Welcome to my Blog
Much happens at AISB that goes unnoticed, or is very visible and is never commented upon. We send out regular newsletters, but often the day-to-day minor improvements get lost. Thus, in the months to come, this blog will give me an opportunity to communicate more detailed updates on the running of this school. I will regularly be posting updates and, whenever needed, in emergencies. All posts will allow comments, and I encourage you to participate in the discussions at hand. To do so, click on the title of the blog post and scroll down to the end.
All posts are monitored and only signed posts will be approved.
Back in the early seventies, when I was still at school (just), a social revolution was underway that was to transform society in so many different ways. San Francisco was at the heart of this social evolution; songs were published, books written that captured the age, typified by the generational anthem by Scott McKenzie, 1967, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)“
All across the nation
Such a strange vibration
People in motion
There’s a whole generation
With a new explanation
People in motion
While San Francisco, London and other major cities around world were experiencing this societal change, a book, entitled Future Shock by Alvin Toffler (1970) cautioned that “too much change in too short a period of time” will have profound, unknown consequences to “certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies”. This prescient message resonates loudly now as we witness even more radical changes in how we interact socially, politically and economically. Whilst the message, what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9), reminds us of the repetition of the human condition; but, we are living in different times unlike any other.
Why? Because technology is changing everything. The reports from current research into the effects of technology usage is staggering negative as well as impressively positive; it depends on how the technology is being used. How we respond to this dichotomy is a constant battle and an immense common challenge for us all.
Two recent articles paint an even more dramatic picture of the negative impacts
There is now a recognized problem of technology addiction, children who are attached to their screens hour upon hour during the day. Rehab centers are being established; intensive recover programs are being instigated; it gets bleaker with every report that surfaces. Children who are sleep deprived; notable increases in teenage depression and asocial behaviors; smartphone addiction being likened to a cocaine habit. Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices can be so stimulating and entertaining that they “override all those natural instincts that children actually have for movement and exploration and social interaction (Hilarie Cash)
So, the solution? Perhaps we should take notice of those who started this revolution (Steve Jobs et al.) who ensured that their children were brought in low-tech environments, where play, outdoor activities and social interaction were emphasized.
So, Mr. Scott McKenzie was onto something, we need to be people in motion.
Among the many articles that I read this month, a few have resonated with me because they applied to education and how students learn. The first was a book on sleep, referenced in an article in the Guardian newspaper that that was published a few weeks ago: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker review – […]
We are constantly reminded, as I remind you, that things are changing, and changing fast. But if one reflects, this really has always been the case. Back in 1964, before most of you were born, Bob Dylan wrote a song entitled, ‘Times they are a-changing’. The words ring true today: Come gather ’round people Wherever […]
Last week we reported to the community the feedback from the Parent Survey that was undertaken at the end of the last academic year. As with last year’s survey, the participation rate was marvelous and I would like to thank all of you who contributed your thoughts and comments. Such feedback is very important for […]
The more I read and witness the rapid changes that are evolving around us, I am convinced that ‘average’ will not get anyone very far in life. In a recent article, the Financial Times reporting on the boom in robotics investment in 2015 (http://on.ft.com/26NvonM) made it clear that manufacturing is increasingly, indeed almost exponentially, becoming […]
The world around us is changing rapidly, almost too quickly for my liking, but those who stand still will be left behind as we track towards the future. The current campus has not really changed in the past sixteen years, whilst the world has. For our students to thrive and succeed, we will embrace change, […]
About a year ago I wrote something on free speech, that was published, if I remember correctly, in ‘The Underground’, but it seems to have gone largely unheeded. So without succumbing to the temptation of repeating myself, I will state my thoughts in a wider context and perhaps be rather more explicit in my expectations. […]
As we plan to improve and change our educational offerings the key to any vision of the future lies in our ability to predict what knowledge, skills and concepts will be needed by coming generations of students. I am firmly of the belief, from what I read and understand of our world changing, at a […]
We often talk about the AISB community and how important it is in the life of past, present and even future students. Whilst we need feedback and help from alumni and parents, there is an onus on the school to provide information that invites discussion and presents data that has the potential to maximize the […]