Writing on the Window’s


Power is about what you can control…freedom is about what you can unleash

(Stephen Harris)

You can’t just change the space, you have to change the narrative.

(Steve Collis)

The #ELHST14 conference in Lorne was amazing, transformative and so much more…but echoing through it was a call to action. It’s not OK to have known everything we know about the Industrial Model of Schooling and not change what we do.

So many of the keynotes, sessions and conversations challenged and inspired me, but this post is not about them…it’s about my first tentative steps towards “Changerous” .


1.  Lou Deibe (@ldeibe) – Agitating in the War Room

Lou’s session challenged my thinking about how I teach and lead. I love working in the virtual space, so walking into a session with butchers paper and post-it notes…hmmm, I was feeling uncomfortable from the beginning as all of those memories of uncomfortable brainstorming sessions that had no meaning came flooding back to me. And then Lou explained WHY

I love the War Room mentality, the concept of learning as “strategy” makes sense to me…I want to create a space where “ideas can collide”…. I teach / mentor a research project class, and I could see immediate possibilities for the War Room approach. So We tried it in class.

My original idea was that we would brainstorm on the whiteboard…but we ran out of space – and this was where something AMAZING happened – the students asked if we could write on the windows…Given the vision of NBCS form ELHST 14 and the emphasis on writeable spaces…I said yes. They asked if I’d get into trouble, and I said, I’m not sure… this is what happened, the students jumped out of their seats, and defined audience, purpose and context for their question (see below).

IMG_0811.JPG IMG_0814.JPGIMG_0812.JPG

I had to borrow more whiteboard markers from other classes…there were some students sitting down, but they were calling out ideas / directions to the drawer’s. Student’s were “bouncing” around the window, laughing, shaking their heads, and saying “this is the most fun we’ve had in class”

Even better than this, at the end of class the year 12’s (I was teaching in their common space) came in and looked at the content and un-provoked engaged with the graphical thoughts. They were overheard saying – this really shows their thinking, it’s cool to see their thinking etc… and reflecting on their experiences of research project.

This got me thinking:

Steve Collis (@steve_collis) – Taxonomy of Frames ( taxonomy of frames)

When we wrote on the window’s we broke the rules of that space…allowing the students to re-frame their behaviour. I want to build on that and create a space where idea’s can collide. I want to use the windows as a means for yr 11 and yr 12 students to communicate their  thought’s understanding and learning about the research project…I want to shift the frame from classroom to startup and we will…I hope.

Where to from here?

The 5 week, Stage 1 Integrated Learning (Research Project) Group project is going to be a start-up entity. We are going to work as a class to  design, prototype create and publish a product that enables students de-mystify the research project. We will blog our progress and keep you all abreast of how it goes.

Thank you Will Richardson (@willrich45) I’m confused…and it’s a good thing. If anyone’s got any advice, or strong design thinking processes post below, otherwise it looks like a busy weekend of googling ahead for me.



4 thoughts on “Writing on the Window’s

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