Consumption vs Creativity

June 22, 2018

Dean and Steve dive into a rich conversation about the spectrum of creation. Is the technology in our schools active or passive? Is it a set and get or do we put low floor, high ceiling technology opportunities in front of our students? These questions get mulled around as we talk about the relationship between knowledge transfer and knowledge creation. We explore the power of using deconstruction to explore everyday complexity and how this exploration leads to increased curiosity. Deconstructing everyday items and systems helps students to see how parts interact with other parts and the complexity of the interactions between them. This helps students to find areas where there is friction and helps them become better at problem finding. This conversation then leads us to a conversation on information and sensory overload. How are we shutting off in an age of information abundance? We finish off our great chat with a discussion on how might create online learning opportunities that create community inspired action.

“Learning is a consequence of experience.” - Piaget

“Technology is humanity’s accelerant.” - Kevin Kelly



Agency by Design Thinking routines

Third Space

Float tank - Sensory deprivation

Flow Performance

Flow Genome Project

Microsoft Teams

Lego Play


Networking, PLNs and Design Thinking

June 6, 2018

Where have we been? Steve begins by sharing the behind the scenes of the new University Campus at Ivanhoe. Year 9 is traditionally recognised as the year where students provide the most challenges in terms of disengagement, behaviour, and lack of direction. But is Year 8 the new Year 9? Dean and Steve talk about how their collective schools approach this challenge.

Design thinking pops up again (it does in every episode!) and Dean reflects on his human-centred approach to learning and schooling after appearing at the Leadership Exchange. Networking is a key factor in this approach and Dean and Steve talk about their respective network development journeys. The lone genius is a myth as the greatest ideas of our time have come from people bouncing off each other. Dean proposes 5 key stages of networking from his own experience. 

Stages of networking

  1. Reach out
  2. Twitter - Twitter chats, hashtags, following thought leaders. LinkedIn
  3. Blog - evolve thinking
  4. Giving more - connect with people on a deeper level and work together. Reading
  5. Outside networks - bringing ideas from outside education

The Design and Play podcast began due to a desire to do deep work together. The learning that we do within our networks needs to evolve. We also jump into design inspired archetypes to help break our assumptions about schools and leadership. Do you have a bias towards actions or do you embrace ambiguity? Finally, we discuss 1:1 programs and our questions and worries about the current state of our own programs. The wicked problem - how do we best serve our students’ needs with technology? Is our current approach enough?

Show notes

Ivanhoe Grammar University Campus

Leadership Exchange

David Eagleman

Creativity in the brain podcast

Lauren Sayer

Stephen Heppell

Design Thinking for School Leaders - Five Roles and Mindsets That Ignite Positive Change

TransTech Conference

Steve Glaveski



Taking the time to be offline

March 27, 2018

In our first real episode for 2018, we revisit the importance of offline time and switching off. This is always a challenge when work is something you are incredibly passionate about. How do we develop good work habits when the lines are blurred so much? We explore the third space,  a concept developed by Adam Fraser designed to help people transfer better between work and space. We once again circle back on time tracking and managing our time. We explore the value of what to measure when tracking time. Steve explains his tracking of interruptions and the use of reticular activation to intentionally manage his focus and habits. We talk about the books we read and those that just couldn’t bring ourselves to read (#blurredlines). This leads to a rich discussion on real evidence of learning and design thinking as a mental model. Student centred learning features as Dean explores his school’s new Inspire Me curriculum and the removal of the curriculum safety net. 


Dr. Adam Fraser -

Creative Schools - Sir Ken Robinson

Toggl -

My Analytics - Microsoft

Focus - Daniel Goleman

Mark Manson - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*#k

Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman

Judson Brewer - The Craving Mind

Tom Barrett -

Mental Models


Episode 16 - A deep dive into 3D printing

March 17, 2018

It is a December issue in March, oops!. We discuss Dean’s intervention regarding his podcasting sound and the palace studio he recorded this episode in. We reflect on the end of the 2017 school year and our plans for a reading break. We then take a really deep dive into 3D printing and the peaks and troughs of the approaches we have made in our schools. 

