EdFutScot Open Meeting – Minutes

The following are some notes I made during the first Education Futures : Scotland open meeting tonight. You can watch it back here. A huge thank you to everyone who attended and contributed!

  • What is it we’re trying to achieve?
  • Highlight what’s good. Positive. Possibilities. Highlight good practice. Try things in public.
  • Building a system which deliberately sets out to create positive feedback loops. Pick up, use, spread.
  • Isn’t that LTS? We’re not a corporate a voice. Classroom practice. How we are implementing it in our classrooms. Practicalities of implementing CfE.
  • On the ground and practical or a systems approach? Whole school approaches are vastly different across Scotland. Some are using inservice, others learning rounds etc. Still a dissatisfaction as to how we’re going about this – the system we as teachers are having to go through. A bitty approach. Need a systems view.
  • Are these contradictory or complimentary? Complimentary…all finding our way…isn’t this part of autonomy? But still constrained by a National framework.
  • Core business = voices of the classroom.
  • Initiative fatigue – no mugs/mouse mats etc with edubuzz.org Is CfE seen as an initiative?
  • This is about a fundamental change in the way go about teaching, not an initiative.
  • Can we change the narrative? Use “Best Education System in the World”?
  • Practitioner led/owned leading to a change in the narrative of CfE.
  • How do we reach out to more than the twitterati? Should we be attempting to do more than blog?
  • Learning Rounds – Share practice. Work with other schools. Learning Rounds style approach to the twitterati?
  • Forming/Storming/Norming/Performing – are we at the storming stage? What are the norms…?
  • Learning Rounds – look to be very effective, but still can be seen as threatening…
  • How can we make use of these ideas? Move these ideas away from National agendas – collaborative web. Not top down. We are autonomous and appreciate the potential this gives us as a profession.
  • Perhaps this is best described as a permanent, online TeachMeet?
  • Modeling the opportunities – begin to communicate beyond the Twitterati…and to parents too? Massive social campaign…on a par with clunk, click every trip?
  • Need to share real ideas of classroom practice – and the learning resulting from trying.
  • Have we made the right call by going with a collaborative wordpress blog? Could we/should we go for another format? How about this from @dgilmour?
  • WordPress = a good start. 10/40000 at this meeting though…? A big challenge ahead.
  • Need a Facebook presence too.
  • What about Glow? Glow brings advantages, but many disadvantages also.
  • Shall we get our own domain name and have the blog hosted to help avoid filters? We have had a kind offer for hosting from paulwheatley.com
  • General feeling of approval in the room. Not perfect (i.e. possibly less permanent), but probably the best compromise between wordpress.com and glow.
  • Have we made the right call with the name? Can anyone think of anything better?
  • Perhaps could be catchier…ask for suggestions on twitter.
  • LearnMeet? A TeachMeet for learners was suggested. This could be fantastic. Who’s going to take this one forward…?

24 thoughts on “EdFutScot Open Meeting – Minutes

  1. Juliet Robertson

    Thanks for posting so quickly. Unfortunately I completely forgot about this event – I’ve been experimenting with reminders which haven’t been reminding me and had a son at a footie match who needed collecting.

    Will there be another open meeting at all or will folk report back here about the above suggestions in due course?

  2. Fearghal Kelly

    Didn’t make plans for another meeting, but I’d hope there’d be more as it was very useful.

    Trying to strike the right balance between organic collaboration, organised direction and a blind shambles…not sure where we are just now…?

  3. Mr W

    I’m really fired up by the notion of a LearnMeet. I know it kind of just popped into the conversation, but the more I think about it, the more I think it may be a viable way to combine learning and sharing in a valuable way.

    This is definitely something I want to pursue. Anyone else?

  4. Fearghal Kelly

    There’s been a few ideas suggested for the name tonight on twitter.

    Krysia came up with loads of suggestions on the train:
    and prefers “ourEdu or edu2020, or just Educate”

    Juliet came up with OurCfE, and I had a bit of a blitz with the following:


    I’m keen to avoid the inclusion of CfE – for me this is bigger than CfE…!

    It’s always hard not to prefer your own in a situation like this…and to be honest I think out of all of these my favourite is Pedagoo. It’s a new word, it’s one word, it’s a bit of fun, it’s catchy and it relates to pedagogy.

    Do you have any other ideas? What do you think of these ones?

