Sunday, December 13, 2009

Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age: Hosted by Google

Connie Yowell (Director of Education - MacArthur Foundation) introduces a panel of digital media entrepreneurs in this video. Her introduction, in which she explains what the Foundation has learned in their grant making, is excellent. It is worth watching the first 18 minutes of this video. Here are some excerpts...

Data Point: "Kids today are learning differently, socializing differently, and engaing civically differently as a result of their participation with digital media."

Learning Point: We are in the process of making several conceptual shifts, these include...
  1. Shift from education to one of learning (learning happens anywhere and anytime). If we are going to make the shift to a 21st century learning system we need to start operating in the best interests of the learners.
  2. Shift from consumption to participation. This is a core ambition of a learning system for the 21st century
  3. Shift from institutions to networks.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Howard Reingold - On teaching methods

In this short unscripted interview Howard Reingold talks about the teaching methods he uses at Stanford and Berkeley. Howard and I have been corresponding about teaching methods for some time now - mainly about how difficult it is to get students to engage and produce their learning. It is always interesting and valuable to me to get insights from one of the all time great thinkers of social media. This is worth watching. Thanks again Howard for sharing and for being so generous with your time.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pink Glove Dance

This video was posted on YouTube on November 13th, 2009 and since that time has been viewed over 4 million times. What a great way to raise awareness! What a great way to increase consumer-to-consumer marketing - 4 millions times over.

Getting people involved in contributing to something larger, while having fun is a formula for success.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Old-School Innovation No Longer Cuts It

In August I wrote about the Deloitte Center for the Edge and the Shift Index. Yesterday the ITBusinessEdge wrote up an interview that they conducted with John Hagel the director of the Center. They suggest that the real opportunity is in moving beyond product, technology and even process innovation to institutional innovation. As I understand it, this will require a more holistic approach that involves everyone in an organization increasing their Edgility.

Here are are a few quotes that I found interesting...

"One of the issues I think is preventing companies from responding more effectively is they tend to divide their labor forces into knowledge workers and everybody else. One of the things Toyota did was take the front-line assembly workers and converted them into creative problem solvers."

"The real purpose of the firm is to provide an environment where you can learn faster than you could on your own."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

MIT wins social networking balloon contest - ABC News

Games that connect online social networking to the real world allow us to have fun while we learn to leverage the power of networks (increasing our edgility). This ABC News story provides a great example - very innovative.

Recessions Over... Editorial Cartoonist - Matt Wuerker

This editorial cartoon has hit the top of the charts on Popurls. Tells you something about the mood of the country right now.

Matt Wuerker
Sep 22, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

President Obama's Educate to Innovate Campaign

Here is President Obama's message...

My question is... will the Educate to Innovate campaign encourage innovation? Or will the focus be on science, math, and technology for science, math, and technology sake.

I like the President's rhetoric of children "getting their hands dirty." And I like the fact that Obama had the Myth Busters in the audience - those guys know how to tinker (true innovators).

But I see faults in some of his comments. First, I believe that athletes should not just stand side-by-side with scientists. They should learn to tinker with scientists to innovate. It is this crossover of cultures (robotics/science geeks & athletes, e.g.) that will create an ecosystem for innovation. If you can be a creator in a sport such as football - it may become cool not by association (scientist standing next to an athlete) but by being an athletic inventor (there is a big difference).

Also, the robotics demonstration is nice - but being a robotics "geek" is not going to attract crowds of kids. Furthermore, we have already attracted the robotics kids. It is the other 80-90 percent that need to become interested in innovation based on their interests. This innovative drive will lead them to math, science, and technology.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Multimedia fishbowl = great teaching @ Arapahoe High School

Two highly innovative teachers at Arapahoe High School - Anne Smith & Maura Moritz - Thank you for sharing your success and helping students learn.

Over the past year I have been fortunate to observe Anne Smith and Maura Moritz as they teach using their multimedia fishbowl process. They not only allowed me to observe them in class but committed their time over the summer allowing me to interview them about their engaging instructional activity - the multimedia fishbowl.

