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Posts Tagged ‘value

Shortly after thinking out loud about unpaid principles, I watched the BBC’s streaming of Ophelia. I was reminded of this: 

This above all: to thine own self be true.
Hamlet, Act-1, Scene-III

These was the advice of Polonius to his son, Laertes, as the latter left for Paris.

Like most things, there is more than one way to interpret this quote. The interpretations swing from doing what benefits yourself to doing the right thing. I prefer the latter which is about one’s integrity. 

I risk being unpaid because my principles are not aligned to potential collaborators. I do not wish to fall backward pedagogically nor do I wish to model the wrong values and behaviours as I teach with technology. Is such a value system not valuable?

When I read this tweet and clicked on the link to the article, I expected to find out which life skills these student needed and why.

The article mentioned conflict management, resilience, and cross-cultural understanding as life skills. Is resilience a skill? It seems more like an attitude first. How about cross-cultural understanding? It sounds more like a value to me.

I am not making an argument for pedantic semantics. I am for saying what we mean and meaning what we say. Otherwise we will have different takeaways from what is supposed to be common ground.

That aside, the “skills” were mentioned in the headline and listed in one line in the second paragraph. They were not elaborated upon in the remaining 24 paragraphs of the article. How about a life skilled value of delivering what you promised?

A few days ago, I had more questions than answers on the latest round of PISA results.

In reference to Singapore dropping to number 2 in the overall ranking, I wondered: How about being number 10 in academics? How about striving for measures that actually mean something? How about not playing the game of rankings and comparison?

I found some indirect answers from narratives of our students’ fear of failure. We are still number 1 in that respect — 78% of our students saw failure negatively impacting their futures compared to 54% of OECD member country average.

The same article hinted at why we needed to “become less allergic to failure” but did not say how. If we collectively work on how, we might answer all three of my questions. A drop in academic rankings would not matter if we focus on curing our crippling national condition.

I also chanced upon an unexpected source of answers from a researcher in Australia.

She reasoned how PISA is not a predictive tool, so we should not have knee jerk reactions (like crafting policy) to PISA results.

She also reminded me that the tests are simply that. Even though the PISA questions have evolved, they remain a very specific set of knowledge and skills. We need to ask ourselves if we want excellent test-takers or wise risk-takers.

This tweet provokes an important question.

We want to teach our children to write essays and compose poems. Why do we not teach them how to tweet?

I am not referring to the mechanics of setting up a Twitter account or firing off 140-character salvos. I am referring to responsible and consequential tweeting. 

Responsible tweeting could be guided by these questions (not an exhaustive list):

  • Would you tweet something you would not otherwise say to someone in person? Why or why not?
  • How might my tweet be interpreted some other way?
  • What tone should I use and how do I represent it non-verbally?
  • How important is context, spelling, and grammar?
  • Is there a better way to express myself?
  • What other considerations should I have?

Consequential tweeting is knowing when and how to retweet, quote tweet, comment, direct message, mute, block, or report. It also deals with unintended effects one’s initial tweet.

  • How do I give credit where it is due?
  • How do I promote or add value to a conversation?
  • How might I clarify, critique, or correct?
  • When and how do I create conditions for inclusion or exclusion?
  • When do I take a conversation offline or to private space?
  • How do I deal with a bot, unsolicited advertiser, or troll?

It should become obvious that these skills and values have no fixed standards or end. There is no ultimate checklist to follow or guru to worship. 

It is about constantly learning to learn. That is perhaps the best metalesson about edutweeting. 

Video source

Here is something none of us are likely to learn in school or even want to do.

But most, if not all, of us will go wow and might even argue that there is some value in what this guy does.

Click to see all the nominees!

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