First law of Bad Management: If something isn’t working, do more of it. — Tom DeMarco
Major w00tage! BarCampSydney #4 is currently being (un)organised …
Was good fun last time, past performance could predict future performance?
- the times and places of learning;
- the nature of educational content;
- and the authority to decide all of this.
- Why does school have to be at whatever the set time has been for generations?
- Why does school have to be in the one place all the time?
- What is legitimate content of learning? And how can we effectively assess it?
- What about the role of authority? Who has it & why? How do we feel about that? Is it generational?
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life. — Anne Lamott
“The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of meeting schedules is forgotten.” — Kathleen Byle, Sandia National Laboratories
- Growth of knowledge
- Too much knowledge to keep in our heads
- No more epic poetry
Unlike the esteemed SilkCharm who tapped me to answer this question my blog is essentially self-indulgent.
This blog is called Aide-mémoire for a reason, primarily because I wanted a place to record my musings and ideas that seem interesting to me. It’s a personal blog. For some reason I cannot think while writing on paper so an electronic medium is more effective.
Usually my posts are sparked by a conversation (either online or offline), something in the media, an RSS feed, or on Twitter. Generally the inspiration is from a person or a relationship of some kind (the picture above shows some of the people who’ve inspired me to write stuff – photo credit @Trib).
Because it is a personal blog focused on things that interest me there are a variety of themes. Including – LOLcats, social computing, the changing nature of traditional and new media, people, communication, politics, technology and humour. But since I really am a bit of a geek the themes tend to revolve around technology.
The how is easy. An idea hits, I think about it, discuss it with friends, research it a bit if necessary and then write it. This can be anything from a 5 minute to a 5 week process depending on the idea. I don’t pay any attention to SEO or analytics. I am really happy when another human reads these posts and engages in a comment or tracks me down on another channel, like Twitter (@kcarruthers), for a constructive conversation.
Now there’s a bunch of great blogs in my RSS reader – here’s a few worth a look:
- Sramana Mitra – where I go to learn about tech business
- ChiefTech – he is da man for enterprise RSS
- Stilgherrian – always charming & erudite [Update: @PeterBlackQUT rejects this characterisation & suggests “offesive or provocative” is a better fit. I respond that @Stilgherrian can be charming but that I make no warranty as to when he might do so. No debate was entered into regarding the term “erudite”.]
- Meterand – serial entreprenuer & all round nice guyCatherine Eibner – Microsoft geek guru girl
I wonder how these folks will answer the question (shoulder tapping here) how do YOU decide how/what/when to blog?
Consumption of media is now happening on the user’s own terms. I can access what I want when it is convenient for me, and in the media format that I prefer on my preferred device. This means that the consumer of today has a lot of personal discretion, and this has implications for expectations of learners. We are moving away from the passive consumption model of my youth and moving towards a demand driven culture.
Anyone who knows a teenager probably already knows about Bit Torrent – people can download their preferred shows and watch them when they want and on their own terms. In the music space iTunes and LImewire have done the same thing. No longer do we have to buy the whole album for just one song. There is bandwidth being chewed up at a great rate to satisfy these demands.
We are wired to deal with smaller groups and wired for small chunks of information. The fact is that we seem to retain our tribal brains. And we often seem to work best in small groups – like basketball teams or football teams – who join together with a common purpose.
This is a critical construct for addressing some of the challenges facing us. There have been many studies of human working or short term memory and many are familiar with Miller’s idea of the ‘magical number seven’ – being the number of items we can hold in our working memory. We used to need skills like remembering oral information to keep us safe and transmit important information to others.
But now this is no longer required as we can just Google the information or phone a friend. There was even a recent example at PLC school in Sydney where the exams were not merely open book The students were allowed to use any materials, even mobile phones or the internet. This is how we would undertake a task in the real world anyway.
Since we are still tribal creatures we are stuck with limits on how many people we can meaningfully interact with. Many cite the Dunbar number of 150 people as the limit of effective group size. And we can already see the answer to the question of how we deal with being connected to large groups of people all the time. We chunk up our larger groups into subgroups based on common interests, habits or physical location.
Ultimately we are social creatures and want to create social networks either online or offline. A good example is Facebook where ordinary people of all ages and with little technical skill are routinely creating affiliation groups. These online groups are even creating real life relationships – for example the Twitter community in Sydney often meets up physically with most of us having met online originally.
“Action should culminate in wisdom.” — Bhagavad Gita