Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What do words mean?

As an educator – or educationalist as is often said in the UK – I’ve had the opportunity to attend numerous conferences on the abysmal state of education, and how to fix it. I used to be bothered that words like empowerment and accountability were batted about as if they had only one connotation, but I’ve gotten over it; at least they’re actual words!

Conferences I’ve been to lately seem driven by a made-up lexicon that causes the tongue to dance around gnashing teeth, and an assumption that mashing together two words results in something with one definition. When presenters use this jargon, I wonder who they are speaking to, and what they are trying to say (many of these words have found their way to the Twitter #wankwords feed). Instead of decoding their messages, I’ve written a little poem to release that valve of frustration whose ugly head pops up from time to time.

An Edupreneur’s Plea

Over the past 6 months
                                                                I’ve heard many a conversation,
                                                                Whether it be at the Google conference,
                                                                Or another on technovation.

                                                                Chaired by thinkfluencers,
                                                                Panels reach a consensus on innovation:    
                                                                Change isn’t enough anymore,
                                                                Real disruption is needed in education!

                                                                Listen to changemakers
                                                               With synergistic thinking,
                                                               Those who took STEM to STEAM;
                                                               They’ll save learning from sinking.

                                                               Don’t focus on topping league tables
                                                               In schools across the UK,
                                                               Kids need commercial coding skills;
                                                               Teacherpreneurs lead the way!

                                                               Apps and iPads are their game,
                                                               Teachnology is their bread and butter,
                                                               GCSEs don’t determine your fate,
                                                               And Michael Gove? He’s a proper nutter,

                                                               Educationalists see money in edutainment;
                                                               But attracting girls is key.
                                                               Womenomics could save the world,
                                                               So let’s lean in; get techy.

                                                               Break through silos, tear down walls;
                                                               Let’s move forward together and edcelerate!
                                                               We can unpick ideas and drill down later;
                                                               For now, step into your bigness and celebrate.

                                                               So much inspiration and motivation;
                                                               The speakers put on quite a show.
                                                               I look forward to learning more,
                                                               But enough of the portmanteau!