by Stephen Downes
Dec 02, 2014
Careful with that Axe, Eugene!
T N T : The Network Thinkers,
A big headline in the local newspaper trumpeted the fact that the City is eliminating 19 positions (something their cost-averse editors deeply love). This seems unwise at the best of times, but the city is closing the positions "by attrition", which is the equivalent of using random selection. That's often a really bad idea. It's hard to imagine something more demoralizing than the realization that, when you leave, nobody will replace you. As Harold Jarche points out, even targeted job reductions can miss the mark. How often have governments and corporations let key catalysts in their operation go because they looked only at the job description, and not at the person? But this same reasoning also applies to developing the organization. Social network analysis is crucial to understanding what a person actually does, so that when the time to replace the person (in more enlightened places, at least) management will have a good idea what talents and qualities are needed to do the job. Via Harold Jarche.
iDEA Programme Badges – Recognising Digital Skills
Microsoft UK Schools Blog,
So, should you be given a badge for instantiating a particular political perspective, or espousing a particular philosophy? One would think not. But this program comes dangerously close to that line, close enough that it gives pause for thought. "The iDEA Programme (Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award) and the partnership with the Nominet Trust and the Duke of York, which aims to support young people who have a creative spark of entrepreneurship... here is a competition to find the best digital business ideas... (it) also offers young people the opportunity to learn skills and earn recognised badges that will not only help them when and idea comes to them, but also improve their employability."
Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag!
This video teaches you how to make ice cream, and along the way, teaches you an interesting scientific principle. It's yet another example of how you can learn anything online. Best of all, the author writes: "This was a school assignment and my first time using iMovie :)" Perfect.
Learn from Coursera on your next JetBlue flight
It's perhaps a small matter to put videos on a video service, but it's something else again to convince an airline to feature your free content on its inflight video service. So kudos to Coursera for pulling this off! Of course, you'll need to be working on next-generation inflight services, the way NRC is, if you want to put actual courses and learning resources on the system. So if you're an e-learning company and are interested in the possibility of putting learning and performance support into in-flight working and travelling, send me a note. I can't make any guarantees, but this is the place to start thinking about it.
Technology Tools for Teachers
M. S. Vidya,
Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA),
This (44 page PDF) is a curated list of tools for teachers, sorted into categories like 'mind tools', 'resource management tools', and creativity tools', with each tool discussed, described, and suggested for specific applications. It would be nice to be able to click on the tool URL right in the text, but there's a full list of tools at the end of the document with URLs you can cut and paste into your browser. Criteria for tool selection include: "minimize the time and effort spent on a task," "ease of use; eliminating a lengthy or steep learning
curve," and "Affordability".
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