For several years, I have been using a framework for classification of types of social media that I have attributed to boyd & Ellison, 2007. I first used the framework in a seminar that I taught at the University of Minnesota in 2010 (with others) and have used it many times since because I feel it is a very useful framework (more about why below). Therefore, it is in several slides that I have used for presentations and made publically available on Slideshare and elsewhere – always attributed to boyd & Ellison, 2007. Continue reading
I had the opportunity to refer to this in a recent conversation. I’m just going to leave it here for now.
Imagine a country that has a highly developed culture: poetry, philosophy, science, mathematics, but nobody has yet learned to write; it just hadn’t occurred to them to have pencil and paper or even to write with sticks in the sand. One day somebody develops the idea of written language and the pencil and paper are invented. Very quickly this thing, which becomes known as information and communication technology, ICT for short, is picked up by scientists and by world traders. It has a big impact in those areas, and after awhile somebody wonders why we don’t introduce this into our schools. These being cautious people, they decide that it is too risky to give every child one of these new technologies so they put one pencil in every classroom. ‘If that produces good results’, they thought, ‘we’ll maybe produce two pencils in the classroom’, and so on.
Seymour Papert, 2001
One of the things that I do in my work is to encourage people to be aware of the technological changes taking place around them and try to get ahead of the change; to think about future possibilities for education, for society, for us personally. Part of that involves showing them the astounding capabilities of current technology, of which many are woefully unaware. I’ve reveled in the “oohs” and “ahs” when I show a group of teachers how Google’s Field Trip lets your environment announce itself to you, or showing them how to use Google Now’s location awareness to make life just a little bit (or even a lot) easier. But, no more. Google suddenly decided that we here in Iceland (and various other places in the world) can’t have these nice things. What once worked flawlessly now just results in a “Location reporting is not available in your region.” Continue reading
Dude makes a lot of cents!
This is arguably one of the most referenced Dewey quotes about education on the Internet, as well as in various other places. It’s an interesting and thought provoking statement that seems relevant to contemporary discourse. Remarkable that Dewey would have had the prescience to put it in writing almost a century ago. But, to tell the truth, I don’t think he did. Continue reading
This is part two of a two-part article. See part one, Technology foresight and organizational change: A CHAT perspective, here.
For the sake of illustration, let’s consider what the application of Engeström’s extended CHAT framework to a technology foresight program (TFP) might look like. We’ll use the OECD’s well-known Schooling for Tomorrow (SfT) program as an example. What we are going to look at is how the immediate outcomes of the SfT program are used to produce change at an organizational level.
We’ll create a hypothetical persona, named Hypothetica, who participated in the SfT program activities on behalf of a Dutch teachers’ union. Having participated in the SfT program, Hypothetica now needs to go back to her Dutch teachers’ union and communicate what she gained from her participation in the SfT program in a way that produces organizational change; that change being that the organization becomes more forward-looking and future-oriented in the way that it addresses issues. Continue reading
This is part one of a two-part article. See the second part, Hypothetica does foresight – an illustrative hypothetical case of CHAT analysis, here.
Foresight researchers and evaluators tell us that technology foresight programs (TFP) produce outcomes in three stages: the immediate; the intermediate; and the ultimate. The problem is that they don’t have much to say about how we transition from one stage to another. Almost all studies of TFPs focus only on the immediate outcomes, i.e. those that occur during and directly following program implementation. It’s clear, though, that if we want TFPs to contribute to lasting change over significant periods of time, which is a stated goal, then we need to know more about how we get from the immediate outcomes to the intermediate and, finally, the ultimate.
The intermediate outcomes of TFPs involve the transfer of knowledge, values, connections, etc. gained from TFPs, to organizational contexts, where they are institutionalized in the form of new practices and new ways to address issues. Although there have been many studies focusing on immediate outcomes, there have, to my knowledge, been no systematic studies of intermediate outcomes, at least not in cases involving educational policy (please correct me if I’m wrong). Therefore, we have no clear examples of applicable frameworks to use. Frameworks are important because they indicate what we can expect to happen in certain types of situations. Without them, we’re looking at something with no context; no way to make sense of how the various things we see happening work together. It’s sort of like if we were reading a text and could understand individual words, but couldn’t make sense of the sentences that they form. Now, we can’t just pick a random framework. We need to choose one that fits the context such that it provides a way of making sense of how the pieces in our analysis fit together. I have come to the conclusion that Engeström’s analytical framework based on Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) is a very good fit for our purposes. I describe the framework below and discuss why I think it will be useful. Continue reading