Furthermore, we are now published! Yes, our article was accepted and is now published within the Journal of School Educational Technology. I have included the citation and abstract below for those who are interested.

Folkestad, J., Smith, A., & Moritz, M. (2009). Phenomenology of a multimedia fishbowl: A learning ecosystem that encourages individuals to innovate through collaborative discovery. I-manager’s Journal on School Educational Technology, 5(1), 66-80.

Abstract: The success of each nation will depend on the agility of its citizens to acquire and utilize knowledge. In response to this imperative governments have crafted and followed rigorous educational strategies. For example, the European Union’s Lisbon Agreement outlines an agenda for education and training focusing on educational benchmarks and indicators. The United Kingdom outlines their national strategy in “Every Child Matters” and the United States defines rigorous learning goals within “No Child Left Behind.” Despite almost a decade of work to transform the quality and reach of education, these strategies have proven insufficient to significantly raise citizens’ academic performance.

The problem is that “top down” strategies themselves are part of the systemic issue. In the old industrial system, benchmarks and indicators were sufficient to encourage school-level improvements. However, we need to move beyond promoting/demanding innovation from the local schools and teachers (via benchmarks), to engaging each individual learner to innovate their scholarship. This phenomenology examines an innovative use of streaming video, live-blogging, and discussion to create an ecosystem that places the student at the center of the learning, allowing them to use the Internet and freely-available collaborative tools to acquire new information and to work together in discovery.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Collective presenations

I have been attending the LearnTrends 2009 conference for the past few days. I am intrigued by a process that George Siemens was using to conduct his online presentation. He wanted to move from being the "sage-on-the-stage" to more of a collaborative presentation tapping into the collective intelligence of the online LearnTrends crowd (around 120 attending at the time). Basically George used several blank slide titled with questions and then opened up the "white board" in Elluminate letting everyone contribute to the conversation and therefore presentation.

While viewing the live demonstration a participant shared this blog post on the process. Within this post titled "Presenting with live slides" Dave (the author) provides a brief theoretical background and a detailed description of the process including a video of the live presentation.

This is a simple process that is experimental. I believe this process shows us what leading thinkers (like Siemens and Cross) on collaborative learning are doing and what the next tools and processes may be in increasing our ability to learn and innovate (Edgility) using collaboration.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We continue to learn from Lean...

Amit S. Mukherjee Author of The Spider's Strategy: Creating Networks to Avert Crisis, Create Change, and Really Get Ahead published an intriguing article titled, Lessons from the Early Days of Lean in the online version of Chief Learning Officer. Mukherjee makes the connection between Lean principles and highly connected and networked organizations, stressing that new skills (I suggest learning and innovating Edgility) are needed to compete in this ecosystem.

He states that, "We must help managers supplement planning and execution capabilities with new ones for sensing, responding and learning." These are lessons that many of us have learned from Toyota Production System (TPS) or Lean. Mukherjee asks the rhetorical question, "Sound like the changes that accompanied becoming lean?... It should."

I like the way Mukherjee connects the concepts of networks (Edge Power) and Lean principles to the importance of a culture of learning - something that has been well documented as a foundation of organizational excellence.

He also highlights the importance of connected learning, "Companies also must create the capabilities for all employees, as well as people in partner companies, to learn from each other.... Spreading knowledge quickly produces better responses, stabilizing network operations. So, the core issue is not how managers will interact with remote staff, but how all people who are not co-located will routinely interact, and not just under crisis conditions."

The culture that he describes is one where everyone works to increase their ability to learn and innovate. It demands that everyone increase their Edgility.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Vintage Winds

This weekend I had a chance to go hear a friend (Al Powell) play some surf music. They did a great job. If I was going to have a beach party - this is the local surf band that I would invite. Although not the best recording... here is an audioBoo that I recorded using my iphone.


