Struggleware in the air 2017

The concept of struggle is fairly central to  many deep and powerful  learning opportunities.  I wanted a word to describe the process of “scratch your head” challenge that occurs when you are trying to do or make something new that requires deep-thought, iterative experiment and heavy doses of failure on the way towards deeper understanding. If a Google search is a paddle in the “shallows” where you barely get your feet wet – struggleware is swimming and looking for a landing place on that farther rocky shore of deeper understanding.

The idea  for the word came to me as I interviewed an eight year old girl, who was using Flash in a Redbridge school about eight years ago. She was working under the guidance of the  deep-thinking Geoff Dellow – who saw the value of using complex and challenging tools like Flash with young students. She fixed me with an unblinking eye and said ‘Don’t think this is easy for us. Don’t tell people this is easy. This is a struggle for us.’ And I thought “Alleluia!”.  Struggleware was born.

HTML5, Java,  Scratch, Flash, Minecraft and the now defunct HyperCard (Apple never realised the power of the tool it gave away and let die) all qualify as struggleware in my book. (A teacher builds a demo of De Bono’s Thinking Hats in Minecraft  here). So do the small computer devices like the arduino board  and raspberry pi (now in production) that can be built and hacked to carry out any number of  computing & control tasks. Schools will soon have hack zones where things can be taken apart and learning shared. That’s the thing about Struggleware –  it needs space – space in the curriculum and space in the school.

The idea of Struggleware  led me to the development of the Learning Event Generator. Sorry it went missing in 2015 – it is now back and bigger than ever in 2016.  I wanted a tool that broke the cycle of monomedia research and presentation and nudged the learner into deeper challenge-based learning. In other words it seems that too often learning activities revolve around text research leading to text presentation. The learning event generator breaks this cycle by making you present your learning in over 310 different ways and only four of them involve writing directly. The aim is to up the challenge and hit the media shift key for learners. Email me if you want the files to make your own version.

You can get the iOS Version of the Learning Event Generator here

Buy it now - price reduction for 2015

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Learning Event Generator Workshops with John Davitt

The idea behind the LEG  Workshops is to give delegates a large toolkit for enhancing their own practice then to  introduce compulsion, creativity and collaboration in equal measures. The tools and approaches provided can be used across all phases  in the learning process – in formal and informal settings. The aim is to nudge you deeper in your understanding by having to explain something in a new way – brain numbing challenges for groups – because we have this theory that in the setting of activities we expect much too much from individuals and way too little from groups.

The design of learning activities is often an afterthought and we need to turn it into art form – in the classroom – or the boardroom.

Keynotes – unique & powerful  insights from John Davitt
Exploring how we learn, what tools help and how we may follow our own pathways  to “learning in a world of difference”

You can book John for a range of  Keynote events and workshops

  • World of Difference – difference bingo / sensory matrix / eBay feedback
  • Permission slips aka ‘History will judge us harshly” / confronting the issues /edgy / to make you think & act
  • Old Learning – New Tools” the story of John’s book “New Tools for Learning” – now available for Kindle/iPad as eBook

Consultancy,  Workshops & Masterclasses unique perspectives on learning & managing in a world of difference
Conference Curation
 – help to make your conference a little bit more spellbinding, memorable & productive
Outdoor learning adventures 
Scripted activities learning by doing in the great outdoors(ola) like #lob (Learning on the beach)
Standup for Learning 
 exploration of how we learn with humour – what helps & hinders – learning by doing + laughter + FaceTime calls to your events (at least 10 minutes notice required)

Contact John 

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