Our conference day was in area 4 lab Phaltan, Pune.
It brought together educators, co-ordinators, grannies, plus parents and children to share their experiences and their learning. The people who were present were from across the world including India, U.K., America, Germany, France, Dubai and Spain. It was a powerful day.
It is quite incredible just how far Professor Mitra’s concept has reached and the impact it is making on people’s lives and education all over the world. It is amazing to be playing a role in that.
We heard from all of the co-ordinators and we shared our story of Room 13 and the impact SOLEs has at Greenfield Community College and with many other schools we work with from many different places.
We heard from grannies and from the children themselves. It has been very touching to see the children and grannies meeting in person. There is a very special relationship there. Our students shared their thoughts in our new film (which will be posted soon!) I felt very proud to see them and David Priestley, our Executive Head, present with me at the conference even if only on screen!
Sugata closed the day. He talked about why seven labs and why we had been chosen plus the fact there are 3 non school 4 schools in the project.
He described a new kind of comprehension that we don’t understand.
He told us about a story from each lab.
Here is a summary: (from my understanding)
Chandrakona- there have been children there wanting to use YouTube but they couldn’t access it. They taught themselves how to download YouTube by you tubing a video on how to down load a YouTube video, they then used YouTube to find out how to install a YouTube video and have used YouTube to recreate all sorts of things including YouTube for science experiments. They spoke about it in perfect English which they have also taught themselves.
Sugata explained this is a new type of literacy
Is it metacognition?
Gocharan- there are children there writing a coding programme. They have created a programme themselves that has produced a chat bot- a computer that answers your questions and is very imaginative in its answers. They skyped a granny at one point in this process which helped push them past a point and now they are creating even more and it is spreading across the group.
Sugata explained that other young people are watching, now making and want to make even better programmes!
Kalkaji- has developed huge aspirations in the young people. We heard a video from an amazing girl called Jaya. I can’t wait to meet her this week!
Korakati-although the Internet can be a challenge there the granny sessions are making a huge difference. You can see confidence growing in such a remote place that has so little.
Phaltan- SOLE and English has happened by itself. It was amazing to spend the day with them. They are wonderful. The school was so welcoming.
Greenfield-Sugata discussed an experiment he did with us using gcse questions and the challenge of assessment. He will be exploring this further (watch out for a blog on this too!)
GSHS- Sugata explained an experiment he has done and how spelling could have got in the way but described how Google helps suggests things which helps some students get past that. It just happens.
His overview: (from my understanding)
He talked about the need for new assessment systems, continuous and more open ended.
The spontaneous order of chaos we have seen – can happen. You just need freedom and bandwidth.
Reading, writing and arithmetic are a lower priority. Comprehension, communication and computation are the new skills
Things we don’t know attract us all. Let’s create a curriculum of big questions.
He went on to explain we have a ‘Just In case’ education . We need a ‘Just In Time’ learning. When you need to know you find out quickly and correctly.
Sugata also highlighted the need to teach the Internet as a subject. We should understand networks and chaos theory- how do stock markets work? Etc.
He explained that soon you won’t be able to tell if young people are using the Internet (eg in their glasses) almost half human and half Internet!
He emphasised that we really do need teachers- but how do we handle these future things?