With two rich and interesting debates under its belt already, Education Fast Forward (EFF) is, as its name would suggest, making great strides – and the third debate is coming up on September 26th, which I will be chairing. The debates, jointly sponsored by Promethean and Cisco, bring people together from many different countries through the power and magic of Telepresence.
The first debate in November last year focused on two topics:
- The right to digital skills development should be adopted internationally as a Basic Human Right.
- In the digital age creativity in education will play a critical role, even more critical than STEM education in achieving national economic success.
The second debate took place on April 7, 2011, and focused on the theme of Productivity in Learning. This debate was led by two guest speakers—Richard De Lorenzo and Jean Johnson—who introduced the topics for discussion. The second debate was streamed live online, and this will be done again for the debate coming up later this month.
The third debate (26 September) will be about relevance in education and relevance of education. It can be argued that PISA and other international comparisons in education have led to the development of a “vanilla” curriculum that often lacks relevance for many teachers and learners around the world. They tend to be middle class and Western in their bias and alien to the socio-economic and cultural context in which education systems are located. This debate will consider how we can make education more relevant to the local context in order to better engage learners, to meet learners’ self-expressed needs, and to help them to become productive members of their society and able to be economically active locally and globally. The discussion will build on our previous debate about productivity in education.
I will post again next week with some details about the people taking part on 26 September: key presenters, precise information on timing for the debate, and how to get hold of the live stream of the event on the day. You can follow EFF on twitter at @effdebate, and the hashtag for the debate itself will be #effdebate.