Distance is dead!

Global educational treasure hunt for bite-size portions of learning wisdom. (Draft ideas)

Oregon University, Global and online Education.

Remember my question. What skills and practice of educational leaders are building global learners?

I meet with Professor Yong Zhao at Oregon University, Global and online Education.

The conversation was the most fruitful and enlightening conversation I have had on how we lead a global education for world class learners in our schools. This was my first piece of treasure.

How do we show our students, a world they can imagine?. Find, realise, imagine a future that is not set and build learning around the one thing that a student is valued for, what ever that may be. Very different from test scores that place students in a mind set of imagining a future that is set. What if their scores are not good, is this the only measure in which we would value a student. What and where does this place the student. We want students to imagine a future, that today does not exist.

In Schools and the leadership of schools, we need to show our students there is a bigger, global world in which they are an integral part. Then we need to show them how they enter the global stage.

Zhao’s articulation of and advocacy for what he calls the ideal school, perhaps most succinctly summarized by Zhao this way:

A community of autonomous learners engaged in creating meaningful products located on a global campus is the image of a world class school following the new paradigm.

Leadership knowledge

Educational VISION for leaders, building world class learners.

Schools and classrooms need to create and build in students:

1. Imagine a View of future self (education can build this or dismantle). Teachers introduce students to a world that is beyond, the present realm. Imagine themselves in the future.

2. Self confidence of their ability, what ever that is. ( everyone has something they are good at, I mean everyone).

3.Ability to connect with groups, small social connection with groups, and then with an adult who cares.

4. Opportunity to show (exhibit) what they can do and what they are good at, the opportunity to contribute, the entrepreneurial key in all of us.

Practices of leadership for world class global learners

How do we provide an opportunity for students to connect and show others about their ability and what they can do. How do we get students to imagine that their are others, who also want to share, contribute , understand and authentically connect. Our aim to be world class learners is to build understanding, cultural intelligence and deep learning. Human beings by nature are isolated from each other, we do not know each other, so we fear each other. We are afraid, however connecting reduces fear. Do we really know our neighbors, our street, our town, our state, our country, our nearby countries, countries across the world.

Leaders create the educational learning spaces.

1. Create opportunity (an online system) that allows students to show what they are good at, bring something to the world that we can share with the world. Could be singing, upload a clip, online talent show, bush tucker, knitting, the list is endless.

2. Create a strength profile, make use of your strength, to help others. What are we good at, what is unique to our town, school, someone would want to know about it. Teaching English to China, teaching students in Japan about Aboriginal bush Tucker, teaching students in South Korea about Surfing. Someone will want to know about something.

Motivating People, motivating schools.

Motivating people. According to Yong Zhao there are 2 things that essentially motivate;

1. Vanity because we are Social motivation, we are social animals, we need to connect with others.

2. We all want to contribution and build a sense of accomplishment about what we are about and can do. We want to contribute.

Build the Global community Connections through innovative platforms.

While visiting Yong and his team, I was introduced to an innovative and most intriging educational platform. Oregon university have launched an ‘organic’ solution which is providing a platform for schools and students to build their global profile and build the global community.


OBA an Online educational system that is an interactive platform for students and teachers, (Oregon University Education and Online Collaboration). It is a differing space that reaches far beyond the connecting of students and schools, it is about students creating their profile through entrepreneurial strengths to share with the world.

OBA simple, online learning system, simple, allows schools to create content, within in a closed system. The goal is to build schools, courses, collaborations, enterprises, connections that is trully a global platform.

The platform will allow for true educational entrepreneurial opportunities of collaboration where students learn through building real projects, for a real audience.

The organic (imagine a growing platform) educational global space. Imagine some of these things.

1. Courses from other schools. That have been developed from and by schools, to share and sell to other schools.

2. We would develop courses for other schools about the unique aspect of our “place, people, things, knowledge, strengths”, we share and build this within the world.

Teachers collaborate through global projects in building global competency in our students. Schools, can enter for as little as $1 per student.

The “Grow organicly” global concept can go anywhere in its online space. Could be, where schools and students “adopt a school”, teaching english, and where english speakers are becoming asia literate, the possibilities are endless.

I look forward to synthesizing these ideas further, as I find more treasure.







Principal of a fantastic secondary public school where our young people enliven their dreams through a growth mindset to fulfil their potential. Focussed on leadership that makes a difference in my school.

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