Let me take you back to August 24th, 2004.Remember that? 2004?Facebook as a popular choice is still more than 2 years away. Twitter as a mass engagement tool is still 3 years away. Do you remember what we did before Facebook and Twitter?So, August 24th, 2004. 1000s of people who didn’t know each other, who come from different backgrounds and who don’t appear to have anything in common are descending on phone boxes like these, armed with all sorts of technology devices. They have laptops. They have PDAs. They have handheld GPS. And they are coming. In their 1000s
So let’s jump forward to last year, in a world of Twitter, when I received a “Follow Friday”, a twitter convention used to recommend people. In this followfriday I was referred to as a “disruptive innovator”.And I don’t mind saying, I was a little offended. Because I didn’t want to be disruptive. Disruptive is bad, isn’t it? Disruption is something we want to avoid, right? I’m a good boy, you see. I’ve worked in Comms, I’ve developed communities, I’ve helped people get back into work. That’s about towing the line, that’s about making sure we’re on message, that’s about helping people complete the agenda of the day. I’m not disuptive! So yeah, I don’t mind saying, I was a little offended. (show video of teacher being assaulted from youtube) – this is an example of disruption. It’s clearly bullying. That poor teacher is the victim. That boy, he’s the villain. Because he’s disruptive….he’s the villain, right?But then, one night, I was watching Good Morning Vietnam. That film, where Robin Williams goes to work at ‘nam radio station and does his thing. And I noted this scene, in which the station manager, who was an anal, unfunny, control freak addressed the DJs (show video from YouTube – if the VP is such a VIP etc). See, this is bullying too, isn’t it. Robin Williams is bullying the station manager. But suddenly, the bully is the hero and the bullied the villain. How can this be?So I started to think, maybe disruption can be a good thing. It may be something we need, to keep our systems, elders and management in check. But how can we use this? And what does that mean?So, being a reflective type, I went away and thought about this, very deeply. But did very little. Very little other than think….until
I came across a health initiative called Positive Deviancy (read blurb).This leads to bottom up approaches. It leads to organisations and systems that encourage challenge, that encourages DISRUPTION. DISRUPTION has an elelment of risk, and this encourages it….because some risk will pay off. This system makes DISRUPTION the NORM.
So, yes, there was a healthcare project. This idea was being used in community building. There were consultants offering it for business development. Educators such as Mike Chitty were looking at it for personal development. Even local government were trying it out here (mention case study of London Borough’s innovation fund). But was it happening in education? I couldn’t find anything happening.You see, we were still sitting people in rows. We were giving people electric whiteboards instead of manual ones, but we still had the linear curriculum, the tick box exercises. Where was the disruption?Then I came upon Steve Wheelers blog. (See @timbuckteeth on twitter)
On his blog he asks questions around the ethics of disruption (light the touch paper post)He references: - SugataMitra and his Hole In the Wall project, where a computer left in a non-English speaking non-computer using slum and children taught themselves the language and the system without facilitation other than the supply of the computer. He calls these Self Organising Learning Environments.Maurice Holt – Maurice compared the school system to the fast food movement that deskills practitioners from being chefs to being cheap labour, produces rough and ready products that end up with obesity. He suggested a “slow school” idea similar to the “slow food movement”. Collective action…it’s clear that people are taking disruptive action themselves, without organisation.
So, collection action, is a form of disruptionSir Ken Robinson has disrupted the model that education is about achieving accademic greatness. He argues that creativty is just as important and that we should look at students by what they CAN do, not what they can’t. He advocates teachers disrupting the system to overcome the barriers imposed by the academic culture.The Vanguard Model a method of so called Lean Thinking is a method for checking systems are fit for purpose and bring in change. This thinking allows for disruption to be a measured response in a management system and keeping disruption in a practical check.
So, positive deviancy could work in our organisation and management structure, it could work in our business processes.It could work in our learner and student voice method….why do we have student voice panels, when crowd sourcing opens this to everyone? It could be teaching and learning based…we’ll come back to that later.
The technological tools for this? Social media is the obvious one….along with mobile devices.Technology can be a space enabler….either through distance learning, or through the use of spaces online.Wheeler quotes Mitra’s examples of “All the answers being on the web”.
