Notes from 2005


This is a continuation of my notes from 2004 … I see that 2005 was the year I started digging deeper into PKM/Networked Learning.

David Williamson Shaffer’s paper on Pedagogical Praxis: The professions as models for post-industrial education provides a theoretical model, with three case studies (biomedical negotiators, online journalists and architects using complex mathematics), on how educational institutions can better bridge the gap between learning in formal education and learning in the workplace.

Perhaps the power of new technologies to bring professional practices closer to the purview of middle and high school students provides an opportunity to move beyond disciplines derived from medieval scholarship constituted within schools developed in the industrial revolution. Learning environments such as those described here, based on professional learning practices and deliberately constituted outside the traditional structure of schooling, suggest a way to move beyond current curricula based on the ways of knowing of mathematics, science, history, and language arts.
From the The Walrus magazine on an uninspiring 2005 McLuhan International Festival of the Future, until the very end:
As the last few intellectual thrusts of “Probing McLuhan” wound down, a figure rose from the crowd and said a few words. The voice was eerily reminiscent of the Master, as was the rhetoric. It was Eric McLuhan. “The new media won’t fit into the classroom”, he told the audience. “It already surrounds it. Perhaps that is the challenge of the counterculture. The problem is to know what questions to ask.”
For the first time that afternoon there was silence, and it spoke volumes.

One challenge in this business of designing systems is to constantly question our models and assumptions – a very McLuhanesque perspective: “The specialist is one who never makes small mistakes while moving toward the grand fallacy.”

Social media & the McLuhans’ Laws of Media:

In looking at the newer social networking technologies [for learning] we could say that they:

  1. extend the learner’s voice;
  2. obsolesce the course as the unit of education
  3. retrieve the Oxford-Cambridge collegial education model
  4. could reverse into a meaningless “echo-chamber” (Wikepedia definition of “echo chamber: Metaphorically, the term echo chamber can refer to any situation in which information or ideas are amplified by transmission inside an enclosed space.)

On running a virtual team:

Stick to small groups, and
if you’re the leader, give up control, because
there is no leader, so
have complete trust, and
allow for total transparency, but
provide clear & achievable goals, while also having
an open ended final goal.

Adam Kahane; “If we want to help resolve complex situations, we have to get out of the way of situations that are resolving themselves”.

Gloria Gery: “Training will either be strategic or it will be marginalized.”

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