A critical analysis of Hamilton, E., and Friesen, N. (2013)

One of the key aspects Hamilton and Friesen (2013) argue is that studies into the potential of technologies, and the pedagogical value of these, are limited by the approach often used in the conduct of the research. This echoes studies by McDougall & Jones, 2006 and Roblyer, 2005, that research into this area has “struggled to find its theoretical roots” (Graham, 2011, p. 1).

Hamilton and Friesen’s rationale is that a significant amount of research to date has been conducted through the viewpoints of essentialism and instrumentalism. These orientations, while providing useful insight, are hindered as “they fail to grasp the social and historical dimensions of technology”.

Indeed, Hamilton and Friesen are not lone voices in this area. Selwyn (2012) stresses that “education and digital technology should strive to analyse the exchanges between everyday practices and the encompassing cultural and societal structures” (p. 91), adding backing to the importance of social considerations. This echoes Savin-Baden, Tombs, Bhakta (2015), in that “research has tended to neglect the social context within which students interact with pedagogical agents” (p. 297).

Hamilton and Friesen make a persuasive case of their argument through detailed reasoning and strong evidence. By providing a thorough dissection of the essentialist and instrumentalist approaches on a theoretical basis, this allows the reader to pick apart the theoretical considerations, and in turn view the deficiencies in the two approaches. This also provides the reader with an insight into the depth of examination that has been conducted.

Investigations such as this are important, as any weaknesses in the research (of any subject area) have to be a cause for concern. Ultimately if the conclusions of any research work are to be used to provide a ‘sure footing’ to guide future development and influence direction, it needs to avoid any limitations. As the authors put it, the limitation “hampers understanding of the educational value of new technologies”.

While the critique of recent research appears strong, nonetheless there are areas in the paper that warrant scrutiny.

The assertion in the introduction that “technologies… (are)… of beneficial value in education.” is rather broad, and could be argued glosses over some of the intricacies and practicalities around the use of technology in education, and also don’t consider the  negative perspectives (for example Selwyn (2011) and Wood, Mueller, Willoughby, Specht & Deyoung (2005)) around this topic.

Whilst the authors make a compelling case on the limitations of current research, they would be mindful to be wary of any of their own blind spots, such as an unconscious positivity towards the opportunities with technology. Indeed considering the negative arguments around technology and education could further influence the choice and variety of viewpoints to consider in this field.

The authors also present a strong case for a constructivist approach in researching this field. Given the flaws in an essentialist and instrumentalist approach, they argue that a constructivist approach would allow social and historical aspects to be brought into the framework, and therefore provide a more rounded view.

Although a compelling argument is made, again driven by examples and case studies throughout, by only providing an insight into a constructivist approach (that one could argue they seem to favour), it could be contended that they have fallen into the same trap they are actively arguing against. There is a limited critique of the constructivist viewpoint, and given the purpose of the paper, some explicit scrutiny of this could have demonstrated stronger objectivity.

Contrast this with Selwyn’s (2012) paper. Although similarly strong arguments are made by Selwyn in his critique of current research in this area, he understands the inherent self-sabotage in simply changing tact towards a single, alternate approach. In his view“there is no one ‘correct’ theoretical stance to adopt when looking at… education and digital technology”.  Hamilton and Friesen allude to this in their own conclusion, but by providing a detailed breakdown of how a constructivist framework can address the issues with current research (without other alternatives or further an outline of potential flaws in this approach), one could argue they are demonstrating an inherent preference themselves.

Overall Hamilton and Friesen’s paper provides a compelling argument that the realm of education and technology should be considered through alternative philosophical standpoints in order to “provide fruitful new directions for online education research”. However further opinion should be sought to turn this into a tangible practice and minimise the risk of an incomplete view.


Skype chat – a reflection

Today I hit a bit of a dip. I’m sure it happens to most participants at some stage, but all of a sudden the reality of what I’ve got myself into dawned on me. After struggling but persevering through the readings from week 2 (some of them I found more accessible than others, namely the Gert Biesta paper), I’d then learned what would be required in weeks 3 and 4.

How will I ever find time to do the extra reading?

How do I keep up with everyone else on the course?

The blogs seems to take me ages, how I am going to ever going to tackle a more academic style of writing?

Luckily then, we had our first skype chat this evening. It was hosted by a couple of course tutors, and it came as a breath of fresh air.

