Why Bored of Studies PWNs the BOS

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There is no shift of control of information when you bolt technology onto what you already do. This is the strategy of public education, when you look behind the facade and grand statements. This is the approach known as “spray and pray”. Research shows there is little added value from automation, and incremental improvement. (“In the Age of the Smart Machine : The Future of Work and Power” by Shoshana Zuboff). We can’t simply put a class in a Ning and call it a community; or exchange paper for a blog. In fact the current National Curriculum approach is to defer all measures of attainment to other professional bodies, just to make sure it stands a safe distance away from potential criticism (standard mode of political-operation).  Of course these bodies are politically driven and differ regionally, and Western Australia is using self-evaluation – which NSW DET’s Digital Revoltion portal (the have so many) references – via ‘evaluation’.

The good news is that students are 21st Century learners; and 97% are engaged via social gaming and friend based networks, so have access to pretty much all the answers they need to PWN the current assessment system – and they did it with no help at all.

7 million hits can’t be wrong

twitter_pushbackThe illustration at the top of the screen is the Bored of Studies Wiki; go check it out – it tells students how to pass the HSC and beyond; and to me screams why the current methods of teaching are so easily ‘gamed’ by students. The website was created in 2002 by four former HSC students who had completed their HSC in the previous year: Mark Czajkowski, James King, Tim Cheng and Ian Keong. Of course the real Authority – called the Board of Studies has warned teachers against being anywhere near the thing! So is it cheating or just 21st Century Learning.

Yet, with over 250,000 subscribers and 7 million hits a month (claimed) – its safe to say that students have pwned the system. It positively road-maps how to be a strategic learner – and perhaps is our most outstanding educational achievement, along with Rate My Teacher – which now has one click links to Twitter, Facebook and Stumble Upon.

It matters nothing if we agree with these sites being there; only that they are. These are the social networks kids use – that gives them Authority. Its socially constructed knowledge; do we need to replicate it in class or inside what Clay Burrell called schooliness.

Chris Lehmann wroteBuild consensus – If only a few people are on-board with the idea, it won’t work. But consensus doesn’t mean taking something from everyone and sticking it onto the original idea until what you have is the worst of committee-based decisions. It means listening for the truths in what other people are telling you and being willing to make substantive change when it makes sense.”

So there’s the positive – students are doing what Chris suggests, long live Bored of Studies. I wonder if Mark, James, Tim and Ian are consulting?

Twilight – Covert-Operations and banned ideas

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DISCOVERING who is doing what, sneeking about, looking for covert technologies, is a twilight though bloodless activity I engage in.

How did the Twilight novel end up the banned list in the locker library … 

Maybe some of the attraction is to rebel against the filtration and prejudice that stops what we perceive to be ‘better’ outcomes and opportunities. This action usually changes the social-dynamics of the ‘community’,. Even a once welcomed innovation can easily turn to a nasty intrusion, if we persist enough, and not pay close attention to behavioral signals. There are numerous stories of people feeling private backlash behind the public facade ofcollegiality – and at times they are aware of this, but do it anyway.

There is good reason for newcomers keep a low profile. Indeed many of MITs projects once started as a ‘secret box’ for fear that someone would shut it down. (just for the record, I’m not in the shut down business).

This student story post is a fantastic example of not just being covert; but how others are attracted to groups and networks that appear to be offering change. The multiplyer effect that often drives networks and movements.

Human behavioural intelligence influences perception, belief and propensity to enquire or avoid something different (not just new).

In this case, the tale unfolds of how banned books, are distributed as an initial reaction to authoritarian policy; but leads to attracting others. They be attracted to the cause; but metacognitively, they are thinking about the content – what makes ‘Catcher in the Rye‘ a banned book? – This would make a great project … and indeed that is what it became. Interestingly, the story ends with the provocateur banning Twilight.

There’s a literature project right there! – Why do people do people engage in special-operations others seek to ban?

If you’ve got a project, a black-ops operation, twisting the syllabus and weathering the backlash – good on ya!, love to hear your story or thoughts on this.

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