3D printing topics we discuss

  • Scalability of 3D printing
  • Process and solving the problem with the 3D printer.
  • 3D printing isn’t rapid prototyping. It is not a plug and play technology.
  • How can we make 3D printing as accessible as 2D printing
  • The need for external partnerships
  • The challenges of keeping the printers running
  • How Might We normalise 3D printing to make it accessible for all?
  • Using the errors as the guideposts for future and as teachable moments.
  • Who is doing the thinking? Helping students to target the adjustments required for the future.



The TeachTechPlay conference -

Educational Technology Consortium Victoria (ETCV) -

Ryan Holiday -

Stealing Fire - Jamie Wheal & Steven Kotler -

Chris Ly aka the 3D Printing Guy -

Makerbot -

Makers Empire -

Tinkercad -

e-NABLE foundation -

Stratasys 3D printers -



Ep. 15: High Tech High, PBL and EduChange17

November 28, 2017

We kick off the latest episode with Steve sharing his highlights from a recent visit to High Tech High in San Diego. Using Problem Based Learning to develop equity in the classroom, High Tech High is considered one of the best schools in the world. Steve talks about the rigor of the learning that adorns their walls, their onboarding process for new staff and how they develop shared language and collective vision with their staff. A huge shout out to Laura McBain and Randy Scherer for the time they gave up. 

Inspired by the PBL conversation, we take a deep dive into the new Year 10 PBL program at Dean's school. Context is paramount when it comes to implementing cultural change and Dean highlights how leadership helped and supported staff to embrace change. We discuss how staff have been supported to develop new mental models and how scaling lean how allowed his school to learn fast. For Melbournites interested, you can see this in action by jumping on the Innovative Schools bus tour being run by Design and Play's good friend, Trent Ray (details below)


Finally, Steve shares his EduChange17 experience. As usual, flow dominates the conversation but also highlight the power of podcasts to promote professional dialogue, help students debrief and develop their own understanding. We finish the show with the first series of podcasts recorded at EduChange with rich conversations with Carolyn Newell from WeTeachWell and Aaron Davis rounding out the episode.


Show notes

Laura McBain -

Randy Scherer -

Inspiration, not Replication -

Hands and Minds PBL guide -

High Tech High -

Most Likely to Succeed -

Buck Institute -

Microsoft PBL course -

Review of High Tech High blog post -

Austin Kleon – Steal like an Artist -

Adam Grant – Originals -

Trent Ray -

Collective Education -

Innovative Schools bus tour -

James Colbert -

WeTeachWell -

Carolyn Newell -

Aaron Davis -


Design and Play are proud members of




Ep 14: Interview with Steve Glaveski

October 7, 2017

Episode 12 of Design and Play is a fantastic interview with Steve Glaveski, a long time friend of Design and Play. Steve is the CEO and Co-Founder of Collective Campus, an innovation hub, school and consultancy based in Melbourne and Singapore, an Amazon best-selling author, host of the hugely popular Future Squared podcast, keynote speaker and creator of the student entrepreneurship program, Lemonade stand.

Steve shares his podcast journey, including his growth hacks to make Future Squared an iTunes chart-topper. We take a deep dive into the power of Virtual assistants to reduce admin workload. Steve provides insight into how he keeps up his own learning. Whether it's listening to audiobooks on 2x, listening to a diverse range of podcasts, teaching to develop understanding, Steve's habits of mind are just world class.

We discuss the value of going analog to help with managing distractions, as well as the power of extreme ownership when it comes to leadership.

Authentic learning and learning by doing are throughlines for this whole episode and it is worth its weight in gold just for the show notes. If you are interested in learning how to learn, this episode is for you.



