Open Thinkering


The sublime and the ridiculous.

There’s a fine line between the sublime and the ridiculous. Take the following in response to a retweet I made about potentially giving learners Google-like ‘20% time’ to pursue their own interests:

My initial response?

Ridiculous. That would never happen!

And then…

But perhaps as a vision statement for 2020 that could work.

Which got me thinking:

So what would we need to do to make that reality?


  • Mobile phones seen as learning equipment.
  • Availability of secure GPS-enabled school environment.
  • Learner autonomy.

So actually, an offhand statement can serve as a vision to work towards. It’s good to mix things up sometimes. :-p

4 thoughts on “The sublime and the ridiculous.

  1. Glad you found the idea useful, Doug.

    Is this what they call “protovation”? I have become increasingly less worried about putting seemingly ridiculous ideas out there, because, even if they ARE ridiculous, someone will modify them to make them work, or it will spark someone to do something else.

    I think you were talking about Google giving its staff 20% time to explore their interests. My idea (which I don’t think is necessarily original) is to reward students for good attendance by giving them some space to explore what is important to them.

    And, is it totally ridiculous to think that, in the future, the school register could be openly available online, so the community could be involved in policing their kids’ attendance?

    1. Well exactly – and I know from experience that one of the main reasons in
      ‘calling out’ the register is as a behaviour management and settling tool!

  2. Surely making information about the whereabouts of children public – especially if they are not in school- is a risky business. I’m happy for those who need to know this to be aware for the safety of the children. But I think this is completely different to taking a register oublically WITHIN the classroom.

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