Real Learning in New Zealand #2
Re-imagining Education

on this page: education twitter
related: diplomado, learning, open educational resources, workshops
flickr: experiential learning, visual thinking
handouts: wiifm
recommended listening: The digital classroom, The Runaway World
recommended reading: criteria questions, Academics, responsible and irresponsible, in the future the cost of education will be zero
recommended viewing: The Machine is Us/ing Us, A Vision of Students Today, Did you know?
listening: is small really lost?, we need a creative revolution
editing: Learning notebook

Topics of Shared Interest

Greening hotels
Indigenous culture


Experiential learning



Publisher's Note: We collaborate with educational centers (universities, polytecnics and research centers) on short-term projects (1-3 months) and long-term projects (3 months-30 years). Contact Ron Mader

Buzzword Bingo

Academics - Access - Andragogy - Blended Learning - Classroom - Education - Free - Flipped Classroom - Gameification - Graduation - Heutagogy - Home School - Interaction - Learning - One Room Schoolhouse - Open Access - open education - Open Textbooks - Read Write Culture - Serious Play - Students - Teachers - Tutorial - University - Voice - Worksheets

Upcoming Events

March 5-9, 2018 Open Education Week



Open Textbooks
Flat World Knowledge

Online Courses

Open Education Europe

Open Culture

free online cultural and educational resources
Open Culture

Social Web in the Classroom

Classroom 2.0
SF Live 2008
The Machine is Us/ing Us - YouTube
A Vision of Students Today - YouTube -


We are powerful beyond measure
Create ...
Future of email
Shades of green
The opposite of open isn't closed
Capacity building

Cue Yourself / Posters

Buzzword Bingo: Experiential learning allows us to build the capacity to build the capacity.
Buzzword Bingo: One Room Schoolhouse

Children learn what they live
The opposite of 'open' isn't closed. The opposite is 'broken' @cgreen @wilbanks #oercongress #oer
Buzzword Bingo: Open Education
Levels of Engagement: Be attentive, creative, generous, curious and empathetic @ronmader

Embedded Tweets

Recommended Viewing

Toward Creativity
Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling in Graduation Speech (the video has 390,000 views and counting!)

How to Change Education from the ground up - Ken Robinson talks about the need to create new conditions for growth and development. In this long-awaited follow-up talk, Robinson will pick up from where he left off, and outline exactly what those conditions are. He will address the fundamental economic, cultural, social and personal purposes of education, and argue that education should be personalised to every student’s talent, passion, and learning styles, and that creativity should be embedded in the culture of every single school.

recommended listening

Educational technologies and the changing role of universities - Professor Jim Barber, Vice Chancellor of the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales, talks about how teaching at universities is changing, using the internet.

Conversation: the power of tinkering - John Seely Brown is particularly interested in the idea of TINKERING. He suggests one of the best 'tinkering' models is the architectural studio - the place where students work together trying to solve each other's problems and a mentor or master can also take part in open criticism.

E-education - Web-based teaching is increasingly common in our universities and schools. As a consequence, attendance at universities has dropped significantly with a third of students regarding online study as a substitute for classes. So how is teaching changing in the 21th century?

Nature Deficit Disorder: the mind in urban combat - Richard Louv argues we and our children are suffering a kind of cultural autism, a sensory deprivation which he provocatively calls 'Nature Deficit Disorder'. And with that, he's seeded a small revolution for change.

The digital classroom - What impact is digital interactive technology having on education? And what will the classroom of the future look like? These are just some of the questions that were raised at the 2010 Australian Council for Computer Education conference.

The use of iPads in Western Australian schools - Researchers at the University of Western Australia are looking into the use of iPads in schools. They asked how mobile hand held devices are used in classrooms as part of the educational strategy


Catalyst for Change

Founder of, Ron Mader is an accomplished journalist and motivational speaker and is available to work with students and faculty working in tourism and conservation. Ron has more than 20 years of experience of reporting on environmental matters, developing tips for ecotourism and responsible travel and using new media as a means of collaborative research and reporting. Journalism students are welcome to suggest projects that could become features on or elsewhere on the web. What's special about this work are the innovative ways to link local and global communities.

We are eager to create and promote inspiring educational materials. In the works is an integrated adult education course focusing on ecotourism and responsible travel. We also provide modules focusing on more than 20 e-conferences and featured resource guides on For special presentations, please check the details about our workshops and presentations.