As mentioned previously, the beauty of a course on a topic such as ‘Digital Education’ is that we are very much learning by doing. I think the sense of overwhelming is contributed by not only the effort and time to work through the course itself, but trying to maintain a close eye on how the course has been designed and is led by the team. I feel there is as much to learn from the latter as the former, and am keen not to lose the opportunity to recognise the excellent course design and delivery in play. While I am aware that this blog should reflect on and critique the discussions, motions and readings been proposed, I’m finding it is increasingly more useful to record my observations of the course I’m taking part in.

Tonight’s Skype was a chance to discuss ‘critical perspectives’. The brief for week 3 and 4 felt a little daunting, particularly since it’s such a leap into the known for someone who hasn’t been involved in formal education for such a long time (and at a significantly higher level than previous). Having now reflected on the skype chat, I feel more assured about what’s involved and required.

In terms of the chat itself, I think it came at a really good point in the course journey so far. Week 2 had felt a step up, and given some of the content was more difficult for me to contribute to when compared with the discussions in week 1.

I felt like we’d established strong early connections through the forums, but for me, this was the first time that there was a sense of a learning ‘community’. Perhaps this synchronous, fast-paced dialogue, through a platform like Skype, is an important element to establish those human connections, in a way that other platforms, such as forums cannot yet deliver. This format felt like an online version of a group face-to-face discussion (with many other distinct advantages), and I’m yet to consider what the stronger elements are at play here – am I finding comfort in a recognisable form of learning, or is just appealing to my human traits? Perhaps a bit of both.

Throughout the Skype session the example from week 1 – The disembodied student – was at the back of my mind. I’d built a dialogue with these people already, some of them more than others. How would the interactions change in this new format (especially given the pace of comment is more rapid)? Would I learn more about the other students I’d engaged with already and those that I’m yet to meet? Who is really at the end of the other computer (and do I really care)?

For my own reference, I wanted to document the practical aspects of what I feel made the session a success:

  • We already knew of each other, through our forum postings. Enough connection had been made (and enough common ground established), before putting the students in the increasingly involved environment.
  • Rory and Clara gave ample opportunity for chat participants to say hello to each other before getting stuck into the real purpose of the chat. Like the ‘ice-breaker’ in an instructor-led session, it knocked off some the edges and made us all more comfortable in offering our opinions.
  • I sensed that all the participants had been involved in chat environments like this before. In many ways, this is a pro and a con of the course. By the very nature of what we are studying, there’s shared knowledge we can apply in the very practicalities of how we are learning. However how transferable the format of a course such as this to those with less experience is one to unpick.
  • Using chat, rather than voice and/or webcam felt appropriate for the development of the group so far. Very well judged, and certainly reduces some of the apprehension some may have about the voice chat next week.
  • Having two chat hosts working in tandem added real value. WIthin such a big group it ensured the conversation could continue at a good pace and with a strong direction. Of course, and it goes without saying, that both hosts were obviously very experienced in the format and knowledgeable in the subject matter!
  • Rory had either prepared a list of questions to pose (and in a logical order), or he is particularly quick thinking. Either way being equipped to direct the conversation well is key.
  • Not every student was in the group. I’m looking forward to meeting others online already connected with on the next session next week!

Bravo on a well-designed learning experience!

The automated teaching assistant aka ‘teacherbot’

The developing potential in it was clear to see in Sian Bayne’s paper (Bayne S. (2015) Teacherbot: interventions in automated teaching. Teaching in Higher Education. 20(4):455-467) on the ‘teacherbot’ developed by a team at the University of Edinburgh, and used in an earlier MOOC.

The twitterbot examples we’d found as a collective were by their very nature designed for consumption by large audiences, and in most cases offered little interaction. They use the power of algorithms to source, rework and mix up varieties of content.

Given Twitter’s primary use as a platform for interaction, it was really intriguing to find how the teacherbot had been designed for use for a particular set of people (namely the MOOC participants) but also provided value in several ways.

It seemed like the bot offered some immediate efficiency gains, for example, automated reminders of assessment deadlines, based on keywords. But it seemed to me in the paper that one of Sian’s key arguments was that automation should not just be viewed as simply a way of gaining efficiencies. Indeed exploration in this field should be framed differently, to provide a wider field to test its potential.

So the real excitement comes from the examples of interaction between the teacherbot and MOOC student, even if it was “slightly ‘clunky’ and often rather wide-of-the-mark”. It seems in some cases it provoked useful reflection and discussion, which would add value to the student’s experience.

