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Slides for my presentation in Pretoria: At the Threshold: higher education, complexity, and change.
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Good stuff here! My favorite slide is 40/41 - What would education look like it we designed it today? It would look like the internet.
I guess this is why I have such a hard time connecting with my colleagues who are perfectly happy to sit inside Desire2Learn, effectively walled off from the internet in their quasi-online courses (is it really online when you are working so hard to keep the internet out...?) - for me, when you say "internet," the idea of education is probably the first thing that comes to my mind. I have gotten my own greatest education on the internet, not in classrooms. But I suspect that my colleagues do not have the same immediate association with internet. The first word that pops into their mind might be: "messy."
Thanks for that, George.
"What would education look like it we designed it today?" Like the horse designed by a committee?
I believe that it is virtually impossible to design for complex systems (education) in a rapidly changing environment (technology, economic). We just cannot predict what will or won't work. Could I suggest the following:
1. Darwinianism will produce better results faster in a complex dynamic system.
2. To exploit this policy makers need to remove restrictions (particularly cartels), encourage competition and define and reward the appropriate outcomes.
3. Agile organisations will do best in this environment.

To me the key to change is in point 2. Let the policy makers stop telling us what we can and cannot do. Stop rewarding organisations that continue to do the same thing. Let a thousand flowers bloom and let the people pick the best. I know that this is not easy, but I just don't see how we can deterministically design solutions. We've got most of these wrong in the past.
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