Does your course have a web page?
What is your research project, what is your objective?
What is the timeline of this work?
How can I be of assistance?
What social web tools do you want to use for communication?
Are you looking for local contacts?
Are you looking for recommended reading?
Would you like to suggest edits to features on
WIIFM – What are you offering me?
How would you like to proceed?



A few ideas for students and teachers:

Add a link to from your website or blog.

Take your time to read the ample content on and related wikis, photo galleries and video collections.

Suggest editorial suggestions for a few pages on the main website and continue to make suggestions on a monthly basis.

Interview a participant from one of our e-conferences.

Send a private email with the top 5 'things to do' in the place where you live.

Send a private email with the top 5 eco, tourism, cultural, conservation websites in the state where you live.

Send a private email with an overview of recycling in the place where you live.

Critical - After you conclude your research, post the link to the feature on our wiki, facebook group, twitter or some other public site.

digital migrants / digital natives Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How do I conduct research on
Answer: Use our search engine.
Question: How do I cite
Answer: Include the author's name, document title and the source of the document (the URL). You might wish to include a date when you viewed the document.
Question: Can we hire you to give a presentation at our campus?
Answer: Please consult the guide to speaking engagements and consulting.
Question: Can I write an article for
Answer: Of course! Consult the writers' guidelines. Examples of academic articles we have published include Shapeshifting of Tourism by Ben Feinberg and Democracy and the Trees by Ross Mitchell. That said, if your article is already online, we would prefer to simply add a link.
Question: I am teaching a new course that discusses tourism from its earliest roots to its integration into late capitalist consumption practices. I like to have use a textbook that is critical of tourism in a practical way. Can you recommend a textbook or suggest a book that would explore the critical issues for a third year University course?
Answer: We recommend a number of books indexed online our Tourism Bibliography.

Questions we ask teachers and students

How did you come across
Have any of the features been of particular assistance in your research?
Do you have an institutional web page?
Do you have a personal web page?
Do you have a personal blog or flickr gallery?
Do you have an account on Facebook?
Do you have an institutional group on Facebook?
If you do have an online page, when was the last update?
Does your department have a web page?
Does your department archive summaries of presentations made on campus?
Are presentations and lectures podcast?
Does your department website index student and faculty research projects?
Are students and faculty looking for research projects ideas?
Do you participate in online forums and conferences?
Which social web tools do you use?

Questions educators need to ask

Who owns the course I teach?

Big Questions

By what criteria should students and communities judge education abroad programs?
Is there a code of conduct for educators or students traveling abroad?
How should educators and students work with and other independent websites? How should websites work with educators and students?
For those working toward responsible travel and ecotourism -- the players -- what are the expectations and responsibilities of academics?
To what degree should information from educational centers be public and transparent?
Should those on the ground charge academics for consulting services?
Are there programs for evaluating academic programs in sustainable, responsible and ecotourism?
What is the responsibility of academic programs to their host countries and communities?
How can educational programs reduce their environmental impacts and increase social equity?
Who benefits and who is impacted by study abroad? Is study abroad a reciprocal exchange? Is it 'fair trade'?
How can educational programs adapt and respond to critical topics including climate change?


Experiential Education
Visual thinking


October 5 is World Teachers Day. Hashtag: #worldteachersday, #DíaDelDocente


Working Notes is an award-winning website and a catalyst for communication and conversation. There are multiple editors on the wiki, contributors to the old Web 1.0 site and readers who take the information, share, remix and go out on the road (literally) on local and global adventures.

Our question: on par with how we customize and personalize education for students, how do we customize and personalize tourism for travelers and locals. Can we aspire toward 'better travel for a better world?'

Effective educational programs provide multiple options for engagement and opportunities for experiential learning. We take as a basic assumption that we all have something to learn and that a good teacher can help move students beyond their current abilities. Even teachers need teaching so our web workshops provide a hands-on training session that really get things moving.

Each year we receive a few hundred (!) queries from students and educators who are seeking assistance with their research. Most are looking for a quick answer.

Often it is a pleasure to correspond a bit, but rarely do the findings become public or the dialogue percolate into the academic research program. Is this responsible or sustainable behavior?

Few students or teachers offer any sort of financial contribution. As result, most receive a polite response indicating that while access to Planeta is free, we do charge for workshops. We prefer to work with web-savvy educators, particularly those with a website, blog and/or flickr gallery. We invite teachers to re-imagine their role in developing responsible travel and ecotourism by walking their talk and making research and publication accessible and engaging.

