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reflections of the team

Our Monthly Reads: June

Like Socrates said: "The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know", we are constantly motivated to strive for more knowledge in our area of expertise. In our Monthly Read section, we bundle the best articles, blogposts, infographics and videos we come across every month.

1. Time to re-think our educational system 

With apologies to our English speaking friends, we’ve immensely enjoyed the interview with Belgian author Dirk De Boe in which he made his case for educational innovation (or is it innovative education?).

Dirk co-founded thinktank eduSHOCK, which focuses on schooling, humanity, development, culture and knowledge. eduSHOCK suggests improvement for everyone involved in education: the directional committee as well as teachers and students.

Dirk and his colleagues recently visited a school in the Netherlands that promotes co-teaching. Students here are responsible for their own learning track. They decide when, where and even how they learn. Students consult each other in this process, learning essential life skills along the way.

This reminded us of the blog written by Steve Wheeler; where he also made a case for designing schools to learn, not for teaching. He proposes a balance in teaching and coaching. Teachers are both experts, provide knowledge, and coach, providing support as facilitators. 

With all these initiatives sparking in the Netherlands, UK, Belgium and so on, we are excited for the future of our education!

2. Transactional vs. Creative Collaboration

The Stanford Social Innovation Review recently published Asha Curran’s analysis of creative versus transactional collaboration. As “Innovation” is supposedly what you should be doing right now, collaboration is probably not far from your weekly agenda, or rather, from your intentions and ideas.

But what kind of collaboration is often used in innovation? What kind do you use, and are you aware of it? Does working together and gaining insight from external sources transform the way you do things? Or do you merely partner up for product creation?

Curran proposes six guidelines to collaboration which should increase the creative potential.

3. Hashtags #Learningtechday & #vovmasterclass

June put two conferences on our agenda's. Learning Tech Day with Stephen Dowes, Jamie Good and Nell Watson, and Bob Mosher’s masterclass about performance support & his 5 moments of need.

Arboth tweeted quite a bit, both in English and Dutch. In case you couldn’t attend, try the hashtags in Twitter for a quick review and lots of inspirational 140-character thoughts!

4. The Google Effect 

Should I ask you how many Oscars the first Lord of the Rings movie won, what is your first thought? Perhaps you know the answer immediately, but more likely you thought either of “Where is that damn DVD case?” or “I should look this up on IMDb”. 

With the increase & widespread availability of information technology, researchers have discovered people are more likely to remember where certain information is stored, rather than what is exactly is they need to remember.

The article, published in Sciencexpress from Columbia University, described it as, “The Internet (…) has become an external memory source that we can access at any time.”

This finding, though logical, calls into question our current developmental & educational system. Though we don’t have the space to dive into this issue, you can expect it in a blog at a later time.

5. Why “How many jobs killed by AI” is the wrong question

I’m sure you’ve heard it before: robotics are supposedly taking over our jobs, and we’re not ready for it.

Well, according to Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson on LinkedIn, estimating how many jobs will be lost due to automatization is the wrong question. Though their blog is rather US-centred, they make a case how panic isn’t really necessary but we should be asking different question.

They call on governmental policy and spending to set priorities straight and aim for the future instead of hauling back ancient measures. They see artificial intelligence and the technological revolution as a chance, if only we dared to seize it.

Dare to make a choice for new energy resources (wind & solar energy), dare to question what you’ve always done in your life and drastically change your career (from typical hard labour to health & child care).

They say, “Instead of trying to prepare for a jobless future, we should be preparing for one that’s a turbocharged version of what we already have.” And only with the right policies, can we create a bright future.

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* We promise to use your e-mail address solely for our Monthly Reads. 

P.S.: The answer, by the way, to how many Oscars did the first Lord of the Rings win, in case you haven't looked it up already, is four out of 13.