Another dot in the blogosphere?

No business card

Posted on: May 12, 2022

Today and tomorrow I reflect on simple legacy systems that persist but are no longer relevant now. I link these to what is happening in schooling and education.

Several months ago, I noticed an electronic flyer that promoted the use of a shared space for those who needed to work from home (WFH). This was when WFH was at 50% and the scheme was good for workers who might prefer a place that felt more like an office.

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However, the notice stipulated you needed to show your business cards to enter the shared space. This might work for those who work for companies and the civil service, but this might not be true of those who freelance.

I dispensed with business cards almost eight years ago when I went independent. I would simply share my email address or Twitter handle with those asked for a business card. The point of the card, after all, was to provide contact information.

Owning a business card does not mean that you are part of a company or gainfully employed. Anyone can make their own business cards. If a business card was proof for entry to that shared space, then I should also be able to sketch myself on notepaper when asked to verify my identity.

If we claim to live in an information age (or even post-information age), then we should act that way. Reliable, flexible, and meaningful information is electronic now. For example, CNA recently reported how birth and death certificates will be electronic from the end of May. We have been able to use electronic versions of our our NRICs (in Singpass) for most identity verifications

This is just one example of how legacy systems hold back those who operate fully in the present. There are so many legacies in schooling and education, and the worst are linked to assessment. Such assessment is so significant that it has been called the tail that wags the dog. More on this tomorrow.

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