The paper did make me ponder on a few things: It’d be fascinating to see

  • It’d be fascinating to see teacherbot v2. Given its first iteration was understandably clunky at times, and that an algorithm/bot improves when it is receptive to feedback, it’d be useful to view how much interaction happens the second time around, and the value it brings to the student experience. Given subsequent ‘polishing’ of the teacherbot interactions, I wonder if it would become increasingly difficult to spot it as a bot. (Obviously, there are the ethical discussions to be had here about not raising awareness of this with students, but putting this to one side for now…).
  • Taking this further, and should bots become more commonplace with these environments, would students increase or decrease their interaction with the bot as a result, and ultimately would they even care if it was human or non-human? Is that relevant to the experience, and is this just a personal choice?
  • In some of the forum postings, there has been some discussion about the procurement of technology within education, and how this has in several instances been sold into the institution or organisation gain as an efficiency gain (primarily). The pedagogical advantages have been at times been a secondary consideration. Given the speed of development or development of any technology is often tied in with the adoption rate (more usage brings more development), should we think more pragmatically about this, and ensure that any technology we wish to bring into education has an efficiency element to appeal to certain stakeholders within the decision-making process?


Having come towards the end of week 2, it’s been interesting to see what twitterbots have been highlighted by the other course participants. Forgetting the bots that simply provide alerts on new events or information for now, it’s evident there’s a real richness in some of them.

My own particular favourite is @the_ephemerides. Harking back to the recommended blog reading on bots I’ve already touched on in a previous post, I think this twitter bot certainly is an excellent example of creating:

“something that is actually greater than the sum of its parts”.

Here’s an example:

The creator of the bot provided some useful background on the development of the bot:

“One of the affordances of generative text in general is satire and humor, and I have made my share of satirical and humorous (and borderline mean-spirited) bots. In making the Ephemerides, I was trying to expand my aesthetic range a little bit, to make something a bit more lyrical and evocative. The poetry is made by remixing two 19th-century texts, one on astrology and the other on oceanography, which combined have the feeling (or are intended to have the feeling) of otherworldly poems about the exotic icy landscapes of the solar system.”  (Source, 30 September 2017)

Having read through chapter 6 of Selwyn (Selwyn, N. (2011), Education and Technology: key issues and debates.), there’s a discussion about the art and science of teaching, and the role that technologies play within this. While not directly relevant, these discussions did get me thinking about the role of technology and ‘art’, particularly in light of these bots.

In my opinion, bots like these allow us to explore new areas beyond previous thresholds, simply due to the scale and reach technology like this allows. In the example above, technology has been already used to create the various pieces (camera’s/telescopes for the photos, and the pencil to record the written word), and now the technology is providing us with the opportunity to mesh these in weird and wonderful ways. If art is ultimately about “producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power” (Source, 30 September 2017) then surely this ticks the box?

Twitterbots – something more than just scale

I’ve got to admit, I’d always assumed twitterbots were just the platform’s version of spam. I’ve used twitter fairly regularly over the past 2-3 years so, while no expert, would assume I’m one of their more savvy users. Sure, I’d had the occasional tweet from a ‘bimbot’, but assumed bots were being used for little else.

So I was a little surprised to see this introduced in week 2 of the IDEL course, and it’s been a very pleasant surprise! Of course, having now read a little more about them, I sense the deep relevance in the discussion about technology and the role of ‘teacher’.

The recommend blog post provides a great introduction to twitterbots, and I was particularly struck by the description:

What these bots show is that the future of automation—whether of work, errands, or other routine tasks—is about the combination of human creativity and the raw processing power of machines.

And boy, when the balance is right it can be a beautiful thing. What could be suggested here is it combining technology with human creativity can help scale this – to reach a wider audience, have more impact, produce more, and even produce

“something that is actually greater than the sum of its parts”.

The ‘infinite monkey theorem came to mind when I read this. I wonder if technology has previously just been assumed as a way to scale (an industrial version of the monkeys), to aid efficiency and deliver increased permutations. Perhaps what we are now beginning to explore is something much deeper – how it can elevate our creative output to a higher level, and help us create something much bigger than ourselves. Ultimately our creative output is the centrepiece, but technology can help us mould this is new and exciting ways.

I’m looking forward to spending more time this week looking into twitterbots, and how they can help us in learning and education. My favourite so far? The ‘here’s your reminder’ bot, simply because I think it has very sarcastic overtones…

Algorithms in learning

I was lucky enough to listen to a talk from Chris Littlewood from Filtered in Manchester recently. His business is exploring algorithms as a way of providing a scalable solution to the idea of content creation.

