Learning through pathways

    This is an interesting post that uses Google Maps as a metaphor for learning. In other words, get from where you are, to where you need to be, using an optimal route.

    The author did some research, built pathways based on the findings, and presented them back to users. Who didn’t like them.

    A similar approach was used in the Mozilla Discover project around Open Badges which is written up on Badge Wiki. The difference there, I guess, was that people were able to recognise specific inflection points that had meaning for them, and ascribe badges.

    My opinion would be that people learn in different ways because of the context they bring to the table. You can rely on certain things to inspire most people, for example, or other things to resonate with some people. But there’s always a bit of experimentation to learning. It’s more like improvisational jazz than a symphony!

    So, we do learn through pathways, but those pathways only have certain parts of the journey in common. To use another metaphor, it’s a bit like sharing a bus journey with other passengers for several stops, before getting on another bus (or hitch-hiking, or taking a taxi, or…)

    I wanted to check the assumptions I had regarding the generation of paths for the Learning Map. So I scheduled interviews with instructors of these schools who were themselves also famous musicians. Their assumption was that I was interviewing them to create a story about their lives, but I was actually doing something far more interesting, I was deeply listening to the story of what and how they learned, and to the chronological order of their learning journey.

    I asked them to describe their musical career, I let them know I wanted to create a timeline of their story, to start at the very beginning, and then to take me step by step through to their successes of today. Then I sat back and started to take notes:

    Their first experience with music may have been with their mom who played the guitar, a lead singer they had a crush on, or a drum kit they got as a 5-year-old. They learned some key lessons and their journey kicked off. Over time, they may have learned to sing in Church, or worked in a recording studio. Some went to school, where they were introduced to new ideas from their peers, started a band, or trained underneath a mentor. Many went in completely different directions, they first become a chef, worked on a boat, or started bartending, each experience taught them skills they would later apply to their music. As they shared their experiences, I took notes, not about the events, the characters, or places, but only on the things they learned and when. I was mapping out their learning journeys, step by step, from their first experiences to their current work. I made an effort to cut through the superficial, and get to the heart of the lessons learned, this required the musician to deeply introspect, and was a fascinating experience on its own.

    Several weeks later, after they had forgotten about the interviews and I had time to map each story out, I presented it back to them. But not as a story of their lives, instead, as a course, I wanted to run by them and get their professional opinion on. “What do you think of this course” “Do you think this is a good structure for a course?” I asked. They did not know this course was modeled after their own stories, they did not have any reason to tie this course back to the interviews conducted some months back and their responses were resounding: “This is a terribly designed course!” “How could you even think of wasting my time with this”, “Don’t you know that you need to understand X before you learn Y”…

    More on this in this blog post about the session we ran at The Badge Summit on designing for recognition. Be sure to click through to the accompanying slide deck and the constellation model approach in slides 16 and 24!

    Source: We dont learn through pathways | Dev4X

    Friday facilitations

    This week, je presente...

    1. We Have No Reason to Believe 5G Is Safe (Scientific American) — "The latest cellular technology, 5G, will employ millimeter waves for the first time in addition to microwaves that have been in use for older cellular technologies, 2G through 4G. Given limited reach, 5G will require cell antennas every 100 to 200 meters, exposing many people to millimeter wave radiation... [which are] absorbed within a few millimeters of human skin and in the surface layers of the cornea. Short-term exposure can have adverse physiological effects in the peripheral nervous system, the immune system and the cardiovascular system."
    2. Situated degree pathways (The Ed Techie) — "[T]he Trukese navigator “begins with an objective rather than a plan. He sets off toward the objective and responds to conditions as they arise in an ad hoc fashion. He utilizes information provided by the wind, the waves, the tide and current, the fauna, the stars, the clouds, the sound of the water on the side of the boat, and he steers accordingly.” This is in contrast to the European navigator who plots a course “and he carries out his voyage by relating his every move to that plan. His effort throughout his voyage is directed to remaining ‘on course’."
    3. on rms / necessary but not sufficient (p1k3) — "To the extent that free software was about wanting the freedom to hack and freely exchange the fruits of your hacking, this hasn’t gone so badly. It could be better, but I remember the 1990s pretty well and I can tell you that much of the stuff trivially at my disposal now would have blown my tiny mind back then. Sometimes I kind of snap to awareness in the middle of installing some package or including some library in a software project and this rush of gratitude comes over me."
    4. Screen time is good for you—maybe (MIT Technology Review) — "Przybylski admitted there are some drawbacks to his team’s study: demographic effects, like socioeconomics, are tied to psychological well-being, and he said his team is working to differentiate those effects—along with the self-selection bias introduced when kids and their caregivers report their own screen use. He also said he was working to figure out whether a certain type of screen use was more beneficial than others."
    5. This Map Lets You Plug in Your Address to See How It’s Changed Over the Past 750 Million Years (Smithsonian Magazine) — "Users can input a specific address or more generalized region, such as a state or country, and then choose a date ranging from zero to 750 million years ago. Currently, the map offers 26 timeline options, traveling back from the present to the Cryogenian Period at intervals of 15 to 150 million years."
    6. Understanding extinction — humanity has destroyed half the life on Earth (CBC) — "One of the most significant ways we've reduced the biomass on the planet is by altering the kind of life our planet supports. One huge decrease and shift was due to the deforestation that's occurred with our increasing reliance on agriculture. Forests represent more living material than fields of wheat or soybeans."
    7. Honks vs. Quacks: A Long Chat With the Developers of 'Untitled Goose Game' (Vice) — "[L]ike all creative work, this game was made through a series of political decisions. Even if this doesn’t explicitly manifest in the text of the game, there are a bunch of ambient traces of our politics evident throughout it: this is why there are no cops in the game, and why there’s no crown on the postbox."
    8. What is the Zeroth World, and how can we use it? (Bryan Alexander) — "[T]he idea of a zeroth world is also a critique. The first world idea is inherently self-congratulatory. In response, zeroth sets the first in some shade, causing us to see its flaws and limitations. Like postmodern to modern, or Internet2 to the rest of the internet, it’s a way of helping us move past the status quo."
    9. It’s not the claim, it’s the frame (Hapgood) — "[A] news-reading strategy where one has to check every fact of a source because the source itself cannot be trusted is neither efficient nor effective. Disinformation is not usually distributed as an entire page of lies.... Even where people fabricate issues, they usually place the lies in a bed of truth."

    Image of hugelkultur bed via Sid