Saturday, June 04, 2005

Dave Pollard on Dave Snowden

How to Save the World

Dave uses this story to illustrate why ABIDE works better than traditional approaches in complex situations::

Imagine organising a birthday party for a group of young children. Would you agree a set of learning objectives with their parents in advance of the party? Would you create a project plan for the party with clear milestones and empirical measures of achievement? Would you start the party with a motivational video or use PowerPoint slides? No, instead like most parents you would create barriers to prevent certain types of behaviours ("the bedrooms are off-limits"), you would use attractors (party games, toys, videos) to encourage the formation of beneficial, largely self-forming identities; you would disrupt negative patterns early to prevent the party becoming chaotic or necessitating the draconian imposition of authority. At the end of the party you would know whether it had been a success, but you could not define (in other than the most general terms) what that success would look like in advance.

In a very sensible post that refines for me one of the ideals I seek in the classroom (sigh…and am still seeking):  the evolving, extended improv or as they say in the improv biz, the HaroldIf I had my way schools of education would become places where we improvise content in the classrooms and there would be no specific learning objectives as such. Students would “perform” daily, honing their craft while making its content their own.  There is much more I wish to bring into my classroom from the world of improv, but the greatest tool is the sense of trust and direction one gets from the audience.  That’s what I want in the classroom.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Secrets of the A-List Bloggers: Lots of short entries

Secrets of the A-List Bloggers: Lots of short entries

On that particular day, the top five bloggers created an average of 30 entries, with each entry being under 150 words. This reminds me of something Phillip Greenspun, another A-list blogger, had said about why he liked blogs:

It allows me to experiments with the three paragraph form

Considering the size of the average entry from this, it seems very clear that an entry should be brief.

However, going beyond that is the number of entries that come in on a day. Looking at this, the average Top 5 A-list blogger wrote an average of almost 30 entries. Think about it for a second or two. 30 entries! It's a huge number for a single day.


Yes, it really is extraordinary how much some folks can churn out in their blogs, but then again look at Stephen King, Charles Dickens, or the like.  Prolix in extremis. I can but wish for more from myself, but now teaching is once again consuming me.  But teaching is good, n’est ce pas?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Parking lot: Living in open space

F3967_4657Parking lot: Living in open space

In reflecting on these experiences I realized what I was lacking was chaordic confidence, a term I appropriated from my friend Myriam Laberge. Chaordic confidence describes the ability to stay in chaos and trust that order will emerge. It's a subtle art, but it is essential to working with groups who are themselves confronting chaos. If you can stay in the belief that order will emerge from what Sam Kaner calls "The Groan Zone" then the group has something to hitch its horse to, so to speak. But if you are married to your tools, and things go off the rails, you feel like a fish out of water, and you flop around unable to deal with the uncertainty around you. I've seen it happen - we probably all have - and it's not pretty.

~Chris Corrigan

Chris Corrigan is one of my heroes.  I dream of applying Open Space Technology in my normal classroom. 


The Game Is Virtual. The Profit Is Real. - New York Times

The Game Is Virtual. The Profit Is Real. - New York Times

Log this under “the world has already changed and I didn’t even know it until I read about it in the NYT”.