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Learn Or Die: A Primer

Craig Malloy has argues that LMS, CMS, Social Business Software, etc., are silo-ed attempts at the primary goal of the organisation: knowledge sharing.

As frustrated as we may ever be, productivity is still one of the greatest levers any executive has at her disposal. Job satisfaction and employee retention is ultimately all about getting things done, and accomplishing great things as a team. Otherwise, why are we working so damn hard? Everyone wants better knowledge sharing.

Hands-On With iBooks Author

Check out what it is like to author textbooks using iBooks Author.

Everything feels very fluid and it’s obvious that the same team that worked on iWork was also responsible for this product. This isn’t iPhoto for books, by any means, though. While it’s not Adobe InDesign or a complex design tool like either, it’s clearly meant for users who are willing to put in a bit of time to create the best possible product…

Wolfram Education Portal

From the Wolfram Education Portal:

Wolfram has long been a trusted name in education—as the makers of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Demonstrations Project, we’ve created some of the most dynamic teaching and learning tools available. We are pleased to offer the best of all of our technologies to you here in the Wolfram Education Portal, organized by course. In the portal you’ll find a dynamic textbook, lesson plans, widgets, interactive Demonstrations, and more built by Wolfram education experts.

Can Technology Transform Education Before It’s Too Late?

Another TechCrunch article on Education:

We are in a time of convergence: teachers are incorporating technology from their everyday lives to increase student engagement, while visionary administrators are using the momentum of grassroots digital learning movements to move our institutions forward. Hopefully education will catch up before the Singularity arrives.

Vinod Khosla on Education

Vinod Khosla on Will we need teachers or algorithms?

We have focused so much of our education system on children attending primary school, then middle school, then high school, all with the objective of attending university. This is a progression that still remains unchanged and largely unchallenged. Yet, this system is completely linear and, most tragically, unwaveringly standardized not only through instruction methods, but also through testing. Worse, it is mostly what I call “fixed time, variable learning” (the four-year high school) instead of “fixed learning, variable time” to account for individual students’ capabilities and status.

Vinod goes on to discuss decentralization and gamification as two trends to watch out for.

Developing a UX Practice of Practicing

A very nice piece by Jared Spool on the art of practicing.

Practice is different. Good practice focuses on the process, while work focuses on the outcome. When doctors, musicians, and pilots are practicing, they are not doing the entire job. They are looking at the process of the work, often repeating the same step multiple times.

For example, when a surgeon practices their suture techniques, they'll use butcher shop animal scraps to practice sewing up incisions. They don't perform the rest of the surgical procedure, because they aren't interested in the outcomes. They just quickly and cleanly close the incision and do it again.

The new culture of learning

Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown take on a new challenge - to tell people that it’s time to embrace a new culture of learning.

I am reading this book now and I am already excited by the possibilities—possibilities that we can achieve together if only we realize soon enough that “[t]he world is changing faster than ever and our skill sets have a shorter and shorter life”.

One beautiful aspect that the authors highlight is the importance of learning “how to learn from others”. ‘Others’ here refers to peers and the community at large. The reason I find this beautiful is because I’ve come across people who think that teaching is the only way to learn and teachers are the only people who can teach. They seem to gloss over opportunities that lay in normal everyday conversations they have with peers—they don’t pay attention to or build on these interactions.

This book should be a must read for managers and leaders—this is where both the challenges and the opportunities lie.

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