There are a number of what we call 'stealth academics' who fly in and out without leaving much of a trace. Local communities are starting to take a stand against such exploitation.

A number of travel operators refuse to hire students trained in ecotourism and sustainable tourism programs. "Their education is too theoretical, students don't understand how things really work," they explain. My question - is this a global truth or are graduates of sustainable tourism programs finding work in the field? What are operators seeking from graduates? How can educational programs connect to business?

Some of the questions we are exploring related to higher education and academia ... What are the ways to pursue ethical research and training at institutions of higher learning? What are the ways for those on the outside to work with academics? Do I only work with those who can pay?

Second issue. A number of travel operators I talk to refuse to hire students trained in ecotourism and sustainable tourism. "Their education is too theoretical, students don't understand how things really work," they explain. My question - is this a global truth or are graduates of sustainable tourism programs finding work in the field?

Third issue. Are there programs for evaluating academic programs? It surprises me that there is no annotated index of programs and no review of current research.

Forth issue. Many academics are required by their universities to participate in official conferences, requiring travel abroad. Would it be too much to ask that these conferences include pre-event and post-event online publication? Could we reward academics for participating in online dialogues?

experiential learning cycleResources for Educators

One of the frequent complaints about academia is that it is tends to be a late adopter of new technology, and in fact discourages faculty from using new technology. We don't think it has to be this way.

Nature as Teacher - In this insightful 4 minute video on, David Orr questions the role of education, suggesting that educational institutions should become more integrated with the natural world. What better place to start than in education for students of ecotourism and sustainable education programs?

How to use wikispaces for your own educational setting K-12


Most academic publications on tourism are costly and the information is inaccessible to the public. Also, the payment for articles is ridiculously low and sometimes payment is solely in copies.

What would it mean to have scholarly information available free on the Web? We would like to participate in creative endeavors that opens up the world of learning.


Many academics are required by their universities to participate in official conferences, requiring travel abroad. Could we ask that these conferences include pre-event and post-event online publication? Could we reward academics for participating in online dialogues?


What are the responsibilities of academics? Do northern academic universities have a responsibility in developing online resources from the south?

Should academics pay for interviews? This question is prompted by a tour operator who says he asks that student queries include a $100 contribution to a local charity. During the 2006 Ethical Travel Dialogue, I talked with one professor who confided that he thought his university was charging too much for consulting. "We could do this work at a fraction of the cost," he confided. He added that the institution had been accepted as a 'fair trade university' though he questioned the value of such a designation. "Are you able to discuss this in public?" I asked. His answer: no.

Natural World

We are all on the learning curve. It's about how to share what you learn with others. I sometimes receive phone calls from academics who are in town and wish to meet with me that day. I sometimes decline until they send me an email. Why? It lets me to introduce the Planeta website, which I would discuss anyway. Plus, I have time to google their research, their background, publications. If we can learn a bit about each other ahead of time, face to face encounters are most effective. If we can continue to exchange information afterwards, then we've increased our combined attention span, key to continuity and sustainable practices.

People are unhappy with education because deliverance sucks.

Children's pizza garden - Bush Telegraph

2010 Reith Lecture Series: The Runaway World
Martin Ree explores how fast our world is moving in the 21st century. Speaking at the Open University in Milton Keynes, the home of online learning, he acknowledges how the internet and other technologies have transformed our lives. Now he calls on politicians and other authorities to provide the funding that will keep the UK among the world's front runners in scientific research and discovery. -

Elsewhere on the Web

What if teaching went wild? - Anthony Weston
World Heritage Alliance Online Learning Center
Open Educational Resources - Zunia - @adzebill
Key Education Websites: CORE @coreeducation
Academics - Irresponsible Tourism
At Harvard, a Proposal to Publish Free on Web - New York Times
Sustainability Abroad
The future by degrees - "From campus life to coursework content and innovative research, universities should be at the forefront of the drive for sustainability. But are they up to it? Amy Fetzer gives our academic institutions the third degree. "

Can education be free?

in the future the cost of education will be zero
A Free Online University Tests the Waters
FlatWorld Knowledge
Ping: $200 Textbook vs. Free. You Do the Math

We know more

Open research is research, conducted in the spirit of free and open source software. The central theme of open research is to make clear accounts of the methodology, along with data and results extracted therefrom, freely available via the internet. This permits a massively distributed collaboration. If the research is scientific in nature it is frequently referred to as open science.

