CommonLearn Explained

I have been immersed in issues arising out of the conjunction of education and technology almost from the first year that I started teaching back in 1980. However, I began a very specific and personal process of development and of thinking in the very particular area of virtual learning more than a dozen years ago […]

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I Am Learner

I am learner. Just as no one can see the colours I see, just as no one can hear the music I hear, just as no one can feel what I feel when I hold something in my hand, and just as no one can sense the world as I perceive it around me, no […]

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What every teacher knows instinctively…

…that teaching is not just complex, it is very complex! Teaching involves many tangibles, but far more intangibles. There is just so much in the whole complex edifice of teaching and learning that is ineffable, that simply beggars simplistic description. And yet, the schools system is held captive at the present time, in most countries […]

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The Dictatorship of No Alternative

‘The dictatorship of no alternative’ is a phrase used by Brazilian social and political commentator (and politician) Roberto Mangabeira Unger. He argues that, too often, those who offer alternatives to the status quo are dismissed either as utopian or trivial. Ideas will be rejected as utopian if they are too distant from the established order; […]

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School: Something’s Gotta Give

Something’s gotta give. The Industrial-Age model of schooling, which benefited 20th-century generations by serving as a legitimate ticket to the middle class, has clearly run its course. In its place, we need a model for a new age — the Democratic Age. And we need strategies for ensuring that young people learn how to be […]

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Bob Mackenzie aka RF Mackenzie

I have been delving back into the words and deeds of some of those educators who first convinced me there was more to education than schooling and more to schooling than transmission of information. One of my heroes in education was Bob Mackenzie – or RF Mackenzie to give him his Sunday name. He taught […]

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Money for Antique Rope

Here is the rub. Reading 90 per cent of academic tomes is worse than eating a cardboard sandwich: disgusting to look at and impossible to chew. Decent style and a flowing sentence is sacrificed for the tedium of the researcher’s “thesis”. Many academics seem not to have got over writing their doctorates — their typescripts […]

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Social Networks Then and Now

I was named after my paternal grandfather. John Connell was just two days short of his 64th birthday on the day I was born in 1957. He was then thirteen years older than I am now. He died aged 80, our lives overlapping by just sixteen years. He was a highly intelligent but largely uneducated […]

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All it takes….

All it takes is one person to stand up in the crowd and call bullshit. All it takes is one person to be brave enough to say, “I don’t understand.” All it takes is one person to pose a question. All it takes is one person to throw down the challenge and then TALK and […]

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