Soraya Dorabi opened the second day of the FocusOn Learning conference with a presentation on how data is changing learning and performance. Hampered by technology hiccups, Soraya talked about the ways in which all digital platforms generate data and how that data could be leveraged to support personalized education. She also raised the issue of the ethical entailments.
Scott Dadich, editor-in-chief at Wired, opened the eLearning Guild’s FocusOn Learning conference with a keynote on Designing the Future. He presented three meta-narratives – stories that emerge and transcend an individual article – that he said define the future. Transportation is being fundamentally being transformed by applying network thinking. Virtual reality is growing, but the disappearance of the ‘device’ can transform our experience of presence. And machine learning means we may not comprehend the intelligent behavior that emerges. Interesting stuff!
I’ve been reading a few other books, and have written up some book reviews on two of them.
For the Revolution Reading List, I strongly encourage you to read Amy Edmondson’s Teaming, it’s a great review of the needed changes for organizations to embrace innovation. My eLearn Mag review is here.
For no specific list, but as a book that was really transformational for my thinking, Todd Rose’s The End of Average really helped point out the problems with our current obsession with simplistic evaluations of people. My review for eLearn Mag is here.
And some thoughts on Doug Engelbart, a visionary who’s contributed greatly to our thinking can be seen in this article for Learning Solutions, here.
As always, I welcome hearing your thoughts on these, or your own recommendations!
As usual, there’re a number of events queued up for the coming months:
And I’ll be at FocusOn Learning June 7-10 in Austin, with a workshop on mobile cognition, an introductory mlearning session, and a talk on context.
I’ll also be keynoting the International Conference on eLearning in the Workplace June 15-17 in New York.
There’re a couple more that may be showing up, and of course there’re some special events for clients happening in various places as well. If you’re going, say ‘hello’!
A comment on my earliest blog post (thanks, Henrik), made me realize that this post will mark 10 years of blogging. Yes, my first post came out on January 14th, 2006. This will be my 1,200th post (I forced one in yesterday to be the 1199th so I could say that ;), yow! That’s 120 a year, or just under every 3rd day. And, I am happy to add, 2,542 comments (just more than 2 per post), so thanks to you for weighing in.
It’s funny, when I started I can’t really say it was more than an experiment. I had no idea where it would lead, or how. It’s had some challenges, to continue to find topics, but it’s been helpful. It’s forced me to deliberately consider things I otherwise might not have, just to try to keep up the momentum.
I confess I originally had a goal of 5 a week (one per business day), but even then I was happy if I got 2-3. I’m gobsmacked at my colleague Harold who seems to put out a post every day. I can’t quite do that. My goal has moderated to be 2 a week (very occasionally I live with 1 per week, but other weeks like when I’m at conferences I might have 3 if there are lots of keynotes to mind map). Typically it’s Tuesday and Wednesday, for no good reason.
I also try to have something new to say every time. It’s hard, but forcing myself to find something to talk about has led to me thinking about lots of things and therefore ready to bring them to bear on behalf of clients. I think out loud relatively freely (particularly with the popularity of Work and Learn Out Loud and Show Your Work). And it’s a way to share my diagrams, another way to ‘think out loud’. And I admit that I don’t share some things that are either proprietary (until I can anonymize them) or something I’m planning on doing something with.
And I’ve also resisted commercializing this. Obviously I’ve avoided the offers to exchange links or blog posts that include links for SEO stuff, but I’ve even, rightly or wrongly, not allowed ads. While it is the official Quinnovation blog, it’s been my belief that sharing my thinking is the best way to help me get interest in what I have to offer (extensive experience mapping a wide variety of concepts onto specific client contexts to yield innovative yet practical and successful solutions). I haven’t (yet) followed a formula to drive business traffic, and only occasionally mention my upcoming events (though hopefully that’s a public service :). There’re other places to track that.
I’m also pretty lax about looking at the metrics. I do weekly pop by Google Analytics to see what sort of traffic I get (pretty steady), but I haven’t tried to see what might improve it. This is, largely, for me. And for you if your interests run this way. So welcome, and here’s to another 10 years! Who knows what there will be to talk about then…or even next week!