Friday, September 18, 2009

$650 million in new grants

As many are aware Arne Duncan has announced the beginning of the Investing in Innovation Fund ($650 million in new grants for education). Details of the grant are still emerging and can be found at following US Department of Education website. Michael Horn (Author of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns directed me to an article in eSchool News that included a preliminary list of requirements that included the following:
  • Boost student achievement, increase graduation rates, and retain teachers;
  • Be scalable
  • Offer sustainable innovation, not flash-in-th-pan ideas that will burn out, and
  • Attract some matching funds along with ED's grant dollars
I will be watching as more details emerge - I am hoping that these funds will provide opportunities for new environments that will help students learn to be innovative... not simply support innovative ways to get students to meet the standards.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Invent, Invent, Invent - by Friedman

I agree with Thomas Friedman - the time is now! Read his June 27th Op-Ed titled, "Invent, invent, invent."
"We need to do all we can now to get more brains connected to more capital to spawn more new companies faster."
Furthermore, those who have not yet read Friedman's The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
- I don't think you can operate effectively in today's world without the framework outlined in that book.
- Friedman.

We need to increase our Edgility.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Forgetting Curve - Ignite by Jay Cross

In this Ignite presentation Jay Cross discusses the nature of time. One slide in particular resonated with me and my idea of Edgility. He discusses the Forgetting Curve - something that traps almost all of us due to the limits of our memory. Therefore, I believe that in order to increase our Edgility we need to think differently. We can only increase our ability to learn and innovate by getting better at retrieving information when we need it. Furthermore, we must go beyond simply relying on what is served to us via search engines like Google; everyone is seeing Google results. We must build our network so that we reach and leverage the edges to increase our ability to respond.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hagel's Manifesto for a new world - A call to the creative (everyone)

John Hagel, author of The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends on Productive Friction and Dynamic Specialization posted a "labor day manifesto for a new world" on his blog Edge Perspectives. I continue to follow John's work and he has significantly influenced my thinking and reaffirms the direction of my research.

Similar to other well-known thinkers (Florida) John describes a shift toward innovation work using the term passionate creatives to describe workers who will thrive in this new ecosystem.

At a very basic level, to be human is to be a passionate creative. That is what all of us were meant to be, even though many religions and political movements over the centuries have sought to channel or even deny this basic human need. We live in societies that, often with the best of intentions (and unfortunately occasionally with the worst of intentions), sought to socialize us into a very different mold. But many of those societies have been disintegrating over the past several decades as technology and public policy infrastructures challenge and undermine the foundations of those
He also suggests, like other well-known thinkers (Robinson), that our current institutions were designed for a different era - one defined for scalable efficiency (push system) to one driven by scalable peer learning (pull system). He writes,
This group of individuals today still faces enormous obstacles in pursuing its passions. While our infrastructures are transforming at a rapid pace, the institutions around us are increasingly at odds with these new infrastructures. Most of the institutions that we must deal with, whether they are schools, firms, non-profits or government bodies, emerged and were shaped in a previous era, driven by earlier technology infrastructures. These communication and transportation infrastructures rewarded scalable efficiency and we responded accordingly.

Passion in the workplace became highly suspect. Passionate people do not follow standardized scripts well, they are constantly seeking to improvise, challenge conventional wisdom and strike out on new and unexpected paths. ... These individuals also detest the organizational politics that pervade these institutions as many in the hierarchy begin to focus on hoarding and protecting limited resources. We quickly learn that our passions are viewed as deeply subversive, rather than as treasured assets.
He predicts with realistic optimism that this shift will be long and difficult but that it will free many from routine work. He continues,

Why will more and more people evolve into passionate creatives? Because we live in a world that is shifting inexorably from an obsession with efficiency to an obsession with learning. We have come to call this the Big Shift.
His manifesto is a call to passionate creatives - to work hard learn how to increase their ability to learn, be creative and let out their true innovative nature. It is a call to all passionate creatives to learn to increase their learning and innovative Edgility.

