Many of you browse all over the website and ask for a decent list of the projects that at heppell.net Lys and Stephen - with a host of collaborators, friends and partners - are engaged in. Quite a lot of our work is short term inputs, policy steers, government advice, corporate advice, conference events and the like, and we haven't shown any of that here, but below are some of the longer term activities. In the end it is the long term, large scale, brave projects that we learn most from, of course.
Many also ask what decides us to do one project but reject others (the No:Yes ratio is probably 10:1 at the moment). Reading the list below should give you some clues - it does all join up if you share our big picture! Just think 3rd millennium learning - mending the world with learning...
project: Be Very Afraid
Our annual national (whichever country) get together of learners to show policymakers and key influencers just what they are up to with ICT in learning. Runs in BAFTA, with BAFTA. If you look at just one project, look at this one. BVA has gone global (!) starting with BVA 7 "Listen to Learners" in Melbourne.
status: completed BVA 7, videos and DVD available
associated project: Be Very Afraid Extra
A lot of regions and districts worldwide have expressed an interest in doing their own BVA - but not at a national level. We like this idea and have introduced Be Very Afraid Extra to allow it to happen.
status: the idea trials in St. Clair County, Michigan in August 2011, then will be available to others who request the opportunity and meet certain criteria - ie follow the guidelines.
school students are engaged by social media, by portable and personal technology and more - using this in the classroom makes a lot of sense, but in advocating an end to locking and blocking it is helpful to first see what effective practice suggests as a safe starting point. The Nominet Trust have kindly sponsored this crowd-sourced research into Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, phones and more in the classroom - by some of the UK's oustanding teachers, for all teachers. As well as some important conclusions we think the research methodology is quite pioneering too - and of course it is using Facebook itself for the research community. Carole Chapman is heading up this project at heppell.net.
Since the project formally concluded a host of new places, from schools to whole countires (like Wales), have formally embraced social media like Facebook and Twitter within the curriculum and the locking & blocking days do seem to be coming to an end.
status: all went rather well - report completed and on-line
project: PhD students
currently all Stephen's PhD students are based at CEMP (see below) and are doing some really useful research - with some very accesable outcomes. You can see their blogs and progress from the web link below, or via CEMP's own pages
project: Digital Jersey
a really exciting initiative to transform Jersey's economic future through business, learning and more, It only really began in 2013 - a really interesting project to watch - Stephen is on the board of Digital Jersey with a particular remit for Learning there...
Stephen is executive chairman and LP+ is growing rapidly developing some very cool learning platform software, but doing a lot more besides on top of it - overseas collaborations include China, India and now Kuwait.
status: all going rather well, bit of a dream team assembling of both users and developers.
project: Weflect professional development in the classroom
With the UK's Teacher Develpment Agency (TDA) and with pals in AllRollOver we have been exploring the simple idea that a teacher's teaching might be watched by other learning professionals - an NQT watched by wise old retired teachers, an advanced skills teacher showing exceptional practice to her peers, etc. little tweets of advice trickling into the video record - timestamped - to be viewed and reviewed later... simple, fab. But tricky - we tried and moved on from TwitCam, and now are evolving a bespoke iPod Touch / iPhone / iPad app (a big issue being absolute certainty about just who is, and who isn't, watching / annotating the live stream). Carole Chapman is heading up this project at heppell.net
status: we completed phase one, it went rather well - and completed phase two at the end of 2011
which is a horizon scanning initiative for the UK government's DCSF. By (much cherished) invitation we assemble leading global voices to discuss hot future topics and feed back policy futures advice - up in the North Tower of London's iconic Tower Bridge. All captured in a mass of video snippets.
status: explorations of (1) tech futures, (2) cognitive enhancement, (3) future economics of learning have been covered, more to come. Fascinating video snippets. Funding stalled a bit for now with a new Westminster government, but will be restarted.
Stephen is a professor at Bournemouth University, based at the wonderful Centre for Excellence in Media Practice CEMP. Chair is in New Media Environments and we have some exciting projects starting - visit the website for all the details. CEMP have created the Horizontal Boxes issues debating tool for horizonTAL which will be shortly available to all.
status: loving it
with CEMP we are just beginning the exploration of a dedicated undergraduate degree and media channel - including new media of course, for young mums. The horizon scanning work showed that the biggest contribution to cognitive enhancement, ahead of pills and genes, is great parenting. Rather than wait, we are doing something about it. Parenting by parents for parents, mediated by science and health science, accredited - we think we can graduate them in mumology so to speak. Previously, a significant number of mums have graduated through the still-innovative and fab Ultraversity degree programme so the pilot has already run, so to speak.
status: Watch this space.
some nations (the UK for example) see education as a cost, not as the investment that other nations (Singapore for example) see it as. For the World Bank and Microsoft (this project's sponsors) this leads to an urgent need to find a better way to measure the outputs of education - and thus to value them.
One suggestion from the finishd work is a recommendation to start a number of cohort based doctoral research projects (everyone gets a shared qualification). The goal is thousands of schools each exhibiting annually their shared research findings about what was effective for their communty's goals and with a complex mix of metrics. We are trying to get this started gently, so as not to fighten the universities too much...
status: learnometer work completed, looking for ways to roll out the collaborative doctorate
project: Florida lab school project
with Fielding Nair International (Stephen is part of their team) we were thrilled to have a small involvement in really pushing out the boundaries of learning innovation in Florida with a lab school development in the grounds of the University of Florida, one of the 5 largest universities in the US. Florida has some distance to climb in the US education rankings, so this is particularly exciting because of the potential progress as the nation picks up the pieces from the high-stakes testing wreckage of "no child left behind". Also with Fielding Nair International we had a little involvement in creating National Design Standards that will apply to all 400+ schools in the Emirate. Given the rapid progress of the economy, learning and school building there, and the level of ambition, this work is very significant.
status: project progressing
project: Making Modern Communications Gallery for the Science Museum in London
Stephen used to run events on the history of computers on a Saturday morning for kids - and they were held in the transport gallery - not because it is full of ships (!) but because it wasn't full of people! And now that whole gallery is being remade. In a rather recursive way, it is being filled with the history of computers and communications! Plus ça change? The Making Modern Comunications gallery opens in 2014. Stephen is on one of the steering groups for this fab and quite participative gallery - and offering a particular input on the role of early tech in schools, of course.
website: for now, here is a newspaper article about itttp://www.fieldingnair.com/
Stephen has said for ages it is only a matter of time before some significant global providers really start to build global learning organisations across the spectrum of learner's and nations' needs. GEMS is the first and are building schools everywhere - Stephen is the advisor for the role, and indeed roll out, of technology for learning. Some very good people indeed are involved; founder and chairman Sunny Varkey has a very sound big picture view of all this. "Learn, Aspire, Be" as GEMS says.
status: moving along nicely
project: BETT London, BETT Middle East, etc
Stephen has been to every BETT show, since the first in 1985 - as has Juliette Heppell! These days, in partnership with sponsors from Google and YouTube to Intel, we run the EMAP supported big central feature which is manned by school students and gives visitors something of a heads-up on where technology in learning will be going over the next couple of years. This year (2012) features a virtual classroom with schools all around the world Skyping in, and a set of presentations that clarify just how the huge diversity of school types in the UK might harness technology: old free schools, new "trad" free schools, new "rad" free schools, old Labour academies, charitable trust new academies, for profit new academies, consortium academies, studio schools, university technical colleges, LA schools, community schools, faith schools, selective schools, independent schools converted to free schools, independent schools, international schools, schools within schools
BETT is off around the world too, and we are involved in designing and staffing the central features in BETT Middle East and others. Our mixed age project based immersive learning - kids building rocket propelled cars together (!) - was a star of the last BETT ME for example.
website: BETT Show site for 2013 is here
project: Cayman Isles education service
when the newly elected government of the Cayman Isles asked for support in a re-examination of their whole education service, including rebuilding all the secondary schools, the answer had to be "yes" (although we were desperately busy then, as now). In the two years subsequent huge progress was made - a new curriculum, new models of CPD, changing structures and organisation, new teacher ed curriculum (soon!)... so much and, of course, the new schools too. A truly significant national project, largely steered and developed by the Cayman Isles themselves (i.e. not awash with World Bank consultants). It was establishing a very replicable model of progress, and a LOT of people were watching this project worldwide, with good reason.However, the government lost an election (not becuase of the education changes!) and so everything is slightly on hold - although the new schools are just about finished and reforms are (wisely) not being unwound. We'll be back there helping again after the next election!
