I had a boss once who passed along some advice to me. I wish I could remember exactly what it was but I do remember the context. It was yet another one of my trips to his office to do some planning and sharing ideas. His advice was something about being so far out there that your initiative wouldn’t be able to differentiate enemy fire from friendly fire or something. I still don’t know if it was pedagogical advice or his way or saying “no budget to do that”. I should ask him during one of our coffee get togethers.
The interaction came to mind last night as I was watching or rather listening to Stephen Downes’ keynote at “Connecting Online for Instruction and Learning 2014”. I started out watching so that I could see the interaction in the chat window but then opened another tab in my browser to do some work while listening to Stephen in the background. However, I did watch long enough to see the cat photobomb. In terms of ideas being out there, some of the concepts he explains go so far beyond my reality, I wonder if we’re even on the same plane. In particular, you can hear his voice light up when talking about gRSShopper and his vision for Personal Learning Environments. I found his discussion of data and personal information very interesting although the how’s far exceed what I think I know about networking.
Anyway, if you have an hour to devote to pushing your thinking, then you need to experience this talk and think about what it might mean to you personally. His descriptor:
In this talk I review two major threads of our work at NRC over the last few years, MOOCs and Personal Learning Environments (PLEs). I describe the gRSShopper project and our Plearn PLE prototype development. Placing these in the context of a network theory of learning, I then outline the new Learning and Performance Support System (LPSS) program being undertaken at NRC. Alternative audio source here.
Do your mind some good. Watch or listen to the presentation. How far ahead of the masses do you feel Stephen’s thinking is? Are you ready to join him? Is your school or organization?