This was a task where students were set a problem and simply told to find the answers. A red herring in the problem ,Wheeler suggests, could make that challenge greater.We could use it in student voice, we could use it in distance learning or self directed learning.We currently streamline education based on various arbitrary things, such as age or ability. Often, the streamlining isn’t about accommodating the learner, but the practitioner. It’s about being able to manage learners easily. So, collaborative technologies could help. A classroom of 7 year olds could work with other ages on different subjects online to collaborate and overcome streamlining.
But let’s be honest, this sounds good, but it just idealistic fantasy? Am I talking about dreams? Can disruption really be a tool to use in education?Well, it is a reality.We’re seeing disruptive collective action happening as a result of social media (and indeed before it as a result of spontaneous gatherings).We see flashmobs taking place.We see subversive advertising, where advertisers (for example) pay people to talk about a product on the tube, to create a buzz.We’ve seen civil disobedience, like the Ryan Giggs injunction on TwitterWe’ve also seen it through I love Bees.
I Love Bees was a puzzle set by the advertsiers of Halo 2.Read the link for details (Charles Leadbeater, WeThink). In short website given which had co-ordinates, nothing else. Readers of site set up their own debates as to what this meant (remember this was pre facebook/twitter). They were fed clues by the game designers. Co-ordinates turned out to be phone boxes….players went to phone boxes and were played part of an MP3 that needed to be put in order by the end of the day. They succeeded.It culminated in 600,000+ of people turning up at over 1,000 payphones worldwide and being asked for five words of personal information. Another of the phones was then phoned, randomly, ten minutes later and they were asked for those five words. Every single time, on 1,000s of phones, they didn’t fail once.THAT was disruption. A group of people provided only with the environment to self organise and the building blocks of a game facilitated, organised and compelted it on an international scale. It’s this kind of self organisation that can change the way we learn, the way we work, the way we manage and it’s the stratgeic deployment of disruption, the harnessing of positive deviancy, the loving of risk and power to allow creatively and mistakes that will bring about the changes needed to adapt to a modern world. It’s time to brinng about change. Let’s go forth….and disrupt.
Positive deviancy upload version
Positive Deviancywhy we might love disruptive students<br />Kevin Campbell-Wright<br />
August 24th, 2004Facebook is 2 years awayTwitter is 3 years away<br />
What does this mean?</li></li></ul><li>Positive Deviancy<br />Health Initiative: “in every community there are certain individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviours and strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than their peers, while having access to the same resources and facing similar or worse challenges”Positivedeviancy.org<br />Bottom Up Approaches<br />Encouraging challenge<br />Crowd-sourcing ideas<br />Encouraging risks<br />Making the exception the norm<br />
Steve Wheeler’s Blog<br />Questions<br />SugataMitra (Hole in the Wall) (SOLE)<br />Maurice Holt (Slow School)<br />Collective Action<br />
Positive Deviancy<br />Collective Action<br />Sir Ken Robinson<br />Vanguard Method / Systems Thinking / LeanCheckPurpose: What is the purpose of this system?Demand: What is the nature of customer demand?Capability: What is it predictably achieving?Flow: How does the work work?System Conditions: Why does the system behave this way?PlanWhat needs changing to improve performance?What action could be taken and what would we predict would be the consequences?Against what measures should action be taken (to ensure we learn)?DoTake the planned action and monitor the consequences versus purpose.<br />
Positive Deviancy & Technology<br />Social Media<br />Mobile Devices<br />Technology as a space enabler<br />“All the answers are on the web” Wheeler & Mitra<br />
Positive Deviancy - Ideas<br />“All the answers are on the web” Wheeler & Mitra<br />Student Voice<br />Distance Learning<br />Self-Directed learning<br />Collaborative learning (streamlining etc)<br />
Positive Deviancy – a reality?<br />Collective Action through social media<br />Flashmobs<br />Subversive Advertising<br />Collaborative Programmes<br />Crowdsourcing<br />Civil Disobedience<br />I Love Bees (told by Charles Leadbeater) <br />
I Love Bees<br />Advert for Halo 2<br />Beekeeper recipes replaced with GPS co-ordinates & time of day<br />Debates started, clues were fed to players<br />261 Payphones – 1000s turned up, were asked a question, played a snippet. They ordered them by the end of the day.<br />1,000s of phones, five words each. Never failed.<br />
Kevin Campbell-Wright<br />kevupnorth<br />http://www.slideshare.net/kevupnorth<br />http://www.diigo.com/user/kevupnorth/disrupt<br />
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