Ben Betts, from HT2 labs, suggested at the same event that a transition may be taking place within L&D functions – moving away from the creation of elearning content, to simply curating the best of what’s already out there.

The technology that Chris’ team are developing takes this one step further – so rather than a person deciding what is relevant and scouring the web for the best content (and by ‘best’ I mean most likely to add value), algorithms are used to scale this up, gain feedback from students on the choices made, and use this to improve the algorithm itself.

With algorithms and technology helping education and learning become more ‘intelligent’, it feels like we could be on the cusp of something really exciting.

Week 1 takeaways

So week 1 is already over! Wow that went quick. The case studies on ‘constructing community’ have provoked some real food for thought, particularly given the polarised situations in the examples.

A few key points and thoughts from the first week:

  • Whether the student environment is online or offline, the complexity of community doesn’t really change. It may be different in format, and with different challenges, but ultimately all individuals within a community are unique with their own needs, personalities and capabilities. In short, ‘digital’ doesn’t seem to dumb things down, or make it more straightforward. Instead it may heighten certain issues (e.g. the feeling of being swamped), reduce others (e.g. physical impairment, and unconscious bias towards this), and bring new challenges to the table (e.g. increased diversity of nationalities could bring cultural clashes to the fore)
  • Tutors or leaders within a community have a tough balance to strike! Be too interventionist and the community could lose some of its as yet unexplored potential, – the value be ‘throttled’. Keep things too unregulated and focus could be lost, and the community could become a real turn-off for some.
  • How someone designs an online learning environment has a major bearing on the nature of the community within it. It seemed to me that in several of the examples, the structure of the course influenced a student’s reaction and ability to ‘learn’ from it. Perhaps in the past I’ve underestimated this. However, I also think that building community is not something that can be overtly designed (see my first point about the complexities of individuals). Perhaps it is also about ongoing refinement, and being observant of any improvements that could be made from one iteration to the next.
  • Digital literacy is likely to play a part in the participation levels within a community. It seemed to me that in some of the examples, some of the causes of the challenges could be placed with the individual, rather than the learning experience itself. Again the tutor has a tough job to identify these and support when it makes sense to do so, particularly when in an online environment it may be more difficult to spot those struggling (they may just go quiet) than compared with the more traditional classroom. And how do we avoid losing their contribution in the community discussions?

And finally, one rather pertinent point:

  • There is a huge amount of value to gain from a community within a learning experience! May sound like a rather odd thing to be explicit on, but I’d previously mentioned that ‘community’ has not been a common element in many of the online learning experiences I’d had (or created – for a variety of reasons). I’ve been massively impressed (but not surprised by this!) by the other individuals in the groups and really benefitted from their expertise and opinions. Being able to see the group interact with each other, and challenge each other (it’d be great to see more of this though), really enhances your own thinking, rather than relying on one source of expertise or content. It’s going to be interesting to see how the community develops over the next few weeks, particularly when initial novelty value and enthusiasm may wane?

Feeling swamped – MOOC perspectives

We’ve been posed some very interesting scenarios this week on the topic of ‘constructing community’, and it’s been fascinating to read the different takes from fellow students on these on the forums.

I was particularly intrigued by some of the points raised about the sense of feeling ‘swamped’ in a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) environment, and thought it would be worthwhile diving into this a little deeper.

In the example provided, there seemed to a variety of factors contributing to this feeling:

  • the sheer volume of students on the course
  • the volume of content created by the students on the course
  • engaging with content outside of the main environment (e.g. additional reading)

It got me thinking about the nature of MOOCs, and strategies that could be put in place to help manage these challenges.

(Before looking at this, I think it’s important to note from the outset that this could be seen as a ‘nice’ problem to have! The fact that the MOOC has attracted successfully attracted thousands of students obviously taps into a subject that people are keen to develop their understanding in!).


Although the example doesn’t give details, I’ve found several MOOCs I’ve participated in to use ‘engagement’ as a metric, or contributor of success.

The majority of MOOCs I’ve come across have primarily been a) free of charge and b) require no prior knowledge or experience. While this is one of the fantastic aspects of MOOCs – being able to provide a learning experience for anyone, anywhere. But this could be a double-edged sword, with a bigger and more diverse audience, perhaps that sense of community and connection is more difficult to bring together, simply because there may be more that makes people different, than similar.

