I once asked the CEO of a major e-learning company how much of their work was maintenance of existing content, thinking that this would be a substantial revenue earner. I was surprised to find that hardly anyone maintains their content. They just wait four or five years for the content to become obsolete, then they start all over again.
A right first time approach works if you are building skyscrapers or making Hollywood movies. The safety considerations or the cost of re-work simply demand it. And if you are sending out physical product, like printed books, it is clearly uneconomic to keep printing and distributing new versions.
But in an era in which software apps and web content are updated almost constantly and usually painlessly, there is simply no argument for treating e-learning content as if we were making $100m movies or printing books.
Agile development of learning content is a process of successive approximation – getting closer and closer to what is right for the user.
How five U.S. innovations helped improve schools in Finland even as American’s ignore the same reforms [impactlab.net]
Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish educator and scholar, is one of the world’s leading experts on school reform and educational practices. He is the author of the best-selling “Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn About Educational Change in Finland?”and a former director general of Finland’s Center for International Mobility and Cooperation. Sahlberg is now a visiting professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has written a number of important posts for this blog, including “What if Finland’s great teachers taught in U.S. schools,” and “What the U.S. can’t learn from Finland about ed reform.”
In this post Sahlberg writes about what constitutes real education innovation, a topic that was the subject of a recent eport by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, about which I wrote and questioned here. Sahlberg notes how U.S. innovation has helped many successful education systems around the world even as Americans ignore those very same reforms. This is important reading.
Several years ago, things didnt go well for Peter Brooks when his former employer bused his division to a suburban Washington, D.C., field. They were divided into teams for a round of paintball.
“We were issued safety goggles and paintball guns, one of which immediately misfired. It hit a district manager in the crotch,” Brooks says.
He remembers that the game quickly devolved into screaming, pleading and retaliatory rage — the paintballs left large welts.”
A lot of people pointed their guns right at their supervisors, me included,” Brooks says. “I shot mine right in the middle of the back, and then when he spun around with revenge in his eyes, I surrendered.”
The bus ride home, he says, was dead silent.
The shot that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was fired a hundred years ago this weekend.
The assassination in Sarajevo, on June 28, 1914, triggered World War I and changed the course of the 20th century. The consequences of that act were devastating. But the beginning of the story sounds almost like a farce — complete with bad aim, botched poisoning and a wrong turn on the road.
Today, in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you dont have to hunt around for the spot where it all took place. A big purple banner announces it in white capital letters: “The street corner that started the 20th century.”
People take photos as streetcars rumble by. And according to Dr. James Lyon, an expert in Balkan history, the street would have looked almost identical a hundred years ago — it just would have had a few more trees.
A Route Lined With Flags, Fans … And Assassins
IS A university degree a good investment? Many potential students are asking the question, especially in countries where the price of a degree is rising, as a result of falling government subsidies. Recent research suggests that the conventional wisdom remains true: a university degree pays handsomely. In America and the euro zone, for example, unemployment rates for graduates are far below average. Yet the benefit of university varies greatly among students, making an investment in higher education a risky bet in some circumstances.