Every fortnight (two weeks) our editor sends along a few links with the most noteworthy quote from each article, a way of keeping our team abreast of what’s going on in the world around peer-learning, collective learning and knowledge sharing. We decided to share them alongside the magazine.
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An interesting mix with some deeper thinking on learning; a unified theory of learning, polymaths and journeymen, the importance of algorithms and daydreaming is good for you.
Some of the buzziest of buzzwords in ed-tech currently involve data collection and analysis: “personalization,” “adaptive learning,” “learning analytics,” “predictive analytics.” These all involve algorithms — almost to a tee, algorithms that are proprietary and opaque.
Important issues to think about, around algorithms, transparency, inequality and marginalization. Framed around formal education but valid for informal and society at large really.
The mind is a learning machine and it is the various aspects of this ability to ‘learn’ that may have had driven evolution and our success as a species. The Baldwin Effect places ‘learning’ on a larger theoretical canvas, lying at the heart of evolutionary theory. It is no longer just a cognitive ability, albeit a complex one, with many different systems of memory, but a feature that defines the very success of our species. This is a profound and radical idea.
The Baldwin Effect gives ‘learning’ cardinal status but learning technology, the product of learning how to teach and learn takes over. I’d go further and claim that learning, especially the development of cognitive systems such as episodic memory, gave the production and use of technology a privileged status. It is my contention that technology itself, through various network effects and now networked learning, has taken this to new levels. It may even transcend our very notion of what we currently see as intrinsically human.
Learn with intention. Finally, it is important to learn with intention. Many people stumble from place to place in life, simply letting their careers develop organically. This is a terrible “strategy,” as our culture is predisposed toward increasing specialization over time. If you don’t take the reigns of your own destiny, you will increasingly be pigeonholed in your career and in your life.
People plan out their weekends, they plan out their lunches, they plan out their children’s sports schedules — but rarely do they plan out their own lives. Take a few hours; write down where you are today and where you want to be in 5 or 10 years, then map out how to make it happen. I bet it will involve learning quite a few new skills.
Greatly simplified in parts and mostly a hunch, his view on learning new skills and planning learning are nonetheless worth a read.
When mapping out learning strategies for your organization, you need to carefully consider the elements of technology, learning science, and societal influences to ensure that you have a strategy that is on target, scalable, and meets the needs of your learners to help them achieve organizational goals and objectives.
(Micro learning, Gamification, Social Learning, Adaptive Learning and Immersive Learning.)
You’ll note that her advice isn’t so much about L&D participating in the informal learning itself. It’s about helping participants and others impacted make the most of everyday experiential learning; to be aware of new opportunities, recognize it when it occurs, and embrace it.
From the E-180 Mag: The Decay of Digital Things Visits The d.school
The brain has a natural way of giving itself a break — it’s called daydreaming. “It allows you to refresh and release all those neural circuits that get all bound up when you’re focused,” Levitin said. The brain will do this kind of daydreaming naturally when it is fatigued. The experience of reading a book and suddenly realizing the eyes have moved several paragraphs ahead, but the mind hasn’t retained any of the information, is the brain checking out for a break.
MIT has announced multiple initiatives to Improve Digital Learning from PreK to Continuing Ed and Coursera has launched 12 new project-based courses which offers more peer learning opportunities.