Since an early age, we have all been given advice about how to succeed at life. The most frequently given advice falls into these broad categories: study hard, get a good job, get married, start a family, etc.
School has little to do with students, grades have little to do with learning, employment and income have something to do with quality of life, and marriages all-to-often end in divorce.
What is success, and why do we expend so much energy asking people for advice on how to be successful?
“Don’t bother teaching your kids how to paint – we have cameras,” said nobody ever. Except that somebody did. An OECD education chief has decided that your children learning to create software is an utter waste of time due to how technology will evolve.
His line of thinking is the latest step forward in a results-based, quantifiable-over-quality approach to life and learning. Thinking that these two – life and learning – are distinct and separable is the first misstep down this path.
The human mind is the original camera. Although the mind does not exactly “take pictures” as we go about our day, exposure to any event changes what is on the film.
What happens to the film when we welcome technology into our lives – into our classrooms – without question?
You could say that our entire existence revolves around fixing them once they come into our conscious awareness. Some are personal, some are not.
Most of our problems affect our immediate well-being, otherwise we would not identify them as problems.
Sometimes they are inconsequential: a Sudoku puzzle in a book, for example. These are the problems that we create for ourselves and love to solve.
Others carry extreme consequences, but we rarely take pause for them. They never became personal.
If you have been following along, you'll know that our time to do tactical work on Jade has been limited lately. It is the perfect opportunity for strategic and contemplative work.
A time for a moment of Clarity.
As we go through life, we view the world through our particular lens. This view is uniquely ours and is shaped by our experiences and our perception of those experiences. Accordingly, two people may perceive the same event very differently.
What does this have to do with edtech?
Tonight's post is a business update. I thought it might be a nice change of pace.
A recurring theme in this blog lately has been distinguishing between what is urgent from what is important. Technology increasingly shifts our focus to the former by providing pleasurable distractions.
I would like to conclude the series of posts with a bit of audience participation. Perhaps you want to move your focus back to what is important.
Our feelings about the present are always out of context. What immediately seems good or bad does not always turn out that way in a week, month, or even a year later.
As we cannot see the future, we lack the full context for the immediate.
It is a human curiosity that we shape our impressions by the page of the book we are on rather than waiting until the end of the story.
There are, of course, some stories that cannot wait to be fully told before we form an impression. When an objective truth is unavailable, we must act on good faith with what we have in front of us.
There is a fundamental shift in how we interact with technology that has been progressing for a bit more than 15 years now. Shift Sight stands firmly on one side of this shift. Other companies are scrambling to get to the other side by any means possible.
This is a great divide in technology that defines how we interact with gadgets. The implications in schools (and edtech) are especially worrying.
Ty is a Founder of Shift Sight, LLC.