Doug Peterson pointed me to the innovative programming language called 'Alice'. The software has a long history, intertwined with Randy Pausch's work in VR, and moved to Carnegoie Mellon a couple of years ago. What is it? Peterson explains: "Alice offers it all. 2 and 3 D story telling, building, programming in an easy format, an easy to navigate environment, and more including resources for teaching at the Alice website and all over the internet from fans." What it doesn't have, unfortunately, is a web interface. Maybe next year. Note: the website markets Alice as "a free gidft from Carnegie Mellon University," but it would be wise to look at the list of sponsors and especially the series of NSF grants showing who actually paid for this "free gift".
I can see this trend being reflected in the origanizations I deal with. There are two major aspects: first, "a shift from running uncoordinated efforts within siloes to launching an integrated operational-improvement program organized around customer journeys", and second, "a shift from using individual technologies, operations capabilities, and approaches in a piecemeal manner inside siloes to applying them to journeys in combination." This all sounds good in theory but it's a lot more difficult to apply in practice. Each silo and each individual tech choice exists for a reason, and forcing them into an integrated whole can result in enterprise-wide disruption. Like this. Like this. Like this. Like this. You have to build resiliance into enterprise planning, which requires enabling parts of the enterprise to decouple when a central system goes south.
Tim Klapdor writes about the reasons for "the end of demand driven education" in the UK. This is the idea that the system would be prepared to educate those students who wanted to learn. One reason, he writes, is government policy, which is intended to favour the rich, and is therefore opposed to the idea of education for all. Another reason is the cost, as universities made to attempt to leverage the economies of scale as their enrollments increased. Lost in the whole discussion, he says, are the students. "No one seems willing to discuss the fact that students are being forced to prop up the higher education system as the government slowly defunds it."
This is a video discussion between education consultant Steven Anderson and interviewer Rod Berger, along with a summary article. A lot of the conversation revolves around Anderson's experiences at conferences, and how he thinks people should approach the conference experience. There's also an undertone of tech criticism. Anderson suggests that the motivation for the use of tech in schools is the money that was spent on the tech. And he suggests that people try to "cram" the pedagogy into the technology that they have. "Technology comes and goes," he says. "What we need to be focused on are pedagogy and processes." But focusing on these creates the risk of being blind to what new things can be done with the tech.
I can understand why people would want to slow ed tech work, but my fear is that the phenomenon of 'slow ed tech' is based on a chimera. After all, how do you measure the speed of ed tech? Is it how fast you type or text? Is it the number of words you read in an hour? Is the the quantity or pace of operations you perform? I see no inherent benefit in slowing any of these (indeed, typing quickly actually reduces a lot of the stress of working with tech). Meanwhile, I slow the pace of my ed tech work all the time, but my managers call it "not working" and "watching YouTube videos".
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.