Tag Archives for Technology
Would that school were so easy.
You go to school to learn something. You take that something and use it in the real world to get things done.
But what if the world changes so fast that the nineteenth century sysetm you are learning in does not prepare you for the 21st century world you go home to live in, use the web in, make your friends in?
You end up disrupting education by finding your own consumption. And that has consequences — some great, some maybe not so great.
Has Traditional Education Jumped the Shark?
What happens when the school you go to is online, free and part of an experiment? What if it’s a test, and not really part of the formal system? Do you lose out by learning in it?
What matters most — that you experienced the very same experience as your “cohort,” or that you learned the skills that you need to get a job?
We are starting to see this kind of question a lot when we look into how different people hire school to get the job of education done.
When education looks different, but creates the same result, what are the tensions that one experiences when trying to use the byproduct of that education to get hired? This question on Quora makes us wonder. The asker of the question offers context:
I’m currently taking part in a free programming course with Stanford University, and I’m watching the same lectures and doing the same work as real students, just not getting a degree out of it. Is it appropriate to include this on my CV/LinkedIn profile?
Here are my questions:
1. If the guy learns skills from this course, but does not get a degree, and he can perform the job that having the degree would indicate he could perform, then what use is the degree?
2. What is more important to an employer — the skill or the degree?
3. Do we rely on the degree because the people who hire us are often people who are not specialists in that field — I’m thinking of an HR manager here, who must have to use degrees to vet applicants.
Future thinking: we can take this thinking to its long-term conclusions. What if education evolves into something that is more about showing your work, or proving that you can solve problems in teh real world? Is it stilla bout the degree? Does the degree become something that proves that, or does the work itself prove that?
If it is the work itself, then what is more important? Is it your relationship in the school, or your relationship in the community?
I think that education institutions give people a bigger platform on which to stand, to build greater relationships with community. But as internet technology deconstructs those platforms, you have to consistently see these things differently. If social web technologies are their own platforms, and one can use those to connect to communities, then what happens to education?
As I have written before, in education there are often more questions than real market forces. If we could experiment more and more with education, we would find the answer to these questions come readily. If we could see real “market forces,” like teachers giving active and ready insight into how they use products, or if there was less overhead to deal with (bureaucracy and red tape), then developers and entrepreneurs could make the changes that would facilitate better learning.
Back to the original point: when students are given access, outside of the system, to newer ways to learn, those choices end up part of the market forces in the equation, and teachers, or anyone who does not participate, becomes further isolated.
My gut instinct says that many who are in education and who make their living from it, are wary of exploring this too much. Realistically speaking, they may feel their livelihood is at stake.
I think it’s not at stake, but it changes. Teachers — in K12 all the way through higher ed — have to change their roles the way reporters in journalism institutions do. It is more important to be facilitator to the hyper-informed community than it is to be the broad generalist who seeks to be the single conduit for information.
Teaching moves from lecturing, monitoring, coaching and mentoring, to curating, guiding, disrupting, and platform leveling. It’s more a task of community management than it is a teacher role.
Today Apple came out with a slew of new technology products for education. They will surely do more to provoke change, if they don’t do enough to help teachers improve their impact on children’s lives.
I had only one really big bone to pick with TechCrunch writer Matt Burns, who argued that iPads have no relevancy for teaching things like math or sentence structure
He misses the point, and I say so in this radio broadcast, where I argue that it’s never been the case that tech was supposed to teach. Teachers teach. Educators will always be the deciding factor in a child’s learning curve, not the technology. Quit making it about the technology.
More radio rants and musings to come via the Douglas Crets Flipzu channel.
Others on Google+ have made similar arguments that it’s the teaching and the way we use technology that matters. This great discussion about whether the iBooks 2 launch will be cumbersome reveals that people are using ebooks differently. It also points out that our understanding of school is a structural one. We are never that concerned with the meaning being created in school. We are always focused on how it’s done.
That’s because when we were younger, I would bet that 80% of our learning was spent learning how to exist in the education system.
My argument with tech innovations in education is that tech innovations will free all of us up to do what we want to do in education, and find the sources of our own learning, which is a hybrid of ourselves, our teachers, our communities, and the things we are passion about.
It’s not often that I have a face-to-face encounter with a disruptive technology that actually disrupts my life in a good way and pushes me to the envelope of innovation and progress. But I have had that experience with Airbnb.
It’s changed my life. I am not the only one.