Adam Savage gave a thoughtful, entertaining, and ultimately moving talk about how Art and Science are complementary components of what makes us human. He continued telling stories that kept us laughing while learning, and ended on a fabulous note about being willing to be vulnerable as a person and a parent. Truly a great keynote.
Today I attended David Pogue’s #DevLearn Keynote. And, as a DevLearn ‘official blogger’, I was expected to mindmap it (as I regularly do). So, I turn on my iPad and have had a steady series of problems. The perils of living in a high tech world.
First, when I opened my diagramming software, OmniGraffle, it doesn’t work. I find out they’ve stopped supporting this edition! So, $50 later (yes, it’s almost unconscionably dear) and sweating out the download (“will it finish in time”), I start prepping the mindmap.
Except the way it does things are different. How do I add break points to an arrow?!? Well, I can’t find a setting, but I finally explore other interface icons and find a way. The defaults are different, but manage to create a fairly typical mindmap. Phew.
So, I export to Photos and open WordPress. After typing in my usual insipid prose, I go to add the image. And it starts, and fails. I try again, and it’s reliably failing. I reexport, and try again. Nope. I get the image over to my iPhone to try it there, to no avail.
I’ve posted the image to the conference app, but it’s not going to appear here until I get back to my room and my laptop. Grr.
Oh well, that’s life in this modern world, eh?
The following was prompted by a discussion on how education has the potential to be disrupted. And I don’t disagree, but I don’t see the disruptive forces marshaling that I think it will take. Some thoughts I lobbed in another forum (lightly edited):
Mark Warschauer, in his great book Learning in the Cloud (which has nothing to do with ‘the cloud’), pointed out that there are only 3 things wrong with public education: the curricula, the pedagogy, and the way they use tech; other than that they’re fine. Ahem. And much of what I’ve read about disruption seems flawed in substantial ways.
I’ve seen the for-profits institutions, and they’re flawed because even if they did understand learning (and they don’t seem to), they’re handicapped: they have to dance to the ridiculous requirements of accrediting bodies. Those bodies don’t understand why SMEs aren’t a good source of objectives, so the learning goals are not useful to the workplace. It’s not the profit requirement per se, because you could do good learning, but you have to start with good objectives, and then understand the nuances that make learning effective. WGU is at least being somewhat disruptive on the objectives.
MOOCs don’t yet have a clear business model; right now they’re subsidized by either the public institutions, or biz experiments. And the pedagogy doesn’t really scale well: their objectives also tend to be knowledge based, and to have a meaningful outcome they’d need to be application based, and you can’t really evaluate that at scale (unless you get *really* nuanced about peer review, but even then you need some scrutiny that just doesn’t scale.). For example, just because you learn to do AI programming doesn’t mean you’re ready to be an AI programmer. That’s the xMOOCs, the cMOOCs have their own problems with expectations around self-learning skills. Lovely dream, but it’s not the world I live in, at least yet.
As for things like the Khan Academy, well, it’s a nice learning adjunct, and they’re moving to a more complete learning experience, but they’re still largely tied to the existing curricula (e.g. doing what Jonassen railed against: the problems we give kids in schools bear no relation to the problems they’ll face in the real world).
The totally missed opportunity across all of this is the possibility of layering 21C skills across this in a systematic and developable way. If we could get a better curricula, focused on developing applicable skills and meta-skills, with a powerful pedagogy, in a pragmatically deliverable way…
Lots of room for disruption, but it’s really a bigger effort than I’ve yet seen someone willing to take. And yet, if you did it right, you’d have an essentially unassailable barrier to entry: real learning done at scale. However, I’m inclined to think that it’s more plausible in the countries who increasingly ‘get’ that higher ed is an investment in the future of a country, and are making it free, and make it a ‘man on the moon’ program. I’m willing, even eager to be wrong on this, so please let me know what you think!