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Martin Bean Key Note – notes from the 2012 HEA conference.
If there is a transcript please let me know!
Martin Bean, the Vice Chancellor of the Open University (OU) makes the point that technology in education has everything to do with brain-ware, not software, that ‘we thought our job was done when we got people plugged in’ – (he comes from a commercial technology background).
Martin Bean calls for educators in tertiary education to ‘do the right thing by our student’
Technology is the enabler – it still requires great teaching.
He is at pains to point out that our approach to education is stuck in the past, that it is NOT about rote learning to regurgitate in an exam, but helping students make sense of the information available to them.
Martin Bean is HIGHLY critical of research students who rely on the top 15 hits in Google Search and Wikipedia.
His handle on the current student is insightful.
He makes the point that ‘they want to blend their digital lifestyles with their learning – rather they would say it is ‘just the way they live’.
‘We need to create a trusting environment where the student can challenge the information’. Martin Bean
There needs to be deconstruction and reconstruction of the pedagogy to make it more relevant
Martin Bean calls for the ‘sage on the stage to coach on the side’.
He makes the point that the OU’s National Surveys say that our students want to spend time with us.
This human component is crucial for success and retention.
Martin Bean asks, ‘what would Steve Jobs do?’
- People and process remain more important than the technology
- What the OU does: relevant, personalised, engaging learning.
How do we inspire people in those informal moments?
The OU are lucky and unique to be able to work with the BBC on productions like the Frozen Planet …
- YouTube as an open education repository
- iTunes – 1:33 come in to find out more
- Apple authoring tools
The value and opportunity of mobile
- Akash – a tablet from India running on Android for under £50, so cheaper to give students one of these and access to the Internet than buy academic books.
- 400 eBooks. e.g. Schubert’s poems, listening to music, seeing the manuscript, reading annotations then looking at the original handwritten manuscript …
How do we as educators do what we do so well?
- MOOCs – engagement of hundreds of thousands, if not millions in meaningful ways.
- More than anything esle technology creates access
We are at the Napster moment in Higher Education
See the Hewlett Foundation website for the scale of OERs. 12,000 hours of OU Open Learn for example.
Nurturing powerful communities of learning
In his final remarks Martin Beans suggests
- Breaking the content down into shorter milestones
- And the need for qualifications with market currency
Fig.1. Steve Jobs in Isaacson (2011).
‘If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away’.
Apple haven’t created a Steve Jacobs APP to bring him back to life virtually, rather they have created a University within Apple to teach the Apple Way as a management and leadership programme akin to an MBA and run by the former Dean of Yale Business School. Joel Podolny
Jobs quoted the hockey star Wayne Gretzky’s maxim, “Skate where the puck’s going, not where it’s been.” Isaacson (2011).
“Steve prefers to be in the moment, talking things through. He once told me, ‘If you need slides, it shows you don’t know what you’re talking about.’” Jobs said. Isaacson Isaacson (2011. p. 387).
Bell and Gemmel get it wrong on lectures. (2009. p 117-118) They make assumptions about the value or otherwise of watching a live lecture in favour of a recorded one.
Whilst this might replace sitting in a class it doesn’t mean that by replaying the video repeatedly the student will be any the wiser or even recall what has been viewed.
Viewing video is a passive exercise, ‘sit back’ rather than ‘sit forward’, Far better that the video is offered as an e-learning module, broken into a dozen pieces, each one different, each one challenging the student in different ways, obliging them to think, to construct, to research, to discuss with others, to answer questions.
I’d like to read this research, understand the way it was undertaken, and how the conclusions were drawn. I’d like to know what other research has been done in this area to get the fullest picture.
On p119 we are given the story of a 7th grade field trip in which students identify leaves of different plants in a forest and we then are asked to imaging 40 years later this 50 year old needing to call upon a digital recording of that event in order to show it to his child. His child, far preferring the psychologically better and warm lesson from her father would feel rejected if made to watch the video.
What is more, the learning, through communication isn’t purely as a result of looking at an object and hearing or being told what it is – the lesson is largely recalled for the emotional impact of delivery from the teacher – how they speech and their body language – were the enthusiastic or bored by the information they had to impart?
My biggest concern about the assumptions of Bell’s lifelogging is that if I take a self-drive car from A to B, a 45 minute journey, will I ever, if called upon be able to drive this route myself
- if I have never driven myself
- if I’ve never made the choices that would take me this way?
A lifelogging device is akin to driving on autopilot, there is no need to concentrate and without that there is no memory creation – so yes, you would need a recall device. And if you are behaving as if you are not there, why be there? Indeed, to fake it college students might hand their lifelogging devices to one student who would then attend the lecture on everyone else’s behalf.
Bell, G., and Gemmel. J (2009) Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything
Isaacson, Walter (2011). Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography (Kindle Locations 3421-3422). Hachette Littlehampton. Kindle Edition.
Mayer-Schönberger, V (2009) Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age
- Why lifelogging as total capture has less value that selective capture and recall. (mymindbursts.com)
- Book reveals complex nature of Steve Jobs’ success (minnesotatransplant.wordpress.com)
- A New Mixed Media Work…….”Muddle and Gabble” (burgessart.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: Steve Jobs – by Walter Isaacson (booksesinboxes.com)
- The memory is the mind process happening in your brain, it can never be the artefact that plays back footage of an experience. (mymindbursts.com)
- What does a business genius look like? (hiscoxusa.com)
- Apple co-founder: Steve Jobs film is ‘very wrong’ (itv.com)
Getting to the end of the 600 page biography I struggle to draw a conclusion. Perhaps he was Janus like, always looking in two directions, impish, black and white, loved it or hated it. Able to bend. Loyal (at least to his wife), even to certain friends. Selective then. He was in love with the way his mind worked. He has been instrumental in changing the world and I feel better for having followed his products, if not his creed.
My iBook died in 2011; I have to replace it. Do I need a laptop if I have an iPad though? My inclination is to have something large and powerful enough to cut movies. The ‘Full Monty’ a 90 minute piece, to translate scripts I’ve written even developed as photo journals and start bringing some of the scenes to life.
Buddhism and the importance of intuitive thinking. Isaacson (2011:35)
Isaacson, W (2011) Steve Jobs : the exclusive biography.
‘They came really close to beating any creativity out of me’. says Steve Jobs of his primary education. Ahe had parents who listened, struggled, even moved house to get him a better start. what’s your story?
Do you know anyone who suffers from the ‘reality distortion field’?
They are confined to the very successful, they are as likely to come from the deluded and can be like Steve Jobs either highly negative (everything is shit), or extraordinarily positive (this will change everything).
I’ve worked in very few organisations where someone can get away with this unless they are the owner/boss or because the culture permits it.
On the Kirton Adaptor scale I’d put Steve Jobs out in the Innovator limb, on the NEO-FFI what would I imagine he’d receive?
Openness – average
Conscientiousness – very high
Extroversion – very high
Aggreeableness – very low
Sensitivity – very high
I’ve gleened this from Walter Isaacson’s biography; what do you reckon?