Where are the Learners?


As we welcome back many teachers and learners from northern hemisphere summer vacation, we would also like to feature some thoughts from Cecilia de la Paz. Cecilia was Cluster Lead in Uruguay, and now works from New Zealand as a member of the NPDL Capacity Building Team.

Reflecting on the passing of Seymour Papert in July, Cecila challenges us to connect, engage and ignite learners and learning…….

Where are the Learners? Honoring Seymour Papert 1928-2016

I have been visiting schools, reading, thinking and co-creating with teams from different parts of the globe, aiming to find new or more effective ways to engage children in learning. As years go by I am more convinced that what professor Seyomur Papert stated is true ¨the best learning takes place when the learners take charge¨.

As early as 1968, Papert introduced the idea that computer programming and debugging could provide children a way to think about their own thinking and learn about their own learning. In 2016 we are still asking questions about the role of technology in our schools: looking for answers about the relationship between the learning, the learner and the digital tools. Papert´s vision in the 70´s was to see the computer as a space where different worlds co-existed, labs where children could experience, get it wrong, test boundaries and learn from their mistakes. papert-with-logo-robot

But the learning experience must go beyond the tool. The learning experience may be inspired by technology, but needs be more complex and trigger an emotional connection between learning and learner – in the way we see education and gamification. Sad for recent Papert´s lost, I started to think what are the essential elements that combined surpasses systems, standards, curriculum and/or environmental conditions to inspire learners. What is the underlying essence that makes or could make teachers around the world, the ones that could successfully inspire a new generation to connect with themselves and the world in an exciting revealing way?

And it is true that ¨you cannot think about thinking, without thinking about thinking about something¨ as Papert stated. Maybe Andrea Schleicher could add ¨It is not about knowing everything but thinking as a mathematician¨ and that was precisely what Seymour shared with the world, a tool where you could just do that, unleash the thinking, igniting their inner fire.

Where everybody saw computers as big calculators, he saw beyond, and called them ¨the machine of the children¨ working to provide a tool that could convey his vision to give children more freedom and trust to learn. So what are the elements we are seeing today at school that could be changed, twisted, merged to other things to ignite the learner´s inner emotional connection with learning so it transforms them as human beings?

As G.Frasca reflected on Papert´s legacy…

¨we remember Prometheus for stealing from the Gods and distribute among men. But we hardly have examples of people that steal from the adults´ world, to give so generously to the children¨.

Let´s do that.

Seeing Dots!

Innovation – no doubt it’s a buzz word.

Indeed, “Innovate or Perish” seems to be a common mantra across many layers of the world of work.
But what might it actually mean, for us in our work in the NPDL Partnership?

One of our four core elements are “New Pedagogical Practices”, aspects of teaching and learning that are (often) enabled, accelerated or amplified by the digital. Whilst there are true opportunities to innovate and extend our teaching and learning here, the notion of building on, or extending current practice through leveraging digital can be one of iteration as opposed to innovation.

So, shifting focus, I would like to share some thinking around the connection between learning partnerships and innovation. It is inspired by a video I came across in that “down-the-rabbit-hole” kind of search that sometimes occurs when you are not really sure what you are looking for, but hope it’s out there!

What messages do you hear in that video?

I was struck by the idea of “Innovation” being the dots and connections that others have missed, or forgotten!

I wonder, as we partner to build Critical Thinking and Creativity (and the other C’s) in our learners, whether we encourage, explicitly structure for and create opportunities for divergent thinking?

In terms of Learning Partnerships, do we make time to leave the “Sage on the Stage” role and allow learners to direct the conversations, the learning; opportunities to see dots that we perhaps do not?

As I write I am reminded of one of my all-time favourite videos – Steven Johnson’s “Where good ideas come from”. Steven talks about the collision of slow hunches,  and about making space for this to happen.

In a classroom, these metaphors around collaborative creativity, and seeing new dots, underpin the whole idea of learners building new knowledge, and acting upon it.

So my search for more clarity around innovation has me, I think, seeing more dots – and I’ll leave you with more questions than answers!

Where is YOUR white space for innovation?

In your classroom, how are notions, unexpected connections, ideas, possibilities and imagination encouraged, in every learner, every day?

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts here on NPDLConnect, or through social media (@NewPedagogies | Facebook) or via email.

In depth,

NPDL Southern Region Deep Learning Lab

Save the Dates!

For this Professional learning workshop with global experts.

CORE Education, in collaboration with New Pedagogies for Deep Learning, is hosting the Southern Region “Deep Learning Lab”.

