I’m excited to have a new article out in the recent edition of TechTrends. It’s an article written to students, about how they can build an effective learning community from the inside out. I have found that there are a lot of articles written to help instructors know how to build learning communities, but very precious little written to the students in language that they will actually read. I hoped with this article to fill this void. It’s not the most rigorous piece of scholarship in the world, but you know, I like it. I’m excited to see it published and hear what folks think about it.
I was fortunate this last year to attend TEDxNYED which was focused on great ideas for improving education. My colleague David Wiley gave a great talk there about how teaching (and learning) is really about sharing, and that we need to create policies and practices that increase our ability to share content and ideas with others. Awesome!
I was asked by my college to write an article for our college alumni magazine on how to improve online civility. Here is the draft of what I have so far: onlinecivility_070710
- The article has to be 1,000 words about
- It’s written to a nonacademic audience
- My school is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is why quoting scripture or church leaders is appropriate.
The New York Times had an interesting guest column written by a former designer for Microsoft. In the piece, Dick Brass remarks that “Microsoft has become a clumsy, uncompetitive innovator.” The problem, according to Brass, is a lot of infighting within the bowels of Microsoft, where departments would sabotage and compete against other departments within the company, killing innovative ideas before they could flourish.
Internal competition is common at great companies. It can be wisely encouraged to force ideas to compete. The problem comes when the competition becomes uncontrolled and destructive. At Microsoft, it has created a dysfunctional corporate culture in which the big established groups are allowed to prey upon emerging teams, belittle their efforts, compete unfairly against them for resources, and over time hector them out of existence. It’s not an accident that almost all the executives in charge of Microsoft’s music, e-books, phone, online, search and tablet efforts over the past decade have left.
I find stories such as this fascinating. What is it that creates a climate of interdependence, trust, and collaboration within some companies and envy and competition within other companies?
I’ve added two new pages to this website–they are subpages to my “teaching” page. The first is a page collecting examples of effective presentations that I can use for my IP&T 750 class, for when we talk about how to improve our conference presentations. If any readers have good suggestions for a presentation I can add here, particularly if it’s an educational research presentation, that would be very helpful! I’m looking for examples that communicate research-based ideas without using the dreaded bullet points.
The second page is mostly for me, but it is a list of links to resources on collaborative creativity, or sometimes just on creativity. The first presentation I added is one I listened to today from Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) on nurturing creativity. Interesting! Again, if you have good resources to add, let me know!
Recently in a reading group I participate in, we re-read an article by Banahan and Playfoot (2004) where they argue that the current economy emphasizes and rewards creativity instead of efficiency. They provide several pieces of data to support their position, including the fact that patents have risen dramatically. However, is the rising number of patents an indication of creativity or of the ridiculous practice where businesses use their lawyers to chase after patents for inventions that were not solely theirs? An example is the report today that Dell wants to trademark the term “cloud computing.” What a joke.
So the question is, if patents cannot be trusted as a good indication of creativity, what could we use instead?
Banahan, Eoin, and James Playfoot. (2004). “Socio-Organisational Challenges in the Creative Economy.” In Collaborative Networked Organizations: A Research Agenda for Emerging Business Models. Edited by L. M. Camarinha-Matos and H. Afsarmanesh. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004.
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Again, another fun tweet from @jonmott. A secret trip to Iraq was foiled by a member of the group posting multiple tweets regarding their location and activities. Wow. Isn’t the first thing you learn about social networking technologies is NOT to post your specific location at a given moment? (As a parent, I know that one). The funniest (and scariest) part of this is that the whistleblower was the former chairman of the Intelligence panel.
Now if HE can’t figure out how to be safe using social technologies, do the rest of us really have a chance? Am I being too over-confident to think I can keep my children safe with the safeguards I currently use or is it a hopeless endeavor?