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I created this image quote in 2015 after reading a variant of the words attributed to George Bernard Shaw.

We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.

But with every axiom comes exceptions.


Video source

According to the research cited in this video, age is a factor at the highest levels of video gaming.

However, this does not invalidate the principle that we do not have to outgrow curiosity, a sense of fun, or risk-taking. Older gamers also learn to metagame — they devise strategies to compensate for split second slowness.

One basic aspect of assessment literacy is question design. There are several principles in the case of multiple choice questions. The tweet below illustrates a few.

The options cannot be so obvious as to not challenge the learner. No one lives to be 500 and even a child without siblings knows a grandparent cannot be 5-years-old.

The choices should not just be about content and standards, they also have to be authentic. To avoid embarrassment and mistakes, it helps to think like and for the learner.

Today’s marks Singapore’s 53rd National Day.

Over the years I might have shared unofficial ND videos that I thought did a better job of capturing the essence of who we are than officially-sanctioned ones.

Today one tongue firmly in cheek comes by way of Twitter.

We are 53-years-old. Can we laugh at ourselves? Or did middle age break our collective funny bone?

Yesterday, an ex-colleague reminded me of a quote attributed to Roy Pea in 2011.

We need revolutionary transformation, not evolutionary tinkering. -- Roy Pea.

In the context of educational change and embracing technology, he said: We need revolutionary transformation, not evolutionary tinkering. (I found the source and it is mentioned twice in this NETP report.)

Evolutionary tinkering might be likened to piecemeal change. This can create short returns, but can come across as busy work that is not particularly meaningful.

Revolutionary transformation is often uncomfortable and messy, but it can also be organised chaos that actually makes a difference in the long run.

We need only be students of recent history to see why revolutions change policies, processes, and people.

This is not going to be a lesson on how to create a Google Form. It is about how to design and use a Google form.

For the impatient, here is the lesson upfront: Design not from a provider’s point of view, but from a seeker’s perspective. The extension to teaching is this: Teach not just to deliver without learner concerns; seek to educate by empathising with the learner.

How did this lesson emerge?

An ex-colleague tweeted an open invitation to attend two talks at my former workplace, NIE. I was excited to attend because:

  • The first talk was by another ex-colleague who had also left NIE for greener pastures overseas. We graduated from the same Ph.D. programme and have not seen each other in years!
  • The second talk is relevant to a group of teachers I am guiding in the area of crafting narrative-driven research reports. Serendipity!

Naturally, I wanted to sign up for both since they were relevant and generously open. However, I stopped — or rather, the Google Form stopped me — when I hit this barrier:

A compulsory option in the Google Form that I did not agree to.

I could not submit the form unless I allowed my personal information to be used beyond contact for the talks.

Now one might argue that organisers are entitled to do this. They might be, even under the current PDPA law, but the consent should be an option instead of a must-have.

The move might be an oversight. But it could also be symptomatic of an authoritative, provider-driven approach, i.e., we provide a service so we tell you what to do or make demands of you.

The alternative approach is also a progressive one. It focuses on the seeker, participant, or learner. I am grateful for the opportunity and am willing to share information logically, but not at the expense of being marketed to. Being empathy-driven takes user privacy, space, and effort into consideration.

The difference in drive and design lies in mindset. In the age of social media, you can still operate in transmission mode, e.g., talking, telling, ordering others, etc. But you will not be as effective as if you are interactive and learn to negotiate.

The same could be said with old-school teaching that is dictated only by blind standards and context-free curriculum. The world is embracing educational experiences that rely on social constructivism, constructionism, and connectivism.

Those might be unexpected lessons from a simple Google Form. I offer my services on educating with learner empathy and perspective. I will not require your email address indefinitely to do so.

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Last week someone asked me for permission to use an artefact I had created. I appreciated the old school courtesy.

But I would also have liked to see the progressive practice of knowing what the Creative Commons license I attached to the artefact meant. I had already granted permission and conditions to use and replicate it.

This might be an example of educating one person at a time. However, this does not mean that progress is slow. That one person might have the capacity to reach many with my resource.

Schooling might be relatively fast and efficient. Education is playing the long game without guarantees.

This tweet made me wonder: When we have the capacity to help, do we look to the stars or keep your feet firmly planted on the ground?

With the little or much we have, how to we give back?


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