between noise level and creativity. Creativity is not enhanced with either low or high noise levels. It’s only in the middle—with that moderate level— that creativity increases.
    • Increasing levels of noise lead to higher construal levels—so both moderate and high levels of noise result in more abstract processing than is achieved at low levels of noise. But when the noise level gets too high, creativity is inhibited.


  • Mark Osborne 02 Sep 2013 8:56am () in Leading BYOD: Start with Values

    Hi Rowan,

    Great to hear the progress you're making with BYOD. Starting with cellphones is interesting: as you say they're not what we traditionally think off as 'serious' computing devices, but the are often the device that is most important to a young person. Most of them have great still and video cameras to record evidence of learning, the ability to connect to wifi and access videos, email, wikipedia etc. so can be really powerful learning devices.

    In terms of 'launching' your BYOD, schools that have made good progress in this area have generally achieved two things:

    1) engaged the community using a variety of ways: parent meetings, newsletters, websites, blogs, assemblies, open days etc. The more people can see what's going on, in a way that works for them, the more likely they are to understand it. So- as you say: all of the above and more! Remember that 'buy in' means 'they've bought it!' whereas 'engagement' means 'they've helped create it!' :-)

    2) focused the conversation on quality teaching and learning rather than the devices. By focusing on good quaity learning (and the role that elearning plays in this) we help parents understand the bigger picture of what we're trying to achieve. Many parents get nervous that their kids will now be doing everything on devices, all the time and as a result, other parts of their learning or lives may suffer. Having a conversation around the dispositions required to be a great member of a school/family/community/organisation in the 21st century also helps ensure that elearning is the servant not the master. Also, once parents know more about the kinds of things their young people will be doing on the device, they are better prepared to purchase one that suits their child.

    Hope thet helps Rowan!


  • Mark Osborne 27 Aug 2013 12:54pm () in Leading BYOD: Start with Values

    Kia ora koutou,

    I'm Mark Osborne and I'm a consultant for CORE Education. When people ask me what I do, I tell them that I help schools solve problems :-) Prior to joining CORE I was DP at Albany Senior High School where I started one of the first BYOD programmes in the country.

    I'm doing a lot of work with schools at the moment helping plan and implement BYOD programmes and the question I'm often asked is 'Where do I start?' I think people see BYOD as being so daunting, and such a radical departure from what we've done with eLearning in the past that it seems like quite a big journey to make. What I remind people of is the fact that BYOD is simply another way for us to help students personalise their learning and take more control over the tools and strategies they use to learn. You're doing it already!

    Here's two pieces of advice that schools have found useful when implementing BYOD:

    1) Start is with your school's vision and values, and build the programme from there. If you ensure that your approach is consistent with your school's vision/mission statement/educative purpose, it's more likely that all the cogs will move in the same connection, and BYOD will build on the good work already being done in the school. An example of how a lack of alignment might hinder progress is if our school works really hard to create a culture that values teamwork and collaborative learning, but the way we implement BYOD means that students spend a lot of time on their own devices doing individual activities, the two approaches are pulling in the opposite direction.

    2) Pay attention to change leadership and mangagement process through the planning and implementation. Different teachers, students and parents will see the change as being somewhere between 'this will be a piece of cake' through to 'this is going to affect everything I'm currently doing'. Depending on where they are on that spectrum, people will need different kinds of support, but in general the following four condition are required for successful cultural change:

    • A compelling reason to change: without knowing why they should change, very few people actually do.
    • The capacity to change: the knowledge and skills required to operate successfully in the new order.
    • Reinforcement systems: the ability to identify improvements that might be needed, and the opportunity to celebrate successes.
    • Consistent role models: people from all over the organisation showing the small tips and tricks that have made their life easier and help achieve the original purpose of the change. (Lawson & Price, The Psychology of Change Mangement

    So if you're planning a BYOD programme, see if you can put a tick next to each of those items.

  • Mark Osborne 26 Apr 2013 1:26pm () in 2013 Emerging Leaders' Summit

    Kia ora Anjela,

    We're careful with our language here: 'emerging' leaders has no prescribed age because it's really about mindset more than anything. 'Emerging' leaders are people moving into early leadership, or aspiring to move into it, regardless of age or experience. Something I hear a lot from people is that there is a real shortage of PLD opportunties for people wanting to become better leaders: grow others around them, be more effective in their organisations, lead change more effectively. Let's try to grow opportunities (as you say) for people from across the whole sector in this area.


  • Mark Osborne 26 Apr 2013 1:20pm () in 2013 Emerging Leaders' Summit

    Hi Iva,

    There's more information here: events.core-ed.org/emerging-leaders-summit but essential details are:

    • 15-16 June
    • Albany Senior High School, Auckland
  • Mark Osborne 24 Apr 2013 11:41am () in 2013 Emerging Leaders' Summit

    Tena koutou,

    A number of people have been asking me recently about PLD opportunties around leadership and leading change in schools (for eLearning initiatives, but also more generally) and I thought I would share with you this event that's coming up:

    The Emerging Leaders' Summit 2013

    The Emerging Leaders Summit is a two-day masterclass looking specifically at leadership: how to be the best leader you can be, and just as importantly how to grow leaders around you so that one person with one idea suddenly becomes a movement for change. The summit brings together inspirational educational leaders from around the country with an emphasis on how to implement new ideas in an organisation and how to lead change. It's about making sure you've got the head (knowledge) the hands (skills) and the heart (purpose) to get to where you want to go and to take others with you. We'll be exploring leading eLearning, strengths-based leadership, "leading up", change leadership, Maori and Pasifika achievement, social justice, modern learning environments, and user-centred design among other things. If you can't make it, please promote it in your schools. 15th & 16th June 2013 in Auckland.

    Who is the Emerging Leaders' Summit for?

    • High-performing educators who are currently in, or are ready to take on, their first leadership role (middle or senior leadership).
    • People who are interested in growing the capacity of the people in their teams, schools and communities ("A good leader grows other leaders around them" Cavanagh 2012)
    • Overall, ELS aims to fast-track the leadership development of high-potential candidates, and ensure they are equipped for the task of educational transformation.
  • Mark Osborne 14 Nov 2012 4:17pm () in Keeping parents in the loop

    Parents as experiential learners! Learning to use the the tools alongside their children. That's a good way of doing it.

  • Mark Osborne 14 Nov 2012 4:16pm () in Keeping parents in the loop

    Great point Teresa. I'd be interested in how people have dealt with the 'vocal minority'. As often happens with things like this, the people who have totally bought in don't feel a need to come to the parent meeting which means the people who are present are not representative of the overall community feeling. One thing we've done is get parents into groups to brainstorm questions about BYOD which are then written up and answered either at the time, or over the following days with the benefit of some time to research and present a considered response.

  • Mark Osborne 14 Nov 2012 3:02pm () in Keeping parents in the loop

    Kia ora,

    One of the most important things for us when we embarked on our BYOD journey was to keep parents informed about 'why' we were doing the things we were doing. There was a lot of 'what' and 'how' the programme was going to operate but the really important discussions seemed to be about 21st century learning and the world into which our students would enter.

    I'm interested to hear what people have done about communicating to parents the 'why' of BYOD as well as the 'what' and 'how'. Public meetings? Newsletters? Social media? Student advocates? Research?