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Why did we create Parlay? The Reason = More Meaningful Discussions

Meaningful Discussions

As you’ll read / see in the video, the ultimate goal of Parlay is to create more opportunities for meaningful discussions in the classroom and to give students more opportunities to build the human skills they’ll need in the future.

Here is the transcript (ish).

To whom it may concern,

My name is Bobby McDonald and just about 2 years ago I started Parlay Ideas. We are a small education company from Toronto with big dreams. Our mission is to inspire meaningful discussions in classrooms around the world.

Today I’m going to tell you a little bit more about that mission.

Why have we created Parlay?

The world is more polarized with every passing day. People are unwilling to seek out alternative perspectives. People are unwilling to challenge their own assumptions. People are unwilling to have hard conversations. This state of affairs is a direct threat to the long term health of our society. This troubling reality affects young people the most. But they also have the most opportunity to improve it.
Second, technology is changing our world faster than we’d like to admit. And, even if we don’t always realize it, it’s accelerating to the breaking point. Process automation and artificial intelligence are creating immense uncertainty in the future of work. This will affect young people the most, so we have to do our best to prepare them.
We created Parlay to put a dent in these two big challenges.

What change do we want to affect?

Our first goal is to give every student the opportunity to contribute their own ideas and opinions in an open and inclusive learning environment. We want to encourage them to challenge each other. We want to instil in them the intellectual humility they will need to confront their own biases and preconceptions without losing self confidence. It’s a tall order, but the teachers of the world are up to it, and already working hard at this every day. We want to make it a little bit easier. And a little more fun.
Next, we’re getting back to basics. The essence of education has always been the same. Teach young people to read and write; to listen and to speak, to work together and to think for themselves. These are skills they will need to stay adaptable and relevant in our fast changing world.

How are we going to achieve these goals?

Over the last year and a half we’ve worked with teachers, researchers and students to develop Parlay. The discussion activities that we have created (called RoundTables) are academically rigorous. But they’re also fun, with the kind user experience that we have come to expect from technology. The process is simple, and easy to learn for teachers and students. Finally, they are flexible and designed to suit many different types of discussions – both inside the classroom and at home.
So, this is the first of many blog posts. Our hope is to start a conversation about how we can work together to improve education. These videos are not declarations. They are about exploring new ideas and asking tough questions.
Last but not least. If you’re an educator of any kind and discussion is an important part of your classroom feel free to give Parlay a try. Every teacher gets one class free. So go ahead and get your class set up, and create a few RoundTables. Your students are really going to enjoy it. e’re confident that you will like the quality of conversations that ensue.
Thanks and we’ll see you soon.