Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Half an Hour: What Not To Build

Half an Hour:

Stephen Downes wrote this post: What Not To Build I have included some extracts here to give you the gist.

"I get to play a government scientist on the internet. As a result, a large part of my work involves being exposed to new and interesting technologies, whether they are the latest military simulators, academic papers delivered at scientific conferences, or product proposals being promoted by aspiring developers. (and)
My sort of environmental scan is a bit different from what you'll get from consultants and venture capitalists...
What I can tell you, though, is what technologies are working, what technologies are flopping, and what technologies are fads..."

His post, much retweeted is in six sections:
1.What not to build-10 items
2.What is there? Stuff everybody is working on-nine items
3.Fads-three items
4.Maybe-2 items
5.Out there for the taking-six items
6.Dead tech-five items

My observations, based on my thoughts as a teacher, senior school leader and corporate IT manager:
Most educators would not be considering "building" any of the ten items. They may be wanting to create wikis and ning groups for PLN initiatives.
As for ning groups, I am inclined to to agree that it is just too hard to find the time to make a serious and sustained contribution. I have joined many and feel regularly guilty that I never get back to them to participate.

The wiki is still an ideal user-friendly platform for PL activities and research collections whether created by one or many, who cares. Each user of any of these tools writes the rules for their own use. That is the whole purpose of them. "I present me"

At this time, I cannot see that the iphone and similarly functional consumer electronic devices should be called a fad. It is from the desk to the hand and pocket that is the main feature here. For education, what is important about this device are the mlearning opportunities. It is all about the applications.

In terms of online instruction systems, I agree, there is a lot to be done here and much to be gained. It is about more than community, it is a about quality too.

The references in this post to innovation are a valuable launchpad for further thinking and discussion. I agree that the ideas to be further explored are:
  • personalisation, it's all about me and my learning
  • simulation,immersive and vlearning. Lots of possibilities here for very powerful learning.
Twitter is a good place to take this discussion forward. I am looking forward to reading what Judy O'Connell finds out from twitterati, she tweeted:

heyjudeonline How would you define 'innovation' in a school setting? what would you look for? how would you wish it to happen?

There are some interesting thoughts already tweeted.

Alan Levine response to Downes post

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