Purpos/ed Oxford: Hacking Education (SPONSORSHIP needed!)

On Saturday 19th November a diverse mix of educators, parents, representatives of businesses, activists, and other interested parties will descend on Oxford University for Purpos/ed Oxford: Hacking Education (#hackinged).

The event is an exciting one for us for three reasons:

  1. It’s our second opportunity (after #purposedpsi at Sheffield Hallam University in May) to bring together people to discuss and debate the purpose(s) of education in a physical location.
  2. We’ll have with us Professor Keri Facer, who inspired Purpos/ed, with us in person on the day to set out her vision for the future of education.
  3. Eylan Ezekiel, inspired by Purpos/ed to set about setting up a Free School in Oxford, is part of the planning process.

We know that #hackinged is going to be a fascinating day of discussion, debate and activism. Ticket prices have been set to (just!) cover the basic cost of the venue, which is why we need YOUR help. Last time, we had several sponsors who stepped up to add value to the event through sponsoring wifi, delegate packs and the like.

If you or your organization/business can sponsor – anything from £1 to £1,000 – we’d like to hear from you. We’ve had a couple of individuals and organisations say they’re interested, but nothing concrete yet! Sponsorship of any amount will guarantee that your name or logo will appear in the delegate packs and thanked in front of delegates on the day.

Can you help? Great! Email us: countmein@purposed.org.uk

Tickets now available for Purpos/ed Oxford (#hackinged)

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve booked the old-world charms of the Examination Rooms at Oxford University for our next event. The sub-title of the event, ‘Hacking Education’ gives you a flavour of what’s going to be happening on the day!

Buy your ticket and get further details here: purposedoxford.eventbrite.com

If you’d like to sponsor this event, please get in touch at countmein@purposed.org.uk

Purpos/ed Oxford event (19th November 2011)

Interested in sponsoring this event? Get in touch at: countmein@purposed.org.uk

We’re excited to announce that the next Purpos/ed event will be (almost definitely) on the 19th November 2011 in Oxford. It’s being co-organised by Eylan Ezekiel, who was inspired into action by Purpos/ed to set up a new (‘learning futures’) Free School in Oxford.

This is a wonderful opportunity to blend the abstract and the practical. The programme will be crowdsourced with (of course) lots of participatory elements and time to network and debate.

Want to come? We need expressions of interest to help us plan. The form is here and should be embedded below:


#purposedassess – a roundup


To keep things ticking over during August we ran #purposedassess, asking the central question What’s the purpose of assessment?

We started off on Google+ but our account was deactivated as they’re only taking ‘real’ people (i.e. not organisations) at the moment. That was no great loss as Google+ wasn’t the best place for a debate anyway.

Moving to Quora in the second week we asked How should we assess people in educational contexts? which elicited some very interesting replies. Sticking with Quora for the third week we linked with Doug’s #openbadges semester of learning by asking the question Are ‘Open Badges’ the future of educational assessment? This was not as popular question as the previous week’s question.

Finally, we asked for 500 words on What’s the purpose of assessment? to which we’ve currently got a few replies. It would be great if we could add a couple more!

We’re currently planning the next Purpos/ed event with Eylan Ezekiel, who was prompted into action by Purpos/ed and hopes to open a Free School called ONschool. The next event is probably going to be on Saturday 19th November in Oxford, but we’ll keep you posted!

(oh, and if you missed it, Purpos/ed is now a Co-operative Community Interest Company!)


#purposedassess – 500 words

You all did such a fantastic job earlier this year with the #500words campaign we though that, in this final week of #purposedassess, we’d try it again.

What’s the purpose of assessment?

Over to you! Add a comment below with a link to your blog post/answer.

Purpos/ed is (finally) a Co-operative Community Interest Company!

Doug and Andy are delighted to announce that after much negotiation and explorative work, Purpos/ed is now registered as a Co-operative Community Interest Company! We’d like to express our thanks to Kevin Marquis of Sunderland SES for guiding us through the process. Our Company Number is: 07739279

Why did you do this?

We’re serious about provoking and sustaining a national, and even international, debate about the purpose(s) of education. To do so costs money which Doug and Andy, as Kickstarters, need process and disburse. Having separate business accounts keeps things transparent.

Having a clear structure also allows for people to step up and take more responsibility as Purpos/ed grows. We’d really like to get people to make a commitment to Purpos/ed going forward, so stay tuned for ways you can get involved!

What’s a Co-operative Community Interest Company?

There’s actually two elements to this:

Co-operative – an “autonomous associations of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through [a] jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.”

Community Interest Company - “a new type of company introduced by the United Kingdom government in 2005… designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good.” CICs “work for community benefit with the relative freedom of the non-charitable company form to identify and adapt to circumstances, but with a clear assurance of not-for-profit distribution status”. Most importantly for Purpos/ed, CICs have an ‘asset lock’ meaning that if and when Purpos/ed no longer exists, assets can only be transferred to another organisation with an asset lock. This means that no individausl can benefit through the sale of resources that have been produced by the wider community.

What’s next?

We’re in the early stages of planning the next Purpos/ed event for November with Eylan Ezekiel who’s working to setup ONSchool in Oxford. In addition, Tom Barrett has mooted a #purposedassess-focused meetup in Nottingham sometime in September.

What would you like to see? How would you like to get involved?

#purposedassess – Are ‘Open Badges’ the future of educational assessment?

Continuing into Week 3 of #purposedassess we’re going to continue using Quora to answer the question:

Are ‘Open Badges’ the future of educational assessment?

Join in at: http://www.quora.com/Are-Open-Badges-the-future-of-educational-assessment

#purposedassess – How should we assess people in educational contexts?

We’re moving into Week 2 of #purposedassess and this time we’re asking:

How should we assess people in educational contexts?

The platform we’ll be using this week is the question-and-answer site Quora which is free to join and use.

Join in at: http://www.quora.com/How-should-we-assess-people-in-educational-contexts?q=how+should+we+assess

(take a moment to familiarise yourself with Quora – you can, for example, thank people for their contributions and vote answers up and down!)

#purposedassess – a new campaign for August 2011!


After a short lull after the flurry of excitement that was February-June 2011, we’re back with another campaign. This time, we’re focusing on assessment.

Although educators are only part of the people who take part in Purpos/ed campaigns, they’re an important part. As many of this group have a summer break we thought it would be a good time for all of us to take stock and begin with the question:

1. What’s the purpose of assessment?

We’ll be debating this between Monday 1st and Sunday 7th August. Following that, we’ll either continue with the same question into the second week or, more likely, go off at a particular tangent with a new question on assessment emerging from the initial debate.

Want to get involved? We’re going to use Google+ as the platform this time* so follow us (add us to a circle) by going to http://gplus.to/purposed


*If you need an invitation to Google+ add a comment below and we’ll sort you out!

#purposedfutured – 25 – Keith Smyth interviews 3 people!

Purposed futured interview with Julia Fotheringham (mp3)

Purposed futured interview with Karen Ver from CIPD (mp3)

Purposed futured interview with Richard Pinet (mp3)

Keith had this to say:

I originally set out to interview someone who could talk about learning and widening access, but realised in the run up to my #purposedfutured slot that I was going to be at two quite different conferences where I could get some additional perspectives. So, we’ve got Julia Fotheringham talking about FE students transitioning into HE, Karen Ver talking about professional learning and technologies we don’t yet have, and Richard Pinet talking truthiness and citizenship.

You can grab the #purposedfutured interviews as a podcast by visiting our Huffduffer page.

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