Therefore it’s difficult to base success of a MOOC simply based on an end assessment. Given a person could potentially complete an assessment without actually touching the course content or interacting with other users, how to do you evaluate success this way?

(And given many MOOCs are used as a brand awareness activity by universities, and could be considered a ‘marketing’ activity, engagement (however this is defined) is probably a better metric internally within an institution).

Given engagement is a key driver then, perhaps it creates an onus on students to contribute, even if it offers little value (to themselves, or the other students). As the example itself states:

“What was the point of adding another blog post when there were so many floating around already?”

Perhaps then a strategy for the course designers is to think carefully about the metrics related to the course, both from an academic, student and institutional perspective. As ultimately what may be quite subtle measurements could extrapolate to fairly profound impact on the overall course experience. (I think of Ken Robinson’s quote here, “If you design a system to do something specific, don’t be surprised if it does it”.)

Group size

I wonder if there was a way the course tutors on the MOOC in the example could have split the group size into smaller cohorts. It seems there has been plenty of discussion over ideal group sizes within MOOCs elsewhere, with understandably little agreement (given the nature of MOOCs are quite diverse).

One interesting question to pose is how to create cohorts, and what to base the cohort decision on. Registration date is the obvious one, simply batching them based on chronological enrolment. But could geographic location but one option, and perhaps levels of engagement itself? Ultimately this would need some consideration and piloting to make the MOOC experience for students more enjoyable, without losing any of the diversity and breadth of opinion that could occur outside of the student’s specific cohort.

Managing expectations

On further reflection, I wonder if the feelings expressed by the MOOC student were representative of the wider group. It strikes me that this student could be trying to view everything created by the course and its students, which in this scenario seems unrealistic.

Hajira Khan, a fellow student on this IDEL course, suggested moderators have a key part to play in this process too:

“The tutor for the course should be an active moderator so that discussions are moderated and are kept relevant and concise.”

That role of tutor could be key to keeping the discussion on track, but also managed what is expected.

The feelings are obviously genuine and not to be dismissed, but changes should be considered for future MOOCs in line with wider feedback too, this student’s experience could be an outlier.

One consideration for tutors is to ensure there is the facility to capture feedback like this early on, and where possible have the flexibility to adapt the MOOC where possible to get it back on track.

Slightly off-piste I know, but I also wondered if that feeling of being swamped had been cited as one of the reasons for the notorious MOOC drop-off rates that occur. After looking at several sources, it isn’t named explicity (although it could contribute to the wider tag of ‘bad experience’).

Daniel Onah, of Warwick University, discusses the following contributors to MOOC drop-off rates here:

  • No real intention to complete
  • Lack of time
  • Course difficulty and lack of support
  • Lack of digital skills or learning skills
  • Bad experiences
  • Expectations
  • Starting late
  • Peer review

So while feeling swamped could be a contributor, it seems the reasons for drop-off could be quite wide-ranging!

Constructing community and the workplace

Week 1 on the IDEL course is all about ‘constructing community’. Naturally the discussions around this will help us forge our own community as part of the course. This is one of the key reasons why I embarked on the MSc, it’s very much ‘learning by doing’.

I think one of the key things to keep on top of during the next few weeks and months is to maintain that ‘helicopter view’, and to consider the course design that has been put in place throughout. I see a huge amount of value in making notes throughout on the course experience, and how the tutors have facilitated it.

Although I’m part of communities both online and ‘in the real world’ (if that exists anymore), surprisingly it’s not something I’ve come across a lot within online learning environments. With the employers and clients I’ve worked with in the past, elearning has been very much served up as asynchronous elearning content, largely based on knowledge transfer. And the end goal has always been certification – the course has very much been a shortcut to an outcome.

The motivator on the MSC is intrinsic – we’re learning because we want to – and the differences in motivation perhaps give more flexibility to the delivery format, and the encouragement to read outside the course itself.

Even after a week on IDEL, I can see the benefits of a richer, less controlled experience, and one that is facilitated, rather than simply using the online equivalent of a ‘lecturer’. How this could work in a commercial world, and for some of the partners we work with is something for me to extrapolate. Ultimately there’s product, administrative and operational factors at play to consider – but one worth thinking on further.

