What we learnt from our ‘connected economy’ in 2015

At Graydin, we value a ‘connected economy’. And by this we mean the connection created between humansthat was difficult or impossible before the web. 

This is a concept created by our wonderful friend Seth Godin and one that is incredibly relevant today.

And as we launch into 2016, we took a moment to reflect on the important messages and themes we saw through our connected economy, primarily from our engaged and enthusiastic Twitter audience.

So what did we see?

1. Teachers are more connected and collaborative

Before recent times, it has been challenging for teachers to step out of their classroom siloes. The design of a school naturally requests teachers to operate independently of one another within their own classrooms. This is increasingly no longer the case.

We have seen an inspiring surge of teachers tweeting, writing blogs, attending networking events and much more. There has been a significant shift towards sharing best practice and utilising technology to ensure experiences and wisdom are shared globally.

Teachers are increasingly coming together to discuss issues they feel are important. A prime example is the emergence of WomenEd, a grassroots movement connecting inspiring female leaders in education. Their first “Unconference” was attended by more than 250 women; eager to learn, debate and share both their challenges and successes.

You can read more about their work from an insightful blog written by Hannah Wilson, a member of their steering group.

We believe connection and collaboration is key to making progress and creating change. Long may this trend continue.

2. Happiness and wellbeing are at the forefront

We saw a large number of posts and articles contemplating what contributes to our happiness and wellbeing, and ways to ‘hack’ these attributes.

For example, Mindfulness has created a significant buzz in education. Schools are reporting its positive impact, particularly for students with behavioural challenges. For the past 12 years, Goldie Hawn has worked with a team of educators, neuroscientists and psychologists to develop and deliver Mind Up. This programme, designed to help children learn to focus and control themselves, teaches children neuroscience (in a kid-friendly way) and incorporates meditation into their daily lives.

3. Technology has a pivotal role in the classroom

The debate about the benefits of iPads and other new technology continues. The most useful insight is that technology (on it’s own) is simply not enough. It is critical that educators have a clear outcome in mind before choosing which technology to best ultilise.

We loved reading this insightful article about useful apps approved by teachers themselves.

4. Coaching in education is taking off

We are very excited to report that coaching is now becoming a movement in education. Still in its infancy, we know it will only continue to grow. School leaders are recognising the power of coaching and the widespread benefits of teaching staff and senior leaders taking a coach-approach. Research is now underway to support the effects of coaching in education and the heart-warming case studies we have collected from the schools we work with exemplify this.

Graydin’s Progress Report for 2015 shares these case studies, which makes for a moving and inspiring read.

5. Being inspired is key

Without passion, motivation and purpose, we all know it’s challenging to focus and thrive.

We see countless educators injecting inspiration into their daily lives, whether it be by watching TED-Ed videos, hanging up Growth Mindset posters, or having conversations about what is most important. Inspiration surrounds us; how wonderful that is!

At Graydin, we live by our ethos of ‘Start With Heart’. This is to first engage with our values and passions (Heart), and then consider our options and next steps.  This supports us, and all those who Start With Heart, to be most effective and fulfilled. Our unique Start With Heart coaching model, designed specifically for education (and supported by neuroscience) encourages just that.

With all this in mind, our question for both ourselves and for you is the following…

“What are the key themes we envision for 2016? And more importantly, “What part do we want to play in their creation?”