After a terrific first day spent discussing happiness in education and the future of learning in the 21st century, participants at Edu4Happiness were back yesterday morning, taking in a keynote address by Patrick Bassett of the National Association of Independent Schools, discussing the role of the arts in developing leadership abilities and how to use gamification as a learning tool, and exploring the impact of the democratization of knowledge through the use of technology.
Slides and documents from most of the presentations can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/Edu4HappinessSlides
Patrick Bassett, National Association of Independent Schools
Patrick Bassett opened his keynote address by asking an important question, “Are schools designed to fit kids? Or adults?” That is, are students being taught in the way they like to learn? Or are they being taught in the way teachers like to teach?
Pat maintains that, in fact, students are being taught in a way that zaps creativity and makes students conformist. In order to combat this issue education needs to be more experiential and must underscore the skills and values that will be both demanded and rewarded in the 21st century.
Pat insists that the skills and values most important to making significant contribution to society are as follows:
- Critical thinking
To learn more about the “Five Cs + One” click HERE.
Kul Wadhwa, Head of Mobile & Business Development, Wikimedia Foundation
On the heels of a number of visionary presentations, Kul Wadhwa of Wikimedia provided examples of ways he and the Wikimedia team are taking the idea of democratizing knowledge through technology and implementing it in practical ways across the globe. He spoke of initiatives like Wikipedia Zero, which enables users in the developing world to access the entirety of Wikipedia’s articles through their mobile phone WITHOUT the use of a browser and for FREE.
Kul spoke of a number of other initiatives that Wikimedia is working on to use technology for empowerment and education, including providing the ability for users to download the full Wikipedia library using highly compressed ZIM files, which are small enough that the library can fit on a thumb drive.
His presentation hit a chord with a lot of participants:
Carin Zinter @CarinZinter
Wikipedia Zero. What a brilliant initiative to help people in developing countries to have greater access to information. #edu4happiness
Bruce Lemieux @blemieux
@thekulway #edu4happiness you were one of the bright lights in steering the course. Hope to further collaborate.
Jasmine Cumberland @JasCumberland
Really interesting example of classroom gamification in LA and Detroit – thanks @joncassie and @irwinmi2! #Edu4Happiness
Maureen Greenbaum @sumware
@cushingAcademy 2:30 today join me #edu4happiness http://bit.ly/Ed4Happy #edtech provides personal tutor solving B Bloom 2 sigma problem
Educating4Happiness @Edu4HappinessWhat role can theatre and music play in developing leadership skills amongst students? #Edu4Happiness
Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University
To close things off we were joined by Jeffrey Sachs via Skype. A global voice in the movement to recognize happiness as a important indicator of human progress and wellbeing, Jeffrey spoke about the recently released World Happiness Report, which he co-authored, and it’s implications for education. He encouraged educators to take the challenges we are facing today as a human race – sustainability, global warming, poverty reduction – and make them relevant in their own communities. In particular, by prompting students to think about what these issues mean from a local perspective. What does climate change look like in Massachusetts? And what can be done on a micro level to address it?
Global Happiness Report
Sustainable Development Solutions Network