Many of us have suppressed our passions in an attempt to fit in and integrate ourselves into a world that expected stability, predictability and safety.... Our challenge is to re-discover and cultivate them, moving them from the margins into the center of our lives.
It is also a call to institutions to embrace this shift or continue to struggle with future budget and political instability.
Instead of pursuing scalable efficiency, institutions must learn how to pursue scalable peer learning. Said differently, institutions must find ways to make talent development the core rationale for their existence.
Thank you John Hagel for your perspetive and interesting insights.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Blogs are important metacognition tools - Edgility

In this short video both Seth Godin (Best-Selling Author, Entrepreneur) and Tom Peters (Best-Selling Author, Management Visionary) discuss how important blogging has been for their metacognition and professional lives.

Godin explains that even if no one reads your blog "what matter is the humility that comes from writing it, what matters is the metacognition about thinking about what it is you are going to say." Peter's explains that, "no single thing in the last 15 years professionally has been more important to my life than blogging... it has changed my life, it has changed my perspective, it has change my intellectual outlook..." This short conversation supports my notion that by using tools like Blogger you become connected via the network (edge) and it increases your ability to think and respond - these Edgility tools increase your learning and innovating Edgility.

I want to thank Tony Karrer who writes a blog titled e-learning technology for posting about and directing me to this YouTube video.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Are your kids disarmed?

In this short video Henry Jenkins explains the problems associate with removing technology from our kids' schools and education. He comments that if we don't provide all kids with the opportunity to engage in learning via connections (technology mediated collaboration) and increase their learning agility we "lock them out," we create an opportunity gap and we leave them disarmed. Furthermore, he states that schools are bureaucracies and classrooms, for the most part, are designed around fixed relationships and standards. However, learning online is about the collective, it is about collaboration.

Schools must retool and give all kids opportunties to incease their learning and innovating Edgility.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The 2009 Shift Index - Measuring the big change

I am working through an important document titled "Measuring the shift of long-term change" that was produced by the Deloitte Center for the Edge - and written by John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison.

This document details Deloitte's Shift Index that includes three indices and 25 metrics designed to make longer-term performance trends more relevant and actionable. These indices support my notion of Edgility (learning and innovation). In particular the following paragraph resonates with the Edgility concept.

Today's companies must make the most of our own era's new infrastructure through institutional innovations that shift the rationale from scalable efficiency to scalable learning by using digital infrastructure to create environments where performance improvement accelerates as more participant join, as illustrated in various kinds of emerging open innovation and process network initiatives.

These ecosystems (environments) leverage the edge of the network for learning and innovating... companies and educational institutions must learn to design optimal environments to increase their Edgility.

This is repeated by Friedman in his editorial titled "Invent, invent, invent."

We must all be thinking about how we increase our learning and innovating Edgility.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Augmented reality - video

I can't wait to see how AR augments our ability to learn complex tasks and concepts.

Using Knol for edgility?

How can Knol be used to mix and match learning modules. Through iterative improvments and mashups these learning modules sould improve - allowing us to increase our learning edgility.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I learned something today...

I was talking to my brother on the phone today about "learning" (he is a corporate trainer) and we started talking about production of learning content... and how easy it is to produce short instructional videos like the following on YouTube.

I now know how to peel a banana - my entire life I have been doing it wrong. Yes, I continue to learn. Who would have guessed that I would learn to peel a banana on YouTube.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Post-it: Stop Motion

If you have time for something fun and entertaining - watch this stop motion movie. Enjoy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

NYC iSchools

Commentary: Tapscott's article - Impending Demise of the University

Wordle: Tapscott - comments

Tapscott's original article on the Edge which depicts big changes for the University was thought provoking but the commentary that he provoked by reposting it on the Huffington Post opened up all the thoughts and controversy surrounding his ideas. I created a Wordle that captured a snapshot of the conversation.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Richard Baraniuk - Open source learning

Richard Baraniuk is founder of Connexions, a free, open-source, global clearinghouse of course materials. People in some 200 countries tap into its vast store of texts on everything...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The next - Google Wave

Google Wave is very interesting. I like the way they are thinking about integration of various tools such as Twitter.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rheingold TED talk

Howard Rheingold enlists you to think about the future of collaboration. In his TED talk he talks about the coming world of collaboration, participatory media, and collective action.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

US Now! Sent on by Fisher

Us Now! This was passed to me via Clarence Fisher (thank you). Very interesting 60 minutes documentary about the concepts in Here Comes Everybody (Clay Shirky), a great read.

