Why higher education needs to be more like BMW than Ford

29 April 2014

The article below published in the Sydney Morning Herald raises an interesting perspective on our current standard of higher education.

Photo: AFR

Photo: AFR

Are we scrambling to build more university places and turn students into mass a production line, or should we instead be focusing on limiting places and courses on offer, and making them more exclusive with a better quality output?

One only needs to look at the plethora of courses and campuses on offer to students, to see that you can obtain a degree in just about any chosen field at todays universities – many of which were once offered via TAFE and other educational colleges. So, is the graduating student at the completion of a university degree better equipped to enter the workforce, or are they simply further in debt and competing with 30 other qualified candidates for the same job?

Is the shine of a university degree starting to diminish?

Read the full article here

Why higher education needs to be more like BMW than Ford.

Meet the Australian school student taking on the UK taxi market

l_izettle-1-445

Meet the Australian school student taking on the UK taxi market – after school and during the holidays!

Like a lot of Year 12 students, Zeryab Cheema is not sure what he wants to study next year, unlike most of them he’s making up his mind while running a startup that already employs 30 people, both in Australia and overseas.

While his age might make his success rather unique, Cheema is already a seasoned entrepreneur having worked on his own startups since the age of 14.

Read the full article on Start Up Smart –

http://ow.ly/wdBNt

Mission and vision – which direction are you rowing?

Does your school have a clear vision and mission that guides students and teachers in the same direction? This article below from Connected Principals highlights the differences between vision and mission for your school, and why each are both very important to ensure everyone in your school community is working towards the same goals

http://connectedprincipals.com/archives/10412

Is your School ready for Social Media?

23 April 2013

ready or not

Like it or not, social media is changing the way individuals and business interact. So why is it that schools have been a little slow on the uptake? No time, no resources, lack of understanding, and  privacy concerns are common excuses for the hesitations schools have in embarking on the social media path.

With students already proficient at all things social media – be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pintrest, amongst others, wouldn’t it be great if schools took a leadership stance and embraced these platforms by showing everyone how engaging and positive social media can be when it’s done right?

Schools just need a few keen staff members or parents to get the ball rolling. It can be done as a step by step process rather than feeling overwhelmed by having to set up profiles across all social media platforms. Here are a few basic tips for schools to get the ball rolling:

1. Who are you looking to communicate with? Is it the parents and grandparents of the students, to let them know what’s happening at the school. Perhaps you’re looking to talk to ex-student / alumni to keep them actively engaged and involved in the school. Or is it a local community project / fundraising event your trying to promote? Once you have defined your audience it’s on to tip two …

2. There is no point developing an entire Twitter strategy if only 10% of your community actively use Twitter! Find out what social media channels your school community / audience is actively using. This can be done via a quick email survey or via an online poll on your website. Pick the most popular channel, and start with that first.

3. For most schools, Facebook will probably be the easiest place to start, and chances are, the majority of your school community are already using it. Think of Facebook as an extension of your website which also allows your community to comment and provide feedback.  Investigate different technology platforms that allow you to create content once, and post to your website, and other social media channels at the same – this will cut down duplication and save a lot of time.

4. Create a “content diary” which can act as a weekly planner to decide what content you’d like to share, and when. You can even prepare and source content in advance, and schedule to have it appear on your social media channels on a particular day / time.  For example, on Mondays, you may post the school’s sports results from the weekend, along with some photos contributed by parents at the match. Wednesday could focus on a specific class / year to detail what they are learning, excursions they are going on, etc. Fridays may include a weekly wrap up by the principal about any special events / visitors, achievements etc, during that week. Use your regular newsletter as a guide for the content you may post, and think of other ways of producing that message. For example, could the principal do a weekly wrap up via a short video that can be embedded into your Facebook page?

These are a few tips to get the creative juices flowing. I’m sure the students would also love to be involved in helping create content for social media, and are probably full of ideas the school had never thought of.

Once you have a few excited people in the school ready to champion social media, you’re well on your way. I’d love to hear of any exciting ways your school is using social media – please comment below.

 

All the children are above average

17 April 2014

I wanted to share an article I came across on Connected Principals, which looks at the use of testing children, and the monumental task of trying to offer each child a niche experience that works to their strengths and passions. This scenario would be nice in an ideal world of smaller class sizes, which affords teachers the time and resources to cater for all at an individual level, however catering for many in the best and most engaging way possible may be a more realistic goal for the majority of today’s classrooms.

Whilst there isn’t a single test that can accurately assess all children, we do need to continue to gather data from Baseline testing as a starting point to see what children know at a given point in time and whether they are improving on these skills, or staying stagnant. This is the only way to ensure both students, and teachers are heading in the right direction.

Take a read for yourself – the comments others have made at the bottom of the article also make for interesting reading.

Connected Principals article