CoSN17 Conference (morning-day 1)


As a response to our visitors from CoSn last year and also as a method of communication with our NCCA colleagues back in Ireland, we have set up this blog to record the events of the Conference and as an aide mémoire in helping initiate and inform future discussions.


It’s early in the morning here in Chicago, or lunchtime in Ireland. Either way, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and attended day 1 of the #CoSn17 Conference where we added Ireland to the map of the CoSN Network.

Symposium on Global Competencies

Francesc Pedró moderated the opening session where we had a “Conversation with International Education Leaders on Today’s Competencies”

Questions to focus on for this were:

What new skills and competencies are necessary for college and career success?
How can technology play a role in fostering these skills and supporting the development of innovative practices for students and teachers?
What are school districts, states, countries doing to advance and enable global competencies for their students?

From left to right:
Gus Schmedlen, Vice President, World Education, HP
Francesc Pedró, Chief of Section — Sector Policy Advice and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education, UNESCO (moderator)
Dr Avis Glaze, Former Education Commissioner, Ontario, Canada; and Founder, Edu-quest International Inc.

Main points from Dr. Avis Glaze included “don’t let poverty determine destiny”, “schools still using tech for basic functions and learning (Fullan)”, “education needs to be actually ubiquitous”, “a need to think about tech as a lever for transformation.”

The main points from Gus Schmedlen included “we’ve done the industrial age, the information age and now we are in the creative age”, “tech is a swiss-army knife when it comes to learning in mobile/biometric/VR (social/emotional learning). Building awareness and empathy. Prototyping-3D printing”, “increase inclusion in ed and the world for women and girls across the world”, “evidence is the key for 21st century learning”,

This was followed by a three other speakers:

Shirleen Chee, Divisional Director, Educational Technology Division, Singapore, whose comments included “Technology and how we need it for
curriculum, responsible digital citizenship, Teacher CPD and ICT Ecosystems.”

Korvi Rakshand, Founder, JAAGO Foundation and winner of 2017 UNESCO-King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize ICT Prize, Bangladesh, whose comments included “values”, “real competencies to help develop the skills we need”, “vanishing borders”, “everything happening is impacting globally”.

David Ross, CEO, Partnership for 21st Century Learning, USA, whose comments included, “people with only a high-school education don’t see the value of these skills = 55% of the US”, “there are lots of frameworks out there, too many, we need to clear up the messages around competencies”, “it’s difficult to assess 21st Century skills”, “what skills to people need to work with AI is also an upcoming question.”

Other comments included:

Dr. Avis:
Quoting Tony Wagner “The longer students stays in school, the less creative they become.”

After much reflection, many of the skills can be assessed — but we need to think about different types of assessment. The focus is on assessing action.
Online safety — a positive peer influence is imortant to foster.
The disconnect mentioned — we need to communicate more than we do. Educators are too humble. They do great things but people don’t know about it. Need to communicate better.

Gus Schmedlen: 
Singapore is very brave in the in-depth culture review and reflection they are undergoing. You have to be brave to gather the evidence for change.

How to align the framework — use the sustainable dev goals as consensus was built through these.

Jim Knight:
We also educate self-belief out of children — education is also about compliance (to the society they work in). But the labour market is global, however, so jurisdictions need to be able to figure out the global competencies they need to embed in their local curriculums.

Scott Marrow:
Poorer kids cannot keep up with rapidly evolving tech.

Sandra Elliott:
Can we leapfrog? Can we jump ahead to catch the students we are loosing at the moment.

Ross:
Kids need to be able to code-switch = to change between how they were schooled (their society’s norms) to working in a global team.

Shirleen Chee:
You’re future can no longer be decided by your place of birth or family.

Keith Kreuger:
The Hand Project (this is an example)