What do we mean by “Transformation”?

One of the key things that I learned on my journey, and discuss in the Learning {Re}imagined book, is that transformation is contextual. By this I mean, for example, that a lightbulb can be transformational where there has been no light. The Worldreader programme in Ghana provides school children and their families with basic Kindle devices that provides them with access to the worlds books in places where the printed versions were scarce. In Jordan, school children are encouraged to create learning experiences and share them with their friends via Facebook. A school in Lebanon provides every student with an iPad so they can connect with each other and their teachers in and out of the school day. In rural India one of the world’s largest deployment for mobile learning uses the most basic of mobile phones to promote maternal healthcare and well-being.


Here in this 10 minute excerpt from a discussion hosted at last years WISE Summit I am joined by some of the people featured in my book plus learners from the WISE Learners Voice programme to explore what we mean by transformation.


gbm-faceGraham Brown-Martin is the founder of Learning Without Frontiers (LWF), a global think tank that brought together renowned educators, technologists and creatives to share provocative and challenging ideas about the future of learning. He left LWF in 2013 to pursue new programmes and ideas to transform the way we learn, teach and live. His book, Learning {Re}imagined was recently published by Bloomsbury/WISE and is available now.


Learning {RE}imagined

I’m thrilled to have been chosen to write the next book for the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE).

Newsha Tavakolian

Newsha Tavakolian

To be released in 2014 this new publication will focus on the link between technology and education by investigating how the connected society is transforming learning. The rapid spread of digital platforms, increasing connectivity, the potential for massive online collaboration and “networked intelligence” are not only opening new doors to lifelong learning but breaking down generational, geographic and disciplinary boundaries.

This could be one of the most exciting projects I have worked on and in some ways is a tangible culmination of the past 8 years of my career in the creation of Learning Without Frontiers and more recently Education Design Labs I follow in the footsteps of previous WISE authors, Charles Leadbeater who wrote Innovations in Education and Valerie Hannon who authored Learning a Living. In such auspicious company I can only do my best to meet the benchmark they have set.

Between now and the rest of this year I will be traveling the world to meet and learn from some of the foremost thought leaders and practitioners working at the intersection between learning and digital where along with a shifting society the crucible of innovation, disruption and transformation is white-hot.

Accompanied by one of Iran’s most acclaimed young photographers, Newsha Tavakolian and assisted by Raphael Yaghobzadeh we will be telling a story about how the world of learning is changing as well as the challenges ahead that sometimes wisely, sometimes frustratingly prevent transformation of a key aspect of society – education.

Raphael Yaghobzadeh

Raphael Yaghobzadeh

Here on this blog you can follow our journey where will be posting as frequently as we can from hotel rooms, airplanes, cars, locations and wherever we get a connection to the net. We hope you’ll tune in.

Over the coming months we will be in Ghana, Dubai, Lebanon, Jordan, USA, Singapore, Brazil, Russia, China, India, Qatar and the UK meeting, filming and recording with inspiring thinkers and doers from across the spectrum of learning and digital.

At the end of this project we will have a beautifully illustrated printed book that features an app for smart phones and tablets that will reveal an evolving digital layer of rich media “hovering” above the pages.

pucture of kids

Perhaps we will meet you on our journey and those of you attending the WISE Summit in Doha this year will have an opportunity to contribute to the creation of this book in an unprecedented attempt at community co-creation.

Like any creative innovation we are summoning the courage to try out new things sometimes they’ll work, sometimes they won’t and sometimes they’ll surprise us. I applaud the WISE organisation and the Qatar Foundation for supporting this project. Our mission is to get under the skin of the debate around technology in education to understand and report back what is working and what are the obstacles as well as the triumphs.

Welcome aboard!