Archive for June, 2009

90625 System Design – Arcology Meme

June 25, 2009

To incubate – here are some ideas on Arcosanti the prototyping operation and the educational Cosanti Foundation and the philosophy “Arcology,” architecture coherent with ecology.

I did not come up with better examples of Visionary leader and organization and how they remained effective after the leader moved on.  Within the military, business, educations and governance organizations the visionary leader and his perturbation his disruptive innovation adopted, matured and then becomes integrated into the system.

Outside of these systems, organizations like Arcosanti exist to change the meme’s of a culture, both the words used and word views our minds use to make decisions.

The use of “ecology” is spreading fast from nature surrounding humans to other systems the surround and influence human activities. Current education research is addressed within the 5 major ecologies of the teacher-student to the meta-ecology that delivers the effects of the state on the human learning process. Consider redefining the word Arcology to mean the design of any aspect of the physical world to effect human tasks and well-being.

Design (I took my PhD in this area) effects every change we me make in our physical world. Very little of it addresses the entire system but just focuses on a change is a small segment.

Arcology could capture the high ground as a word that leads to much more systems design which in turn leads to needed transformations need not just incremental revisions.

Take Paolo Soleri’s vision for cities and urban design into an all encompassing vision for any system design that addresses the most major and far reaching physical and virtual issues of the 21st human race.

Innovation always, and I mean always, originates from an individual with a small group that some how cuts through the noise of society, and takes it’s disruptive innovation into the main stream of the culture.

Want an example, take Kinsey. His professor told him develop strong academic credibility with wasp research before he took on human sex. Arcology has this strong credibility in a niche area. It is time to take on the next level of responsibility, bring the concept of system design to the decision makers and masses.

The redesign the organization, to have the magnificent physical place of Arcosanti as the foundation for a system design in the virtual place. Then use (TED, YouTube, Wikipedia, Web, social networking,  Virtual Schools,…) to roll out to a global audience the meme of systems design.

Ted experience note: In my 20 years of hammering on eLearning systems design, the Arcology solution has not been accepted as the most promising way to address large issues like education. The incremental legacy education innovations continue unabated. The meme’s of the world must be changed to ready embrace system design (Arcology) as the only way to address the huge challenges the world faces.

Model: The Santa Fe Institute that brought (attempted to bring) complexity systems analysis to the world might be a starting model. But any effective model will have a meta-systems design of its own to determine how it can change the memes of 6 billion going on 9 billion people into becoming 21st century thinkers and doers.

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90603 Bloom! Gange! Next?

June 20, 2009

In 1956 Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives based on research for legacy education was published. In 1965 Robert Gange’s Conditions of Learning for instructional design was based on research for air force training.

These two taxonomies have had significant influence on the development of current education and training curriculum for the past 40 years. They are both based within formal learning situations.

Let’s assume eLearning is defined as any learning supported by digital means. The systems application of eLearning supports learning which is interactive; individualize; self paced; real time formative assessment coaching; high teacher-student and collaborative learner interaction; and student competency based.

Metadata studies indicate than eLearning systems adoption within legacy education will deliver a significant increase in academic performance and graduation rates. Informal eLearning increases access, effectiveness, efficiency and range of individual learning over their life span.

I believe that the eLearning transformation of legacy education and training is at its tripping point. It is time for a high level and widely accepted taxonomy to guide eLearning system invention, innovation and adoption.

An eLearning systems design can be described as an integrated set of components focused on the teacher-student nexus and supported by an intellectual and physical ecosystem. Major components are: eLearning savvy teacher, digital curriculum, formative assessment, student learning interface, ecosystem access, and technical support. The supporting ecosystem delivers educator professional development, education and mentors; data driven decision support system; broadband internet/web/communications access; and rules and funding to support competency based learning.

One aspect must be very clear; the taxonomy must not be a technology focus. Book-learning and flying-machine dominated the lexicon of early education and aviation. The words computers and technology have skewed the understanding of eLearning for many years. The taxonomy must address human learning process within the eLearning system.

How do we bring a Bloom or Gange taxonomy to eLearning? Is it expressed as an ecological system, a list of categories, or set of imperatives? Should the designer(s) of this taxonomy be an educational academic researcher, a practitioner, or from outside the education industry?

What ever we do, let’s start now. Time’s a wasting.