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Posts Tagged ‘hank green

Video source

This is a quote I pulled from Hank Green’s video above.

Here’s the thing about having strong opinions and no expertise: You always get to pretend that you’re right.

In the past I have avoided being called an expert in e-learning. I recall being introduced an an event as one and I took the opportunity to say that 1) I am still learning by craft, and 2) you might consider me an expert only if I have made the most mistakes and learnt from them.

But Green’s quote reminds me why some experts need to remind people what value they offer. Experts will get some things right and other things wrong. But in both cases, they will likely have a disciplined method of arriving at the right conclusion or correcting the error. A non-expert is likely to only have opinion built on nothing or based on stubbornness.

How many experts in e-learning and online learning were consulted before modern school systems resorted to emergency remote teaching? Not many or any. That might be understandable given how urgent the moves were made.

But how many of the same experts will be consulted for future school and IHL closures? If the answer is the same, then that is unforgivable given how we will likely have the time and space to design and implement change.

As I watched the video below, I thought about the importance of being precise and nuanced.

Video source

Hank Green was upset that news pundits and headlines were blindly declaring that the Amazon rainforest was burning, i.e., natural wild fires. He made the point that many of the fires this year were started by people to clear the land — the forest was being burnt.

For me, this was a good example of precision and nuance. It was not about nit-picking the use of burning vs being burnt. Anyone dismissive would point out that both had fires in common and that the immediate end result was the same.

However, Green’s point was that wild fires are natural, cyclical, and balanced. Man-made fires for the purpose of clearing forest were not. The processes are different — one is natural and the other is forced. The long-term results are different — one sees a natural recovery or evolution while the other sees damage.
Life is not black and white; there is some grey nuance to it. -- Pilou Asbaek
I try to be precise and more nuanced about why I do not like to merely engage my learners and why I prefer to empower them. I do not restrict myself to flipping a classroom; I choose to flip the learning. I do not simply use technology for teaching; I integrate it for learning.

The precision and nuance lie in this principle: I focus on the learner and learning, not just the teacher and teaching. This is a lot more difficult to do consistently, but it is also more rewarding in the long run.

Video source

In the video above, Hank Green described a science fiction novel published in 1911 about “personalised news”. A century later, we now have news feeds.

The difference is that the personalised news in the novel was defined by the subscriber. The current reality of news feeds is that they are dictated by computer algorithms.

Neither extreme is healthy. If you choose only what you want to consume, you create a bubble. If you let something else choose what you read, you lose control. The latter process is also not transparent.

In the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica world, you stop becoming the customer being served products; you become the source of data and the product to be sold to others.

In between the novel and current Facebook fiasco is another reality. It exists only among those who take control. For example, I decide what I read with RSS. I decide who to follow and learn from with Twitter. Both lead me to reliable sources of information and carefully curated alternative points of view.

If you don’t control the feed, the feed is controlling you.


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