Thursday, November 04, 2010

John Seely Brown The Power of Pull #dl10 Keynote

These are my live blogged notes during the Wednesday keynote at DevLearn (non-edited version – apologies for any typos, etc.!) – I didn’t get through the whole keynote – had to get to our booth as the Expo starts while the keynote is still going…and my loud typing was just too annoying.

Clark Quinn has done a nice mindmap of the entire keynote -- worth checking out.

But here goes.


John Seely Brown -- A new culture of learning in a world of constant change

The emergence of a new culture of learning in a world of constant change.

learning on demand – how you pull, not push.

A simple belief: the old institutions aren’t hacking it very well. Nor are our schools.

We have to look at things differently.

20th century infrastructure built on roads, cars, ships, etc. – scalable efficiency became the goal (the more you do something the better you get.)

The trouble with this insight – that curve is a diminishing returns curve. We now scramble faster and faster to stay in place – we have to work that much harder to make the same amount of improvement we used to make.

predictable, hierarchy, control, org routines, minimize variance – the core of scalable efficiency.

This transferred over to our 20th century push-based education system. Predictable curriculum, standards based, authority focused.

The 21st C. infrastructure is driven by the continual exponential advances of computation, storage, etc.

having to relearn fundamentals of computer science – the half life of a given skill is shrinking.

The big shift: Push vs. Pull

How do we enhance the imagination of our workforce? Creativity?

the 2nd shift: The explosion of data!

rethink how we learn, what we learn: Importance of the tacit (need to marinate in new situations)

1 comment:

kare anderson said...

What we learn from those times is vital in an information-flooded, connected world - and that's a good thing.

The most common and satisfying ways we learn and invent are not from sitting in a classroom seat being taught or trained. The world is too complex and fluid now to keep up with everything all by yourself. That doesn't mean that we aren't sought-after for our mastery of a topic or skill. It simply means we stay relevant when we engage in projects with diverse others, learning and experimenting as we go. Like children we still learn best by observing, imitating, re-mixing, making fresh mistakes and, most of all, by playing and using our imagination - with others.

That's why this book by two long time lovers of social learning-by-doing is so relevant today for students of all ages, in school, at work and involved with the causes and projects that most matter to us.

While their book is aimed at transforming learning in schools every concept I read can be equally applied to any part of our lives - lived well with others.

If you'd like to see the next chapters of your life as the kind of adventure story you co-create with others and want a bigger voice in the role you play - literally - read and share this book with those you think will make engrossing, imaginative playmates.

Some of my favorite quotes from this book:

* The new culture of learning gives us the freedom to make the general personal and then share our personal experience in a way that, in turn, adds to the general flow of knowledge.

* In the new culture of learning, people learn through their interaction and participation with one another in fluid relationships that are the result of shared interests and opportunity.

* Play is the tension between the rules of the game and the freedom to act within those rules. When play happens while learning it creates a context in which information, ideas and passions grow.

* The important thing about the Harry Potter phenomenon is not so much what the kids were learning, but how they were learning. Thought there was no teacher in this setting, readers engaged in deep, sustained learning from one another through their discussions and interactions.

* In a world of near constant flux, play becomes a strategy for embracing change rather than a way of growing out of it.

* The challenge is to find ways to marry structure and freedom to create altogether new things.

* Study groups dramatically increase the success of college students in the classroom.

* The connection between the personal and the collective is a key ingredient in lifelong learning.

* When information is stable, the explicit dimension becomes very important. The speed of light, for example, is probably not going to change....The twenty-first centry, however, belongs to the tacit. In the digital world we learn by doing, watching, and experiencing... not by taking a class or reading a manual.

* Students learn best when they are able to follow their passion and opeate within the constraints of a bounded environment. Without the boundary set by the assignment there would be no medium for growth.

* Indwelling is a familiarity with ideas, practices and processes that are so ingrained that they become second nature. When engaging the learner, we must think about her sense of indwelling, because that is her greatest source of inspiration, but it is also the largest reservoir she has of tacit knowledge.

* Dispositions indicate how a student will make connections on a tacit level... how she is likely to learn.

* Learning from others is neither new nor revolutionary; it has just been ignored by most of our educational institutions...

... and, I would add, by most of our organizations.