November 27th, 2012

The Data of Work

Michael Schrage in the Harvard Business Review blog:

Where ambitious project managers, team leaders and business unit heads once visited their alma maters to interview top talent, they’ll increasingly be going back to check out their school’s attitude/aptitude/high-performance assessment algorithms. Where organizations once demanded student transcripts, they’ll now demand access to schools’ “advisory engine” software. Ironically, the biggest impact America’s higher education system may have on business is less about the students they educate than the tools and technologies they use to manage them.

What’s happening in higher education assessment today will increasingly define the job and performance reviews of tomorrow. It barely took five years for the iPhone to displace the Blackberry as the corporate mobile device of executive choice. How long do you think it will be before the software used to assess college students will be entrepreneurially transformed into Amazonesque and Netflixed-like services “recommending” whether you deserve a raise or a promotion? Whether the economy improves quickly or sluggishly, the technologies of assessment are going to reshape both your compensation and your opportunities.

November 19th, 2012

A “Behaviorally Different Species” of Learner

Ben Williamson

In the traditional conception of school, the learner was invoked as a docile individual who turned up to school to be instructed in a core canon of curricular content and codes of behavioral conduct. Now, in our digital times, the learner is being reimagined as a more active, interactive, connected and collaborative individual—a behaviorally different species to the normalized learner of mass schooling. The contemporary connected learner travels continually between formal and informal sites of learning, building networks of knowledge through the use of sophisticated software and the real-world application of soft skills, positive attitudinal dispositions, and behavioral competencies. For such a learner, the behavioral competencies of communication, perseverance, interaction, thinking skills, emotional literacy, empathy, problem-solving, and other personal attributes are now increasingly desirable in a world where more jobs will be recruited on soft performance criteria such as relationship management and customer satisfaction.

I’ve been thinking even more about this shift away from formal (traditional) learning to more informal learning within the classroom. Could we at some point give credit (real credit) to a student for the development of those “soft skills” as they manifest themselves within her work to learn something she chooses, not something that we have assigned her to learn? 

Echoes of not valuing the immeasurable…

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Welcome! I'm Will Richardson, parent, educator, speaker, author, 12-year blogger at Weblogg-ed and now here. I'm trying to answer the question "What happens to schools and classrooms and learning in a 2.0 world?" Best selling new book: Why School?s...order now!!

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