    I think we’ll need to get this sorted asap…I think we want to get the domain name in the next week or so at the latest…

  5. Catherine Miller

    I’ve added a link to a new website from a colleague at my university which has a very similar name-ish! He has gone for a .es suffix to complete the word ‘futures’ and I wondered if this might be worth exploring? Perhaps resulting in something like educationfutur.es with the ‘s’ being very short for Scotland!? I’m not sure what scope there is for generating your own suffix but have asked him for more info on how he did this. What do you think? Just worried that pedagoo is too jokey-jargony for folk to take it more seriously than many other initiatives.

    1. Fearghal Kelly

      Nice idea…it is available as well:

      I appreciate that pedagoo is a bit out there…but I still like it 🙂 I wouldn’t agree though that ‘pedagogy’ is jargon. We’ve got to ensure that we don’t end up in a ‘tips for teachers’ mindset with this – we need to strive for depth to achieve understanding.

      I can see the benefits of educationfutur.es though…

  6. Catherine Miller

    What have I said!? I totally agree pedagogy isn’t jargon & hope it didn’t sound like that’s what I meant! Just think we can sometimes try too hard to be ‘down with the kids’ and run the risk of sounding a little patronising, don’t you think?

    There is a fine line to walk between sounding accessible and interesting or else as coming across as patronising or just another flavour-of-the-month bandwagon. Certainly worth having the debate now. Is it possible to have educationfuture.scot or are you limited to only two letters as the suffix? Hope that’s not too dumb a question. Sorry to display my lack of internet savvy so publically. 😉

    1. Fearghal Kelly

      I’m never sure about the inclusion of 2020. What’s so special about that year? What about next year? Next week? Next lesson?

      For me the gap is too large to deal with and it becomes abstract…

      It also reminds me of Namibia’s Education 2020 policy (from when I worked there through VSO) which was all a bit of a nonsense!

      1. Catherine Miller

        I agree with your thoughts about not including a date, Fearghal, though do like the idea of something shorter too. Wondered if you were deliberately moving away from CfE? If not then what about sticking with cfefuture as the name.

        This hashtag is already in use and we really are taking about its implementation, are we not? Why not keep the same name for the website? Is it not available, perhaps?

      2. Ian Stuart

        Edu2020 started in 2009 as it was the year when 5 year olds entered the education system would able to leave at 16.
        It was choosen because it wasn’t abstract. It was a single generation.
        The point was what are we wanting to aim at and then look at what steps are required to get their.
        I think its the steps that we are talking about.

  7. Fearghal Kelly

    I am deliberately avoiding CfE for a number of reasons:

    – Whilst CfE provides us with the framework to develop educational experiences which are fit for purpose, implementing CfE in itself is not our goal. It’s bigger than that.
    – I’m not convinced that ‘CfE’ will last the new parliament, or the one after that, so I’d like to find something which is relatively future proof.
    – As mentioned in the meeting, CfE is now seen by many as a Government initiative. I don’t think we can necessarily reclaim the agenda whilst looking and sounding like LTS, we need to be distinctive.

  8. Fearghal Kelly

    Thanks Ian.

    My comment wasn’t meant to be a criticism of your conference, but I can understand that it might’ve appeared that way. It was more a general statement about the many things you see with what appears to be a random year in the future…


    1. Ian Stuart

      I didn’t take it as a critism
      I was pointing out the 2020 as a date is not an abstract from now. Dates focus minds in the same way as deadlines do. Possibly more focused than the very abstract ‘future’.
      If you are prejudging the death of CfE then thats a dangerous political road to start on. Particularly if you like the concept of CfE.

      Something like EdSteps or NexSteps

  9. Fearghal Kelly

    Good point Ian…hmmm.

    I’m not predicting the death of CfE as such, I’m just concerned that as a term it is outside our control and potentially transitory. But that’s not my only reason as I say.

    Aargh…so many options, not sure how to resolve this!

    1. Catherine Miller

      We could take the Harry Hill approach on which one is better… or I could ask my students since they are the future of education in Scotland?

  10. Walt P.

    Fearghal – re pedagoo.

    I have a great iPad game called World of Goo that involves building structures for blobs of goo to transition to higher levels.
    So I would advise against using that term.
    I like educationfuture.es

  11. Fearghal Kelly

    I don’t really have a problem with the goo thing. It is in fact deliberate…goo is sticky (collaborative) and messy (complicated).

    I don’t really see the existence of a game which involves goo as a problem.

    I think Kirsty & Linda have been fighting the pedagoo corner better than I this afternoon:

    “I think we need something memorable and quirky, something that doesnt make you think of a green folder! Pedagoo does that!”

    “I like how it sounds fluid, like nothing we are doing has to fit straight lines etc..”

    “Pedagoo was my favourite too! After all, learning is messy…..and FUN!”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.