Right now, in New York City, two young women, age 24 and 27, are staying at my apartment, renting it for the month, while they find an apartment somewhere in Manhattan. I am sitting at a worktable in a huge, cavernous warehouse flat in Brooklyn, on a street I never even knew existed in this borough, while I wait the next 16 hours for my flight to Hong Kong.
[edited] I am now in Hong Kong, about to move from my friend’s flat to the apartment down the street, which I rented online one month ago.
In the last part of 2011 and in 2012 I plan on visiting: Senegal, Morocco, Barcelona, Hong Kong, China, Sweden, Chile, Argentina, and Iceland.
This year alone I have been to Costa Rica, Fiji, New Zealand, Mexico, and Seattle.
And I do not have a full time job at a corporate headquarters.
I am an intelligence agent for the social web. Or, I am a professional networker. Social networks online mean nothing unless you actually meet the people who follow or friend you. That’s what makes them social.
So, to get the job of meaning creation done, I travel around the world building up the social media cache that we use at Re-Wired Group by meeting people face to face and interviewing them. We tell their stories, and find ways to inform the public about how entrepreneurs are finding ways into the jobs to be done framework.
Listen to our two most recent radio shows: An interview with Raphael Ouzan about the social layer of billing statements; and a twenty minute interview with Ringbow co-founder Saar Shai and his girlfirend, the lovely Alicia Zur Szpiro, as they talk about the disruption of global corporate infrastructure brought on by the massive data coming-of-age.
Airbnb has made all of this travel and work possible, simply because it has introduced me to people I never would have met at a bar, at a church or standing in line for a concert.
I am ready to proclaim that 2012 will be the Tipping Point year in a technological revolution that will unsettle lives and create new lifestyles and career choices for millions of people. It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the apps.
Airbnb allows me to collect rent on my place while other people use it to discover the city. I can then use that money towards travel, where I visit other countries and develop new businesses, create new networks of social media influence, and create meaningful value in work for my clients, globally. I’m like a one-man global media company.
This is an example of a job that a company like Airbnb allows one to accomplish to experience progress. It’s another example of what I have written about in the past: that business is no longer about the mechanics of business, it’s about being social and helping people find meaningful progress in their emotional lives.
As Chris Spiek says about the advances brought on by Airbnb:
This is a great example of an innovation unlocking what is possible in terms of making progress. Most people that have had the same aspirations (job) as you, wouldn’t think of accomplishing it by renting out their place.
They would not, I think, because their emotional energy is tied up in ego management. Their ego is so connected to the stability of a choice that was really not theirs to make. To consider doing what I have planned and executed on would require al etting go of the meaning that was really not theirs to begin with.
With Airbnb, I — and millions of others — have fond meaning in purchasing what on the surface is just a service. But it gets so supercharged because by hiring this company we are achieving the creation of meaning that we created, that we can own.
And in my experience, that makes me a loyal customer and consumer of Airbnb. It’s not that I am satisfied with the service. I am satisfied with myself.
Companies need to get this. companies that don’t get this will end up like Blockbuster video, or GM, or any of the thousands of companies every year that fail.
It didn’t use to be this way, but it is this way now, because of this magical data-linking, people channel called the Internet.
If you can help someone make a meaningful choice in their life, then they will do more than buy your product. They will be loyal, to the bone. And tell their friends about it.
Shell Martinez started using Airbnb last year, and she and her roomate are now thinking of buying their own place to create a kind of international hostel for the hundreds of people who have stayed with her and would stay with her again.
I wrote about her a little bit on my travel blog, For All the Dogs in Mexico.
In short, Shell and Rita have both decided that there are things they can do now that they had only thought about before.
They can start a business, help Airbnb, travel around the world, host parties, and even put together new friendships and relationships based on common interests.
Shell even built a sixteen foot table out of wood and industrial steel pipes. Airbnb’s customer service reps come here on Fridays and set up shop.
It’s an example of a home turning into a business, and within that business the creation of a social layer around getting work done. This never could have happened twenty, or even five years ago.
Steve Wozniak, greatest Apple fan on earth, and longtime friend of Steve Jobs, spoke with a TechCrunch reporter outside the Apple store in Los Gatos, California yesterday. In his interview, he reveals an unsettling feeling with how Apple is talking about its products. This caused our ears to prick up at Re-Wired Group, since we remember that what made the Jobs keynotes so remarkable was that he explained what Apple products do with the consumer’s needs in mind.
Wozniak says that consumers don’t want to know about the details of dual core processors and other geekhat mumbo-jumbo. They just want to know what is it, and what does it do? Will it help me connect to the internet and get my email?
Here’s the video: