Finland moving to Topic based learning

Finland has been the envy of much of the modern world in the field of education/schools and has proven that it can produce top results with only minimal testing (one standardized test when they are 16) and almost no homework, emphasizing play and creativity. A still radical concept for many countries (including Hong Kong!). Not content on its already impressive and by some measure revolutionary progress Finland is pressing on with even more fundamental reform changing the core of its system away from Subjects to emphasizing Topics with even more emphasis on play!

This is exciting on many levels; imagine a classroom setting where instead of being taught Maths it will be about “Middle Eastern relations” which might cover history, economics, maths and geography or “Animal Conservation in Africa” which would cover the same elements but also include the Sciences. Schools do this today in the form of special projects but it is not at the core of the program and rarely comprehensive focusing still in a very subject-specific manner even though real life today does not function that way (unless you are an academic!). This concept of “joyful learning” is something we could really do a lot better at in Hong Kong!

Full article available here: http://ind.pn/1HbVHsC

Scratch, a great way to teach your Kids how to code

I’ve always been a big supporter of teaching children how to code at a very early age. My Son started coding when he was 7-8 years old and I already think that’s too late. The software I used for that is called Scratch¬†and it’s a great free tool to teach kids the fundamentals of coding. In a world that is largely run by Software which is effectively code, not knowing how to program is a little bit like being able to read but not to write.

Mitch Resnick led the group that developed Scratch over at MIT and listen to what inspired him and why he thinks your children need to learn how to code too!

Children’s learning styles in the 21st Century

This is my speech at the Dr. Louise Porter Conference held in Hong Kong earlier this year were I raise some of our thoughts and ideas behind Children’s learning styles in the 21st century as part of our Thinkblaze initiative. In general I advocate for more responsible technology use in the family, rather than less and discuss concepts of how our children are affected with todays technology, videogames and internet use. The full blog post on the topic with all the videos can also be seen at: http://bit.ly/1a0assw