When it was young, all All Change Please! wanted to do was to change the world. And as it grew into middle age it still wanted to change the world, although it had decided that changing education would probably be enough to be getting on with for now. And now, as it eases into retirement and becomes ever closer to being no more than a long forgotten series of ones and zeros drifting blissfully unaware in The Cloud, it still has vague hopes that someone, somewhere is still reading its rants and raves.
For today, believe it or not, All Change Please! is 200 posts old, and as it deftly removes its invisible cloak of modesty it can reveal that over the years its ramblings have had over 20,000 views, though how many viewers actually stopped to read and think is, of course, another matter.
Quickly picking up All Change Please!‘s well thumbed copy of ‘1001 Blog Posts You Must Write Before You Die‘ in an attempt to come up with a good way of making its celebratory post a bit longer, it glances through the introductory advice, which by a remarkable coincidence says that the great secret to getting more readers is to give a post a title with a number at the start. So observing the number of successful books that now seem to begin with a number, All Change Please! waits with keen anticipation in the hope that ‘200 posts that failed to change the world‘ will shortly start trending on Twitter.
At the same time though, All Change Please! can’t help lamenting the passing of the real book title, and is pondering setting up a ‘Real Book Title’ campaign. Just imagine, for example, if the marketing departments of the publishers of some of our greatest authors had managed to convince them otherwise we might now be reading:
- 1,984 Things That Might Happen In The Future by George Orwell
- 501 Expectations by Charles Dickens
- 250 Grapes by John Steinbeck
- 42 by Douglas Adams
- 15th March by George Elliot
- 007 by Ian Fleming
And here are a couple that obviously did get through:
- 1001 (Arabian) Nights
- 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith
Meanwhile, as a result, perhaps not unexpectedly given All Change Please!’s years in educational publishing, it can proudly reveal that it has come up with yet another great idea for a book that is never likely to see the light of day. It’s cleverly and provocatively entitled ‘1001 Things You Don’t Need To Learn At School Anymore‘, and essentially it contains 1001 facts that can now easily be looked up on the internet when you actually need to know them. So for example, it’s no longer necessary for everyone to remember the names of the planets and the order in which they orbit the sun (just search for: names, planets, order).
But the real value of the book lies in something we really should be addressing, which is identifying the things children do now actually need to learn at school, which in the above example might be that the Earth is one of a number of planets that orbit the sun. The internet has created a new hierarchy of knowledge and understanding that ought to be changing everything we teach and learn in schools.
Or, to take another example, it’s not important for children to know that Michael Gove is the Secretary of State for Education. But what is essential is that they, and their parents, know that the irrelevant curriculum and out-dated assessment methods he is imposing are seriously damaging their futures.
But for now, All Change Please! just plans to keep taking its pills…
Rest assured that All Change Please! will resume normal service later in the week when it will comment wisely on Gove’s latest series of pronouncements.