Reflections – The futures of Childhood Education

We’ve been away a while haven’t we? We’re also couple of reflections behind, this one will cover the Futures of Childhood Education and Tim will post one up for the Future of Cities. Then we’re going to take a break until January and bounce back refreshed in the New Year….!

After the Futures of Work we decided to make several changes to our approach by making the methods, timetable and aims more explicit. We also wanted to try using some other tools such like the poll and google hangouts.  Behind this was a realization that we needed to attract people who were interested in the subject and wanted to explore it for themselves, rather than people who were happy to assist us on our exploration of a topic.

We had some great input from the poll, enough material to work with not so much that we were overloaded. The images and backing comments were great and we only managed to explore some of this.

The Google hangout was great, we had loads of fun and hopefully the participants did too.  Everyone was genuinely interested in the subject.  Our intention was to collect a few words for each image then use groups of images to generate the scenarios all in one session.  This was not to be.. there was a lot of interest in exploring the images in much more detail than we intended and my facilitation probably wasn’t tight enough from the outset. So we ran overtime, fortunately everyone was interested enough to volunteered to come back for a second session.  In this session we generated the scenarios from the groups of images.  It was really interesting to see how the deeper exploration altered the image grouping compared with the provisional groups I’d guessed at before the exercise.  We felt there were some nice themes that came out and we were very excited about going into the next stage using Branch to discuss and elaborate on scenarios.

And at this point it fell over in a big heap. We had Branch problems (again…..) with people unable to login and add comments, there was a bit of a delay in getting the scenario data up and we added 4 scenarios streams so it was extra hard for people to know where to post. To add to this the youtube video of the session is in its raw format, so whilst fun to do, a bit long and for people to look at. This made it even harder for someone who wasn’t involved in the hangout to make sense of the scenarios, how they were constructed and what to add to them. Thanks to everyone who commented on this – its given us plenty to think about how we manage increasing the entertainment factor.

So it all fell flat and died….so we learned a particular we were thinking about:

  • What are we trying to facilitators, participants,  a combination, something else..?
  • Noticing that Tribe Sourcing rather than Crowd Sourcing can be useful
  • But then how do you manage the transitions crowd to tribe to crowd…?
  • To get the ‘stickiness’ we’re looking for, we need to think about how to entertain more.
  • And as always what other media can we use..

Thanks to everyone who participated, gave us feedback or posted a comment. You were awesome..! Cheers Gareth

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