Education Fast Forward: New Pedagogies
Imagine bringing together an international group of education practitioners, policymakers, students and other experts to debate how together they can improve the quality, relevance and authenticity of learning experiences—and nobody needs to leave his or her country to join the conversation. It is really happening in the form of Education Fast Forward (EFF), an initiative originally created by Jim Wynn, Chief Education Officer at Promethean in 2010 and supported by Cisco Systems.
Education Fast Forward demonstrates the value of sharing policy and practice around the world and gives room for ideas to be discussed and theories to be put forward, and sets new challenges to be addressed by providing an environment that makes it easy to do so. The debates open up the potential for new opportunities and the confidence for policy makers to make changes in their education system based on the global experience and expertise shared during EFF debates. Discussions range around how to best prepare students for life in a global, multicultural society, how to teach resilience and cooperation, what teacher preparation is required for this new paradigm, and how “good practice” is defined in different settings.
Experts and thought leaders meet over Cisco TelePresence in locations around the world from London to New York, from Nairobi to Sao Paolo, from Sydney to Paris, and more. What’s more is that anyone with an Internet connection can watch the debate live and feed his or her comments and questions via Twitter @effdebate. Highlights of the debates, interviews with attendees and blogs appear on the EFF dedicated area on Promethean Planet website and the debates have attracted enormous interest around the world.
The nature of the debates has matured as we experiment with different formats, and we have looked at how to involve representatives of all the players in education, in particular young people, who, after all, are the recipients of the education system! Working with Taking IT Global we involved young people in the last of the three debates, and by including them in a debate via TelePresence from their home countries at the Education World Forum in London in January this year, they had the opportunity to have an influence on education strategy through a dialogue with the 30 or more policymakers in attendance from around the world.
At the last EFF debate, EFF7, Andreas Schleicher of OECD and Carol Bellamy of the Global Partnership for Education led the debate on Access and Quality in Education in which we asked, “Can we achieve both?” It is not a case of one or the other, but how both can be achieved whether you are in a class in Mozambique where there is a huge shortage of teachers and schools or central London, where there is not, because without both, young people will not develop the skills needed to gain work and improve their life chances.
Join us for EFF8!
EFF8 will take place on November 21from 12:00 to 14:30 GMT and the debate is entitled “New Pedagogies – Is this the time?” The guest speakers are Michael Fullan and Kristen Weatherby. Michael is internationally recognized as a worldwide authority on educational reform and advises policymakers and education leaders around the world. Kristen is Project Leader for TALIS (Teaching and Learning International Survey), the international survey programme focused on the learning environment and working conditions of teachers in schools. TALIS fills important information gaps in the international comparisons of education systems.
Dr. Michelle Selinger is Director of Education in the Global Public Sector Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) at Cisco Systems. Michelle has the fairly unique experience of having worked across many countries in traditional, distance and online education in all sectors of education, as well as in vocational education and training, and has published widely on a range of technology and education related topics.