This week I did:
We spent a couple of days doing operational readiness testing ahead of going live next week with our ‘Online Learning Hub’ (don’t get me started about naming virtual properties like it’s the year 2000). We had four test teams and learned a lot about the experience young people will have when they are on our programmes. It also helped me think more about how we can focus more on mobile without some of the constraints we’re finding at the moment.
We are about to start the discovery phase for the next level of learning experience we provide young people. I’ve been thinking about how closely tied the technology is to the mode of delivery, and that I’d like to explore within three concentric circles; what more can we do with the tech we’re already using, what can we do with tech we already have but aren’t using to support different modes of delivery, and what tech would we need to support modes of delivery that we aren’t doing. Layered under that is the notion that different young people have different needs so we need to provide different means for them to achieve their outcomes.
I’ve been adding more stiles to stiles.style, and I got a couple more followers. But the best thing has been the chats I’ve had with people whilst taking photos. They usually start off suspicious, thinking I’m doing something wrong, but when I tell them about my instagram account they relax and we talk about how stiles are an important feature of the British countryside, how each one is unique and that they are gradually being replaced by gates.
Weaponisation of digital
I’ve been gradually starting to put more time into my essay about how digital technologies will be weaponised to increase inequality in society and what charities need to do about it. I think of essays as very different pieces of work to blog posts. They are longer and include research and presenting other people’s opinions, whereas blog posts are just what I think. I’ve settled on a timeframe for looking at this future. It’s within the lifetime of someone born today, so roughly a hundred years. And it follows a three-part structure of what the technology will be like, what inequalities we can expect and what charities need to do to get ready for this future. There is a section about AI, so I’ve been reading about Turing, Kurzweil and Bostrom. They all recognise how seismic the creation of AI will be for our species and how inevitable it is.
I found AgileInEducation. They talk about how the “world is no longer predictable and learning needs to be more adaptive, connected, and interdependent” and about shifting education from Prescriptive to Iterative, Content to Culture, Evaluation to Visible Feedback & Reflection, Control to Trust and Competition to Collaboration. The website doesn’t have any more information about how this might be done, what situations and contexts it applies, etc., but it sounds interesting.
Is agility in education solving the same problem as agility in software development? Do we use the same words but mean different things? Does the shift in ways of thinking and doing education need the Agile brand or is it just ‘education’ evolving with the times.
I also read a paper called ‘Agile Methodologies in Education: A Review: Bringing Methodologies from Industry to the Classroom’, which is more explicit about the problems teachers are trying to solve by using agile ways of working, that is to ‘attract and retain the attention and the commitment by students, and ensure they achieve the required learning outcomes.’
How I spend my time
I’ve been thinking about how I spend my time and whether to break it up more so that I have blocks of time for writing, studying, walking (Stile-ing), etc. Is it better to spend more time on one big thing (like my weaponisation of digital essay) to get that done before moving on to other things, or is it better to have more things in progressing a little bit at the same time. Kanban thinking might say that I need to define my Work In Progress limits. I also did some roadmapping to help me check that what I want to work on is going to help me achieve my objectives.
Platform for collaborative working
Adam Groves tweeted about some thinking he’s been doing around the dynamics that underpin effective collaboration in organisations. It shows some really interesting platform thinking for collaborative working.
Creative explorative learning space
“Five concepts with incredibly high ROI:
- Talent Stacking,
- High Agency,
- Clear Thinking,
- Deep Work,
- Transactional Analysis”.
I like this framing. It isn’t “Here are THE five keys to success”, it’s “Here are some interesting ideas to dig into”, which I think helps with learning and thinking as it creates a more explorative space.
“Obsessed with this idea:
- Pick a niche I’m interested in.
- Write/study daily about the topic.
- Write 100 articles in a year.
- Get SEO traffic.
- Build email list.
- Ask them what they want and build it.
- Sell products (physical or digital).
- Start fresh with a new niche next year.”
The thread of tweets goes deeper into parts of the plan such as using Reddit to identify niches, and why picking a new niche every year is important because it keeps up with trends and grows the passive income over time. It shows how the idea of an internet-business is different from a business on the internet.
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
“I spent last week assessing every interaction I was a part of and identified 8 reflections:
- Advance preparation makes most interactions better;
- Some kind of supporting artifact to capture discussions makes most interactions better;
- Keeping track of time allows interactions to end better;
- Structured problem solving makes problem-solving interactions better;
- Clearer concepts and patterns for effectiveness helps progress improvement interactions faster;
- It’s easy to lose sight of the purpose of recurring meetings over time;
- It’s easy to miss that only a few people spoke in a meeting;
- Mumbling makes interactions worse”
I think this is excellent learning. It takes the high level manifesto item of ‘Individuals and interactions over processes and tools’ and breaks it down into actionable experiments anyone can try to learn from what Jason learned.