Mindcraft in Education

Blogs - @jackiegerstein


Can Kids Teach Themselves? - Speaking at LIFT 2007, Sugata Mitra talks about his Hole in the Wall project. Young kids in this project figured out how to use a PC on their own -- and then taught other kids. He asks, what else can children teach themselves? One of the great short videos on

Tom Wujec: Build a tower, build a team

Did you know

I was hoping by telling some of these "stories" to our faculty, I could get them thinking about - and discussing with each other - the world our students are entering. To get them to really think about what our students are going to need to be successful in the 21st century, and then how that might impact what they do in their classrooms. It would also help the faculty that are not currently participating in my staff development join the conversation. -
Larry Lessig: How creativity is being strangled by the law

Lawrence Lessig on literacies, takedowns and trusting google
Dave Eggers: 2008 TED Prize wish: Once Upon a School
- Free tutoring and pirate supplies

Ken Robinson

Students with restless minds and bodies -- far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity -- are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. According to Sir Ken Robinson, "We are educating people out of their creativity." TED Video

Uh oh. Two independent thought alarms in one day. The students are overstimulated. Willie! Remove all the colored chalk from the classrooms.
- The Simpsons


The Machine is Us/ing Us


Everyone has the right to education...Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. --Article 26 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

Learning resources are not scarce but widely available, opportunities for learning are abundant, and learners increasingly have the ability to autonomously dip into and out of continuous learning flows.

I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, educate people.
-Chinese Proverb

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. - Henry Ford

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
Todo el propósito de la educación es convertir espejos en ventanas.
- Sydney J. Harris

We have built our education systems on the model of fast food. This is something Jamie Oliver talked about the other day. You know there are two models of quality assurance in catering. One is fast food, where everything is standardized. The other are things like Zagat and Michelin restaurants, where everything is not standardized, they're customized to local circumstances. And we have sold ourselves into a fast food model of education. And it's impoverishing our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies.
Ken Richardson, Bring on the learning revolution

The smartest students understand that there are better ways of learning than being the passive recipient of a one-way, one size fits all, teacher-focused model where the student is isolated in the learning process. When the cream of the crop of an entire generation is boycotting the formal model of pedagogy, the writing is in the wall.
- Don Tapscott, Colleges should learn from newspapers’ plight

Everything that one thinks one understands has to be understood over and over again in its different aspects each time with the same new shock of discovery.
- Marian Milner, cited by Helen Garner

When the objective is to make children composers, performers, and appreciators of music, it is not enough merely to place a piano in every classroom and provide each teacher with a one-day course on how the piano works.
- New Zealand Consultative Committee on Information Technology in the School Curriculum

A good teacher moves you beyond your current abilities.
- Conversation

Students today are often immersed in an environment where they learn subjects that have truth and beauty embedded in them, but the way they are taught is compartmentalized so that truth and beauty are not always evident.
- David Bolinsky, David Bolinsky animates a cell

I love the videos of professors, amateurs and instructors putting their courseware online. They are a great resource for interest driven learners like me. However, I wonder whether we should be structuring the future of learning as online universities where you are asked to do the equivalent of reading the encyclopedia from cover to cover online. Shouldn't we be looking at the Internet as an amazing network enabling "The Power of Pull" and be empowering kids to learn through building things together rather than assessing their ability to complete courses and produce the right "answers"? - Joi Ito, Reading the dictionary

21st century education should be focused on giving learners (and educators) voice and choice.


Kudos for a fine essay on the realities of education and technology. A tool or methodology is never enough. Transforming education requires transforming relationships, but we rarely have the language that addresses these changes. Having worked in adult education in Oaxaca, Mexico the past 15 years I saw first-hand how technologies changed, from laptops to wifi to mobile phones. What’s been missing are the conversations about what people what and how new technologies can be effectively used. This story is not limited to rural Mexico but is one repeated across the world as we learn there are countless ways to invest in white elephants.

Learning Notebook

Onstage at TED2013, Sugata Mitra makes his bold TED Prize wish: Help me design the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other -- using resources and mentoring from the cloud. Hear his inspiring vision for Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE), and learn more at

Recent Events

March 11-15 Open Education Week -

SAMR Model