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Posts Tagged ‘process

A teacher knows what the following are:

  • Schemes of work
  • Curricula
  • Attendance sheets
  • Teaching resources
  • Tests
  • Classes and courses

These products contribute to learning, but they sometimes get in the way of it.

Learning is combination of many processes. These might be relatively simple (like maintaining attention) or complex (like perspective-taking).

Teaching is neat. Learning is messy.

Learning might result from teaching, but the latter does not guarantee the former. Learning is messy. Teaching is neat.

Learning is not a product you can easily package. Anyone who thinks or says that needs to unlearn that perspective.

Every now and then I share two videos that I just watched: One is a product of collaboration and the other provides insights on the processes behind that product.

Then I go on to say how those of us in schooling and education can learn from such videos. For example, evaluations of worth should not just be about products; they should be about processes as well.
 

Video source

The video above featured the efforts of four producers of CNA Insider. Recently, the video series focused on the ordeals of our guest workers, rises in domestic violence, and NGO efforts during the pandemic lockdown.

The BTS video revealed the stories behind the storytellers. It was a reminder that the human narrative is the tie that binds.

When applied to schooling and education, we might ask ourselves what stories we craft. Are they more of the same? Or are they journeys of change, failure, and small joys? Which stories are worth telling? Which stories live on and inspire?

The local press is fond of highlighting the number of new COVID-19 cases each day. According to this data visualisation tool [desktop] [mobile], Singapore had 110 cases as of yesterday. Note: The data is from official sources in each country.

What the press conveniently leaves out from its headlines is the number of recoveries. According to the data, 78 people in Singapore have recovered and none have died as of yesterday. This makes our known pool of COVID-19 patients 32.

Focusing on the number of infections without also emphasising the recoveries feeds the fear. While this does not contravene any POFMA rule, it is still irresponsible behaviour.

POFMA might deal with misinformation and disinformation, but it can do nothing about partial information. We need to be better and do better. We might do this by uncovering the processes behind each product.

Screenshot of graph showing COVID-19 infections and recoveries worldwide.

When I first visited the data visualisation site almost a month ago, I did not notice this other visualisation of COVID-19 cases. The new cases (orange and yellow lines) are plateauing at the moment. The recoveries (in green) are on the rise.

The graphs might change if there are new cycles of infections, but the more complete use of numbers tells a more complete story.

As I view this again from the perspective of an educator, I return to product and process. Headlines and graphs are products. But these have underlying processes that need to be examined and critiqued. We remain ignorant if we take products at face value without demanding better processes that create them.

Insist on seeing the processes. Demand to shape them.

I am reminding myself about this old news: The sunsetting of classic Google Sites in favour of the newer version is the end of 2021.

Why the reminder? I have over 50 Google Sites: 44 are classic and 10 are current.

I am making the transition slowly to focus on the sites that I rely on regularly. But the main reason is that each move takes time and effort.

The conversions are not complete and clean. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has exported a website and transferred it to another platform. There are relatively minor issues like font changes and page permissions. But there are also major ones like non-working plug-ins and broken embedded content.

The best thing about the new and improved Google Sites is the WYSIWYG simplicity. It also uses responsive web design so I can author on a laptop and the site will automatically fit and arrange content in phone browser.

The biggest loss in the new Google Sites is page history. Google Sites have wiki architecture at its roots (I reflected on my early adoption of Sites and its precursor). Page histories are fundamental to wikis because they allow users to see what and how a page has changed over time.

This reflects one of my educational philosophies — it is important to see the processes behind a product, not just take a product at face value. In the case of learning, I am not just interested in WHAT my students might learn; I want them to know the HOW and WHY.

I had wanted to watch the movie 1917 ever since I caught the YouTube trailer last year.


Video source

I watched the movie last month and was a magnificent product.

Since its release, there have been a few agencies that released making-of videos of the movie. Videos like the one below provided insights into the processes behind the product.


Video source

While some eschew pulling back the curtain to reveal the secrets behind the magic, I like learning how things work. This not only helps me value the processes in addition to the product, it also illustrates the true meaning of creative collaboration and how much perspiration is needed to fuel the inspiration.

I like highlighting videos that feature the processes behind a product. To that end, I share videos that are often the behind-the-scenes design and production of movies.

But here is a video that reveals all the processes before revealing a final product.


Video source

The video comes from Rachel and Jun, the latter of the pair is a Japanese chef. Jun seems to embrace excellence in all that he does. In the video, he revealed how he collected driftwood, cleaned and treated it, and assembled it to make a cat tree for the couple’s three cats.

School teaches us to focus more on products. These are graded and shown off (if they are good) or derided (if they are bad). If we prefer to be educated, we need to focus more on the processes. We learn that a) processes can change with time and context, b) we need to be responsive and reflective, and c) we need to keep learning.

Today I focus on BTS. No, not that BTS. Behind-the-scenes, BTS.

I not only like to get insights on the processes behind the product, I also like to see the people responsible for both.


Video source

Great Big Story is one of my favourite YouTube channels. My family and I watch at least one of their videos practically every day. The channel is informative and inspiring.

Before watching this special focus, I did not realise how many women made the videos behind-the-scenes. Now I see why they offer so much quality.

The Game of Thrones series has ended, but it continues to inspire.


Video source

This group recreated the opening title sequence largely with cardboard.

I like how the video started by showcasing the product, revealed the processes behind the product, and then juxtaposed both.

I highlight videos that feature both processes and product to highlight how educators should not forget the former when evaluating the latter. The video above provided another aspect of this consideration — get the learner to show how the two are linked.

No, not the Singaporean utterance of “truck, lah” but the creation of a truck from a Tesla car.


Video source

The video above is an “ad” for the Truckla. It is a product in the sense that it showcases a product (the Truckla) which was itself a product of collaboration.


Video source

The second video is a behind-the-scenes look of how the Truckla product and the “ad” were created. It is a process video.

Like most process-product videos I feature in this blog, the process videos run long while the product videos are short.

This mirrors what we see in classrooms: People tend to judge and value the products of learning because they are easier to quantify. But it is the messier and more detailed processes that provide insights into how the product came to be. If we focus on processes more, we might reward even sub-par products because we can gauge how much learners actually do.

 
You tap your finger on a phone screen, but you click via a mouse on a computer screen. The effect might be the same — for example, an app opens — but the name of the process is different.

Should we care if the end result is essentially the same? No, if you care only about the result. Yes, if the processes that lead to it matter to you.

This is not about semantics. It is about focusing on and caring about what matters in the long run.
 


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