One of the reasons I’ve found that companies shy away from using communities within their learning environments has been the perceived lack of control. The irony is that the conversations that are happening online may be happening anyway, over the ‘watercooler’ as our American friends say. This comes back to the cultural dynamics at play within an organisation, and probably the role (and importance) of the L&D function within that organisation.

I’m sure we’ll be discussing Charles Jennings’ 70:20:10 theory at some stage during the course. But it seems to me that fostering that sense of community, as we are doing now on the MSc, is crucial to maximising the potential in the peer-to-peer learning.

Week 0 – quick thoughts

I imagine it’s a rarity to have a blog post summarises key thoughts when the course hasn’t actually started, but best to start as I mean to go on…

  • There’s an awful lot of learning environments, both within the Uni of Edinburgh circles and outside of this (e.g. Minecraft) that are going to be used over the course. Initially this feels a little overwhelming, but like most things once you get over the early hump the whole thing starts to come together. I like this – most other online courses have been done within a single environment. While this makes the course more ringfenced and easier to navigate, this is actually a downfall – they don’t encourage or promote wider thinking or learning. Daunting initially, but now I’m coming to grips with it I’m getting more and comfortable.
  • The forum discussions are going to be great! I’ve been one of the more active users over the past couple of days (most people probably don’t have the luxury of having their close family currently staying with the in-laws overseas), but some of the posts are very thoughtful, and provocative. I’m going to gain heaps of insights from the other students.
  • I’ve learnt several new words – ‘performativity’ being the best of the bunch.
  • Having had a skim through the recommended reading by Selwyn, it seems the adoption and impact of digital technologies within teaching circles is very complex, with lots of factors at play. Many of the more pertinent ones seem to be related to the institutional backdrop within a teaching role, and as someone fairly alien to this world, it’s quite the eye opener.
  • While I’m still concerned about the time pressures of the course on home and worklife, my enthusiasm is really high. We’ll see how long that lasts once reality kicks in. I think a key aspect to maintaining momentum will be to schedule some time in every day to stay on top of things and contribute, whilst also committing to regular posts like this.

Deep breath…. Week 1 is nigh!

“The ledger”

So we aren’t even at week 1 of the IDEL course, and the University of Edinburgh team are already serving up some real food for thought.

We were given some links to video content to peruse – I’m guessing as a way of getting the juices flowing and priming us for some of the content we’re likely to be discussing.

One in particular peaked my interest – ‘Learning is Earning 2026 by the Institute for the Future (IFTF)’.

It’s a video produced by the Institute for the Future. I’ve never come across them before, but am really glad to have done so. As an organisation it seems to me that they speculate on what the future could look like, by combining several recent developments or trends. In this example they’re exploring a combination of block-chaining, digital credentials and a flat, non-hierarchical form of learning from your peers.

It’s already got the cogs whirring, but some initial thoughts came to mind:

  • The digital credentials mooted in the video are not something for the future, indeed they are already here. From recent conversations I’ve had with my own clients, this is starting to trickle into the mainstream. Whereas in the past they’ve seen quite abstract (I always felt Mozilla’s backpack was a great initiative but had some flaws), we’re starting to see commercial competitors, such as credly and accredible come to the fore. I see great potential in the digitisation of credentials, especially when it comes to providing granular information around the ‘achievement’, real scale (from quick wins to full degrees), and also providing rigour around the attainment of the credential.
  • I’ve also previously come across xAPI, which is using of technology to capture ‘learning moments’ outside of any formal programme and recognising these. Again this is a theme raised in the video. It’s already a tangible form, but it’s still in it’s infancy.

(Both points remind me of a quote by writer William Gibson – “The future has arrived — it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” source)

Some other thoughts came to mind:

  • I’m really intrigued by the concept of peer-to-peer teaching – and particularly how this can be tied into a form of digital credential. Is a digital credential only of value if it comes from a ‘reputable’ source, and the output of the learning can be assessed and qualified? I’m sure this is an area we’ll be digging into over the next few weeks.
  • Following on from this, the video raises the incentivisation of peer-to-peer learning through digital credentials (although it doesn’t have to be limited to this). This could be a direction that commoditises, and ultimately weakens the value of the credentials, so if I was the CEO of ‘Ledger LTD’, I’d be wary of the approach to this.
  • It strikes me that using ‘ledgers’ as a basis for granting work, as described by the HR director, can empower hirers to make better decisions. But unless I’m missing something, it should be used in conjunction with the more traditional methods of hiring, to assess overall culture fit and motivations. But this is probably a subject for another time!

Now, back to that list of videos…