status: new schools just about finished
project: ICT Centres and Kaleido in Norway
Up on the Barents Sea coast in North Norway they have found more oil and resources. As with North Sea oil previously the Norwegians, wisely, would like those new resources to be exploited by Norwegians - thus creating knowledge and human capital. Norway's new ICT centres have been tasked with a more radical look at the role of ICT in learning as a contribution to upskilling the population - a disappointing 50% or so of children up in the north currently don't complete high school! We are excited to be advising these new developments...
website: here is the Kaleido event from the opening in 2010
project: special places
Stephen and Lys like to work with people they like (!) and to work in the medium to long term in places - there is a real excitment in feeling the progress each time we return. Long term relationships have included Kent Schools, and the Catholic Schools around Sydney, and currently include the school districts including Solkeborg in Denmark, St Clair County outside Michigan, the Country Education project in Australia and many more...
website: a variety of links:
project: Notschool.net and beyond
Stephen always says that of the things he created, he was most proud of founding, guiding and leading Notschool.net from 1998 until 2009. Its young people made such remarkable progress. In its first decade the Notschool.net project embodied personalisation, engagement, learner voice, bespoke accreditation, and so much more. But it is time to progress the model, so Stephen has now stepped down as chair of trustees - to focus on doing it all again and better - this time in a 3rd millennium kind of way - so much has changed since he put the idea forward back in 1997.
status: not Notschool projects (so to speak!) are springing up worldwide - US, to EU to AUS and we are advising / helping most of them.
website: history of Notschool is here
Educurious is on a mission to reduce the US's high school dropout rates by "making learning relevant, effective and connected to real-world issues young people care about" - a familiar aim, but this is well a supported project that has every chance of delivering on that aim.
status: up and running and already making a difference
project: BBC learning layer for the www
At heppell.net, and indeed before, we have worked with the BBC in one way or another - and care deeply about public service broadcasting. Currently stephen is working with the BBC on a very blue sky long term project to add a functional learning layer to the whole web, but especially to moving media.
status: continue to watch this space
website: not yet - still too early
Stephen was something like the "father" of LIGHTWAVE - the wonderful festival of light in Dublin based around the Science Gallery at Trinity College that engaged so many. Following the "unprecedented success and international acclaim" of the "phenomenal inaugural show" - the whole thing is back in January 09. We don't have any input to this any more - it has a life of its own, but we are still rather proud of it, <smug> given the general cynicism and the "it-can't-work"ness of some comments before the original version launched to such acclaim </smug>.
status: an annual fixture now
project: BAFTA archive
we do lots of things with BAFTA - Stephen is a trustee - but a very-long-term project has been to get the Archive up and available and a LOT of nagging went into this initially... Now though, a very active Archive Committee (which Stephen is also on) are making it all happen properly. Hurrah!
status: now available on-line, processes in place
project: reputation engine
For two years, with some really smart folk at Edexcel, initially led by managing director Jerry Jarvis, Stephen has been exploring a global solution to many of the shortcomings of building your reputation solely from accreditation and interviews, solving the portfolio problem and more. Very, very exciting progress, and now Jerry has left Edexcel but taken the project with him. Watch this space.
status: still at confidential stage - more than two years' progress though.
website: still at confidential stage
project: visiting professorships
Stephen is tenured as a prof at CEMP in Bournemouth University, and remains an emeritus professor at Anglia Ruskin University (he never quite forgave them for abandoning their unique and relevant Polytechnic University status). He has come to the end of being a visiting professor in the University of Wales - in their education faculty at Newport, and has now begun a really enjoyable tenure as visiting pro at Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid.
Projects there centre around the wonderful "entornos de aprendizaje para el tercer milenio" (third millennium learning environments) - more detail to be added here shortly
status: started 2011 and loving it!
This list doesn't include a mass of things - editing it reminds us how partial it still is ... but it'll have to do for now!
It's been quite an exciting time since leaving Ultralab in 2004
Lys and Stephen
last updated Monday, January 14, 2013 8:08 PM