About Steve


Collective Campus


Future Squared podcast


Lemonade Stand

Lemonade Stand Online free trial -


Show notes 

Podcastfail -


Virtual Assistants

Fiverr -

Upwork -


Feedly -

Harvard Business Review -

Enterprise Innovation -


Pareto Principle -


EduChange -

Peter Hutton -

EdRevolution -


Distractions and notifications -


Extreme Ownership -

Jocko Podcast -

Jocko - Good - Jocko Motivation "GOOD" (From Jocko Podcast)


Clayton Christensen-

Innovators DNA -


Future skills -


Kevin Kelly -

The Inevitable -

Future Squared podcast interview with Kevin Kelly -


Tim Ferris -

Learning how to learn : DiSSS (deconstruction, selection, sequencing, and stakes) -



Episode 13 Spark talk with Steve Brophy - Are you creative?

September 8, 2017


In the second SPARK episode, Steve Brophy discusses the question 'Are you creative?' Drawing on research and insights from a range of sources, Steve unpacks strategies to help all learners rekindle their creative drive.


Jane Fulton-Suri from IDEO -

Megan McArdle - “Upside of Down” -

Adam Grant - "Originals" -

Ted Orland - "Art and Fear"-

Anders Ericsson - "Peak" -

Austin Kleon - "Steal like an artist' -

Steven Kotler - "The Rise of Superman"

The MacGuyver method -

Steven Johnson - "Where Good Ideas come from - the natural history of innovation" -

Adjacent possible -

Margaret Heffernan - "Beyond Measure" -


Correction: I refer to Austin Kleon's book Steal your work in this episode. The book I'm talking about is Steal like an artist. Show your work is another book by Kleon which is also well worth the read.


Ep 12: Interview with Tom Barrett

August 28, 2017

After a little break due to illness, Dean and I are back with a great interview with Tom Barrett. Tom shares his journey from humble beginnings as a Primary teacher in the UK to becoming an education consultant running his own business, Dialogic Learning. Through Dialogic Learning, Tom helps schools get better through dialogue and deep thinking. In this episode, we discuss how we can create the conditions for great meaning through shared language and so many other great topics.


  • Leadership: the need to broaden our definitions of what it means to lead and to not compromise on our beliefs.


  • Tom shares his experience of writing a Masters of Education (Innovation and Change) course from scratch for Torrens University.


  • How language and habits can enculture innovation, including the exploration of where our language around innovation comes from.


  • How we need to redefine our relationship with failure


  • Tom shares his experience working as the education consultant to two architectural studios in Sydney. This continues our ongoing discussion into the impact of learning spaces on learning in schools.



About Tom Barrett


Director of Dialogic Learning -



Lecturer and content developer for Torrens University Australia -





Episode 11 Spark talk with Dean Pearman - Making is more than Tech

August 3, 2017

This is the first of our SPARK podcasts where Steve and Dean will spark ideas around what they are passionate about in schools. In this episode Dean Pearman discusses why Making is more than teach and draws inspiration from the work of Agency by Design's research into Maker-Centered Learning and Teaching.


Show notes

Angency by Design -

Project Zero -

Maker-Centered Learning: Empowering Young People to Shape Their Worlds -

Thinking & Learning in a Maker-Centered Classroom - Online Course -

Follow us:

iTunes -

Soundcloud -

Stitcher radio -



Ep 10: ILEs, VCE and the Flow state

June 19, 2017

We hit double digits with episode 10 and Dean provides an in-depth reflection on the recent Transitions conference at Melbourne Uni. Transitions was a public research conference exploring research behind the move from traditional classrooms to what are being called innovative learning environments (ILEs) This day included a catch up with our good old friend Terry Byers (@tezzabyers). An interesting insight from the conference led to Dean and I taking an intense look at VCE and questioning the validity of the current system (These opinions are obviously ours and not our employers!). I also talk about my experience completing the Flow Fundamentals course and the great work from the Flow Genome Project. We hope you enjoy the show!

Show notes

Mary Featherston -

Dandenong High -

Hayball -

Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change -

Transitions -

Lee Crocket -

Problem-based learning -

Challenge-based learning -

Digicon -

Dean's session at Digicon -

Mastery by Robert Greene -

Flow Genome Project -

Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler -

Stealing Fire by Jamie Wheal and Steven Kotler -

Flow Fundamentals -

Follow us:

iTunes -

Soundcloud -

Stitcher radio -