An open invitation is extended to all educators – this workshop is a unique opportunity to collaborate with global experts to investigate and evaluate ways in which we can improve our teaching practice and outcomes for learners.

Join NPDL Global Directors Michael Fullan, Joanne McEachen, and Joanne Quinn, as well as international cluster leaders, to discuss leading-edge innovations for deep learning.

New Pedagogies for Deep Learning_A5 e-flyer_v2

Event Details

Sunday 2 October 4-6pm – Welcome & Networking Reception

Monday 3 October 8.30am-5pm – Deep Learning Lab

Tuesday 4 October 8.30am-3pm – Deep Learning Lab


If you are currently an NPDL cluster member or are interested in joining a cluster and finding out more information about NPDL, then register now to attend this Deep Learning Lab.


You may also be interested in attending uLearn16, New Zealand’s premier conference for educators.  This is being held 5–7 October 2016, in Rotorua, New Zealand. Click here for more information.


Enablers and Actions

What a big week it has been for us!

Thank you to all of you who have hit our social media channels (on Twitter @NewPedagogies  and NPDLConnect. It’s been great to see the various layers of implementation and YOUR practices, learning and learners (of all ages) being featured.

A shout out to @patriciahoutsma for prompting our most viewed tweet this week!


Our analytics tell us that we have reached out to over 6000 users over the last 7 days. Please keep spreading the word and sharing your thoughts, achievements and great practice! Our social media and NPDLConnect will be the major information sources as we promote upcoming events, webinars and interactive conversations, so please check back in regularly!

Most importantly, thanks to those who have responded on NPDLConnect or via email to our prompt asking for three most powerful ideas, enablers or actions that you have engaged in to bring NPDL to life for your learners.

Your responses addressed dimensions such as:

  • the importance of school culture and climate – ultimately established by School Principals – in allowing and indeed encouraging teachers to embrace and enact new ways of teaching and learning
  • clarity of vision and purpose – across all learners, teachers, leaders and the broader school community
  • explicitly and authentically connecting your curriculum to the 6C’s
  • Growing “Leadership from the Middle
  • learning from each other – collaborating to build collective efficacy
  • celebrating success – and analyzing failures to do better next time around!
  • creating time to allow deep learning
  • starting small and building capacity
  • analyzing and evaluating all we do in order to improve our practice, and outcomes for learners
  • being prepared to take risks and work “outside the box”

 Please continue to post or email through your thoughts,

yours in depth,


Welcome to NPDLConnect!

maxdrummyIt is with a great deal of pleasure that we welcome you to NPDLConnect. As the name of this blog suggests, our intent is to bring together ways of thinking and working, conversations, processes and assets so that we can further support the great work that is happening in New Pedagogies for Deep Learning schools globally.
The blog will feature content available in the public domain, and also links to members-only content (signified by this symbol MO) hosted on our Deep Learning Hub.

Today we are also excited to launch a number of new and revised tools in our Capacity Building section of the Deep Learning Hub ( MO). Among these are 6 Capacity Building Modules, a Parent Engagement activity, and leading Learning Conversations – a document to help school leaders have focussed deep learning design conversation with teachers. We will host short webinar workshops to unpack these, and other new documents over the coming weeks.

First and foremost, however, this blog is about YOU and your learners!

We would love to hear your stories, your ideas, your triumphs and challenges, and come together to create a powerful collaborative dialogue about all things NPDL.

So our first prompt: What are the three most powerful ideas, enablers or actions that you have engaged in to bring NPDL to life for your learners?boxmodel

Post a response below or feel free to email me with further thinking: [email protected]

If you would like to contribute a longer article, contribution guidelines are available here.

To ensure you stay up to date with all that will happen through NPDLConnect, we suggest subscribing via email in the box at the right of this page.

Also follow us on Twitter @NewPedagogies, or on Facebook.

Let’s go deep!



Deep Learning Lab 2017

The world needs solutions like never before and NPDL has never been more relevant.  Deep learning  isn’t just about transforming education but how education can transform the world. Join the movement alongside students, parents, educators, and global partners as we roll up our sleeves for three days of collaboration, problem solving, inspiration and celebration.

Join innovative educators, dedicated partners and thought leaders to explore and celebrate progress in Deep Learning in Toronto, Canada for our 2017 Deep Learning Lab! Space is limited so register now!

Download the Deep Learning Lab Brochure to view the program here.

Register Now! Registration is now open for all NPDL Members and Non-Members