Happy Steve

Innovation and Learning

Start with clarity of intent.

Now build it out with an evocative vision. Improvise progress by tinkering: with lots of trial and lots of error. The not knowing is the best bit: the mysteries the surprises, and from time to time the windfalls! 

Hello there, I'm Steve Collis! 

Click on "contact", won't you, and wave right back at me?

Mass Student Shock Reaction

I announced on Thursday morning at assembly that our school had acquired 3D Virtual property.

When I made this announcement there was a shock-reaction amongst all our students. It was one of those spontaneous crowd response moments. There was a some laughter, but it wasn't mocking laughter, it was disbelief laughter. It was quite an electric moment.

The shocked reaction of the students in itself holds a lot of meaning to me.

Why would students be so shocked that technology they'd almost all be accustomed to, is being used in a school context? Why is it unheard of?

The tools that our young people use to connect socially & to express themselves creatively, ought also to be provided to them in school and harnassed for learning.

I announced that we were wanting to recruit moderators for the virtual world & that we'd let them in early. At the meeting I held at lunch, there was an overwhelming crowd and I had to turn many students away (they came back the next day to an alternative meeting).

On Friday, the day after the announcement, a core group of students had filled in applications to be moderators and had permission slips signed.

So I set them up.

I write this on Sunday evening. What a weekend it has been.

On Friday night there was chaos... students trying every wacky thing they could. Objects strewn everywhere. They immediately discovered all kinds of stuff I didn't know existed. One student wore about 8 parrots on his avatar. Others discovered they could become dinosaurs.

On Saturday I gave some of the students plots of land to build on. By Saturday night one of them had created a shop. By Sunday morning he had stocked it with a virtual version of our school uniform.

By Sunday evening, more buildings, including a paint-ball maze and a parrot shop with a teleporter to a building way up in the sky.

And that's the students, while several of my colleagues have worked on some beautiful facilities near a waterfall, and a 'fortress of physics' up in the sky. (My colleagues are on Twitter - @tim__barrett and @peter_robson).