Us Now from Banyak Films on Vimeo.

Flash Mob at CSU Library - Finals 2009

Watching is understanding. A bit of stress release during finals.
From what I understand nothing was broken - just good clean fun. Great job students!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Blue School: by the Blue Man Group

Parents are lining up in New York for their children to enter The Blue School. The Blue School was created by the founders of the Blue Man group as an alternative the New York city schools.

Here is an excerpt from a article / interview about The Blue School,
The original Blue Men--Matt Goldman, Phil Stanton, Chris Wink--came together as "sort of a support group for people whose creativity had been all but squeezed out of them by education," says Wink. "At one point, we asked, What if there was a school you didn't have to recover from, that didn't make you question the idea of being creative?"

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sir Ken Robinson - The Element

Sir Ken Robinson does it again in his new book The Element. Here is a video that provides an overview of his latest work.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Twitter Book - How to use twitter

Here is a sneak preview of the O'Reilly book about Twitter that provides ideas on how to use Twitter more effectively. This may be an interesting read...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wesch - on YouTube

It is always interesting to watch Dr. Wesch as he talks about new media impact. In this presetation he talks extensively about community and Youtube.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How to get feedback without the i-clicker

Poll everywhere is an easy to use web-based application for polling an audience. You type a question, open the poll, and begin receiving responses. This application could be used in large classrooms similar to i-clicker . Students would either need their cell phone to send a text message or their laptop to submit a vote. The following video provides a demonstration of its use. You can also visit their website (Poll Everywhere) for more information.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Will Richardson talks about learning

Will Richardson wrote the book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom (Amazon Link). Here he talks about the importance of these tools to learning.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

EDUCAUSE Top Teaching and Learning Challenges with Technology

EDUCAUSE just released their top five challenges in teaching and learning with technology. The identified the following:

1. Creating learning environments that promote active learning, critical thinking, collaborative learning, and knowledge creation.
2. Developing 21st century literacies (information, digital, and visual) among students and faculty.
3. Reaching and engaging today's learner.
4. Encouraging faculty adoption and innovation in teaching and learning with IT.
5. Advancing innovation in teaching and learning with technology in an era of budget cuts.

Full article: The EDUCAUSE Top Teaching and Learning Challenges 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

History Engine

The History Engine is an educational tool that gives students the opportunity to learn history by doing the work—researching, writing, and publishing—of a historian.
This tool won the Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration.

Science Commons

Making the Web Work for Science.
"Science Commons designs strategies and tools for faster, more efficient web-enabled scientific research. We identify unnecessary barriers to research, craft policy guidelines and legal agreements to lower those barriers, and develop technology to make research, data and materials easier to find and use."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bill Gates talks at TED

Bill Gates talks about how he is attempting to change the world. He talks extensively about education and his ideas on how to improve teachers.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Master Teacher Presentation - 2009

It was an honor to be invited to present for the 2009 College of Business Master Teacher Initiative. I gave a presentation about connected learning and the importance of building one's Edgility. I have included the SlideShare presentation (see below) and a link to the MediaSite recording. Feedback is always encouraged.

View more presentations from JimFolk. (tags: connecting learning)

MediaSite Recording

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mixed Ink...

Mixed ink is a tool that takes the idea of collaborative writing to the next level.  I have not had an opportunity to work on a collective document using this tool yet... however the concepts are very impressive.  This is like Google documents with tools that allow you to easilly mix and match content and vote on the "best" version of a document.  Very impressive.

MixedInk Demo from MixedInk on Vimeo.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Danah Boyd - How do we create comfort in new spaces?

Danah Boyd talks about how we attempt to make sense out of our spaces in the new world of social networking.  This video made me think about how significant this change is and how we attempt to make the world reflect or familiar world.  We do this by surrounding ourselves with friends, people that we know, this is familiar.