Archive for the ‘Knowledge’ Category


Uploaded by cdevroe

I just read a fascinating article where Bill Gates predicts the end of the keyboard.  He says with the advancements in things like touch screens and voice recognition, keyboards will become less and less important.

 So what does this mean for teaching kids how to write?  Do you teach them with paper and pencil?  Do you teach them how to enter with a keyboard? Or, do you teach them how to talk into their computer?

I think some of the best and easiest to understand writing is when someone write the way the speak.  That is if they can articulate their thoughts.  I know that some people are still holding on to their old Royal typewriters and some like the feel of pen and paper.  I’m sure future generations will feel the same about their first computer they could talk to.

I think the world is going to get a lot noisier.

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Uploaded by foreversouls

When I watch the national spelling bee, I know they can spell the words but the don’t seem to know the meaning of very many.  So is it better to misspell a word you know or spell a word you don’t know correctly.

The concept of a spelling bee was first in print in 1876.  Two of the big differences between then and now are “Spellcheck” and a massively larger pool of words.  In 1876, there was probably a much smaller gap between spelling and understanding…about 7 or 8 hundred thousand words.

The moderators always seem so smart about all the words but I’m sure they have to look most of them up.  I thought is going to a definitions bee and including words someone might actually use some day.

Just a thought…not earth shaking.  I hope I spelled everything right.

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Uploaded by Tambour_Unit

 I don’t know if you’d heard the expression, it’s like polishing canon balls.  It goes back to the old quality improvement and reengineering days.  In other words, you’re making improvements that really have no benefits.  Nice shiny canon balls are still obsolete.

So the question is, are the improvements to the education system really meaningful or are we just polishing cannon balls.  Is it a matter of making incremental improvements or trying something completely different? 

At your next meeting where this is discussed try asking the group, are we just polishing canon balls?

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Uploaded by Joseph Dath

 On a gut level, you might say that kids today just don’t read and write like we used to…or most adults just don’t read books. 

However, when you dig into it a little what’s really evident is that reading and writing have changed so much that comparing the past to today is comparing apples to oranges.

Here’s what I mean.  It used to be that you wrote long letters to friends and family and dropped them in the mail box.  In fact, a lot of history is recorded letters.  The civil war is a great example because it is one of the most documented wars because of all the letters.  The big change is not a decline in writing but a decline in using a paper and pen.  If you added up all the emails, text messages and posts on social networking sites, the amount of writing is massively greater.  Think about when congress wants another departments emails and the get several million emails to look at.

Well what about newspapers.  No one reads newspapers like they used to.  This is an absolutely true statement.  The reality is that people are probably more engaged and interested in their world, but news print just doesn’t cut it.  I could wait for old news to appear on my door step or I could just go to Yahoo news and see what’s happening right now.  A newspaper might offer you two or three columnists on a subject while you can go on line and get a hundred different points of view.  Newspapers also have to compete with 24/7 cable news and sports.  I remember rushing to the paper to get the sports scores in the morning.  Now I can watch the ticker on ESPN or call them up on my cell phone.

I know you’ll say, what about books.  No one reads books any more.  I’d say some one has the be reading books because the number of books in print each year has exploded.  Today about a 100,000 books are published each year.  If you read a book a week, you’d be reading .005% of the new books.  Hard to keep up on your reading that way.  Think about all the people who used to own a really good set of encyclopedias.  Their basically worthless today because if you want the knowledge of the world a quick Google search will work and you can get everything in multi-media.

So here’s a good question, have we change the way we teach reading and writing to fit a new world or are we still in line with the 1950s?

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Uploaded by WisDoc

Education traditionally focuses on knowledge acquisition and retention.  However, it usually misses a key element.  That’s the element of speed.  In other words, of fast can you recall information and how fast can you apply it. 

While there is usually a time limit on tests, it’s usually not at the speed of rapid recall.  You usually have ample time to think of the answer or to figure out the answers based on how the test is written.

If you really want to know who knows their stuff, try cutting the time you have to take the SATs in half.  Try cutting the time allowed for a multiple choice test to the time it takes to read all the questions and circle the answers.

So why the concern for speed?  If you have a fluent knowledge of something, it shows itself in terms of speed.  Think of learning a foriegn language, you have to get to the point where you know all the words well enough to keep up with a conversation especially when others start to speak quickly.  In fact, keeping up with a conversation is a good measure of how fluent you are in a language.  The same can and should hold true for other subjects.  With speed comes competences or vice-versa.

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Uploaded by :: SL Emerick

 Most of formal education is still focused on knowledge acquisition.  But there really has been a dramatic change in the last 50 to 100  years which makes this less important.  First, there’s been an explosion in knowledge.  You can know something about most things but it’s difficult to know a lot about everything.  Take the example of medicine.  There is now so much to know that a generalist has to turn patients over a specialist because they don’t know enough to treat you and often times diagnose you.

How about music.  I remember when most people knew all the popular tunes.  There just weren ‘t that many.  Now there are almost as many types of music as their were songs.  “Name that tune” is a lot harder than it used to be.  This goes on subject after subject, topic by topic. 

Take the champions on Jeopardy.  All you have to do to throw them off is give a lot of questions about popular culture or things out of their generation.  You could also take something like history and ask questions from out this country such as Nigerian leaders of the 20th century. 

Second in the past, this information wasn’t readily available so if you didn’t learn it, you were out of luck.  Now on almost any topic, you have instant access to information.  The emphasis switches from knowing to being able to find.  So what this suggests is a different paradigm in education.

I know in the corporate world this is a shift from knowing to doing.  As your boss, I really don’t care what you know, I care about what you can do.  If there isn’t an application of knowledge, it has very little value in this setting.

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Stanley Smith 'Cultivating Knowledge' Loyola University, Chicago originally uploaded by hanneorla.

It’s always easy to get some attention by calling things a crisis. But here’s what’s happening. In the next five years, the majority of the baby boomers start to retire. Those who didn’t make a fortune and retired at 50.

In the workplace that’s a tremendous amount of knowledge, existing every major corporation and a lot of small businesses. Unfortunately, a lot of that information isn’t written down. It isn’t part of some large data base.

So the questions is, does your organization have a plan to capture that knowledge? Have you considered what type of incentive is needed to get these employees to give you that knowledge?

One of the things we’ve found from doing Learning Path projects is you start to identify and capture this knowledge. Check out the Learning Path Whitepaper for more.

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