HaileyburyX, a new project from independent school Haileybury, creates short courses for teachers, parents and students from pre-school to Year 12 that can be accessed anywhere in the world.
Working in small teams, Haileybury teachers are developing the courses in-house supported by HaileyburyX Director Prof Peter Thomas, who brings a background in higher education, technology and innovation to the initiative.
"Techniques such as microlearning – small learning experiences, and microcredentialling – recognising the learning that our students do alongside the curriculum – are forward-looking and will prepare our students for their future. It's not about replacing classroom teaching.
"It's about finding the most effective ways to support learning," Thomas says.
Initially for Haileybury's Australian HaileyburyX courses will be available to all learners and may also be offered to students with social or financial disadvantage.
Some courses will be online, such as a course to prepare students for Year 7 Chinese Language, while others will offer blended learning, such as study skills for Middle School students. Other courses in development include The Politics of Climate Change, Pharmaceutical Design, wellness strategies and innovation.
Prof Thomas, Deputy Principal Teaching & Learning, Anna Sever and digital learning leaders across the school are involved in HaileyburyX. An advisory board of international business leaders and educators will also contribute.
Thomas co-founded and was executive director of London-based non-profit industry body the Leasing Foundation and is CEO of THEORICA, a global think-tank on the future of financial services.
Previously, he was the director and founder of the Centre for Personal Information Management in Bristol UK, executive director of the Interactive Information Institute in Melbourne and CTO of Serco e-business in London. He holds visiting professorial positions at universities in the UK and China in business and information systems, financial innovation and emerging digital technologies. Thomas is also the creative director of the non-profit Medicine Unboxed funded by Wellcome and Arts Council England.
HaileyburyX is also supporting the school's position as a thought leader in educational innovation through a two-year season of 'Ed.' events that promote an open and challenging exchange of views on some of the critical issues in learning and teaching.
The first, held at Haileybury's City campus on Friday, 13 March, discussed the emerging microcredential ecosystem. In focus for further events are agile learning design, innovation, creativity, explicit instruction and teachers of the future.