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Leading in the AI era? This is what the radicals are doing.

Thank you to Brisk for helping me bring this newsletter to you for free.

Brisk is a free AI-powered Chrome extension that helps busy teachers save time directly within the tools they already use, like Google Docs, Slides, YouTube, and web articles. Quickly create instructional materials, share feedback, evaluate student writing, and adjust or translate texts - all without leaving your current workspace. With Brisk, the days of toggling between apps are over, freeing up more time for what you love: teaching.


An old man ambled wearily home one dusky evening.

He spotted a curious glow in the grass. Bending down, he found a frog adorned with a tiny golden crown. Surprised and curious, he picked up the frog.

To his amazement, the frog spoke, "Please, help me. I am actually a wealthy princess cursed by an evil magician. A kiss from you can break the spell, and then we can live together, rich and with many children."

The man paused, considering her words carefully.

Finally, he placed the frog into his pocket and continued walking.

"What are you doing?" shouted the frog.

The old man responded, “At my age, I’d rather have a talking frog.”

Our centuries-old education system has discovered AI. 

The true potential will change all of our lives. By treating AI as just another incremental improvement, we are settling for mediocrity and missing out on its true transformative power.

In the realm of innovation, I write a lot about two distinct paths: Box 1 and Box 3. Box 1 innovation is linear, focusing on making our existing systems slightly better, more efficient, or more creative. While this type of innovation is important, it's not sufficient to address the fundamental challenges our education system faces in an ever-changing world.

Box 3 innovation, on the other hand, is nonlinear and transformative. It redefines our goals, creates entirely new systems, and unlocks previously untapped potential. By embracing Box 3 innovation and "kissing the frog," we allow AI to be the catalyst for a revolution in education, empowering our students and teachers to thrive in the digital age.

Good leadership holds both Box 1 and Box 3 in balance.

I write more about this here, here and in The AI Classroom book

Kiss the Frog or Be Left Behind

If we don't embrace the transformative potential of AI, we risk being left behind as new educational providers and options emerge, offering students and parents unprecedented choices. I explored educational competition and the decentralisation of education in this Thinking Digital presentation.

The longer we wait, the harder it will be to adapt and remain relevant in a world where AI is woven into the fabric of society.

Transformation doesn't happen by chance. 

It requires bold action and a willingness to challenge the status quo. AI not the be all and end all of educational transformation, but it could be the straw that breaks the camel's back. The catalyst for change that our education system desperately needs. 

By harnessing the power of AI, we can create a new era of education that nurtures creativity, fosters critical thinking, and equips students with the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly evolving world.

The Choice is Ours

The choice is clear: embrace the AI revolution or settle for mediocrity. Will we have the courage to kiss the frog and unlock the true potential of AI, or will we keep it in our pocket, content with a mere talking novelty?

The future for our students, our teachers and our society hangs in the balance. 

It's time to break free from the shackles of tradition and embrace a new era of education – one that harnesses the power of AI to transform lives, bridge inequalities, and create a brighter future for all.

In Action

I write this from the departure lounge at Sacramento airport on route to LAX. 

I have just spent two wonderful days with Gateway Community Charters Schools helping them set up their Box 3 innovation strategy and group, as I have done with other schools and districts around the world. 

Don’t let people tell you that the only way to change education is incremental steps. They are missing half the picture. They only see education as a ship that needs a lot of time to turn around. It’s only a ship if you treat it that way. 

Linear innovation is needed, my goodness it’s needed, but we also need to be working on nonlinear innovations. 

Working with the leadership at GCC we are bringing educators, students and parents together to drive nonlinear change. We have defined the strategic intent, the goals are in place and we are driving full steam ahead with transforming education. 

When you think of education as one huge system, it’s overwhelming to think about nonlinear change. But there is another way.

We are creating organisations within organisations. ‘Start up’ projects that are allowed to be agile, fail and be adventurous. Then, trusted to influence and align the larger organisation. 

It is inspiring to be part of this. 

The coming book unpacks practical strategies and practices to make this a reality in your organisation and includes case studies of those leading the way. Click here to join the waitlist

Summary: 5 Actionable Steps

  1. Embrace transformative innovation: Focus on nonlinear changes that redefine goals and create new systems.

  1. Harness AI's potential: Use artificial intelligence to revolutionise education and foster essential skills.

  1. Challenge traditional practices: Be bold in breaking free from the status quo to drive meaningful change.

  1. Create agile "start-up" projects: Establish innovative teams within organisations to influence the larger institution.

  1. Balance incremental and transformative innovation: Recognise the importance of both approaches and work towards achieving equilibrium.


Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1. The ChatGPT Survival Kit: My flagship course on getting started with generative AI using ChatGPT. The Busy Teacher's Guide to Taking Back Your Evenings With AI. Join 10k+ educators who have taken the course.

2. The AI Classroom Bestselling Book: Tens of thousands of educators on every continent have trusted this "Ultimate Guide to AI in Education", to springboard themselves into AI leadership. With a healthy balance of thought and practical guides, this book will supercharge your AI journey. 

3. It's an honour to be an in-demand international keynote speaker on artificial education in education and business. I get to work with schools, colleges, universities and businesses to strategically integrate AI and help them be prepared for a future of disruptive technology. Click here to enquire about booking me.


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