Bookmarked Learning Science: The Problem With Data, And How You Can Measure Anything (Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog)

The qualitative to quantitative switch means that you can measure anything; how you feel about breakfast, the weight of your shoes, or the validity of democracy. But it does not mean that the scale of measurement you choose, or the mechanism of measurement, is valid. So measure anything, but do it with care. And be both wary and careful of the measurements that people give you to prove a point. Especially when they are charging you for it.

Julian Stodd provides a useful introduction to quantitative and qualitative data. It is interesting to think about measurement alongside Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Black Swans:

Now, there are other themes arising from our blindness to the Black Swan: We focus on preselected segments of the seen and generalize from it to the unseen: the error of confirmation. We fool ourselves with stories that cater to our Platonic thirst for distinct patterns: the narrative fallacy. We behave as if the Black Swan does not exist: human nature is not programmed for Black Swans. What we see is not necessarily all that is there. History hides Black Swans from us and gives us a mistaken idea about the odds of these events: this is the distortion of silent evidence. We “tunnel”: that is, we focus on a few well-defined sources of uncertainty, on too specific a list of Black Swans.(Page 49)

Another book on the topic of measurement and education is Counting What Counts.

Bookmarked The Price of Gratitude (Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog)

Gratitude is cheap, yet priceless. See where you can spend yours.

Julian Stodd discusses the free act of gratitude. This is something so often overlooked. Stodd’s discussion of ‘cheap, but priceless’ reminds me of Steve Wheeler’s discussion of sharing knowledge and ideas:

Giving away ideas and knowledge is a bit like love, as told in the story of Jesus and the feeding of the 5000. You can share it around as much as you like, but you still get to keep it, and there is always plenty left over.


Part of Social Leadership is not having the answers, but creating the space, and respecting those who do.

Liked The Social Learning Guidebook: A Free Resource (Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog)

You can download my new Guidebook on Social Learning here. It’s intended to form a concise, practical, guide for practitioners who are trying to transform learning, through more social and collaborative approaches. It builds upon work i’ve shared previously, both in long form books (‘Julian Stodd’s Learning Methodology’, ‘Welcome to the world of Social Learning’, ‘Learning Technology’, and so on), as well as numerous articles on the blog (including this is key ‘Introduction to Scaffolded Social Learning‘).

Liked On Reading (Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog)

Reading is the process of gently breaking yourself: eroding dogma, undermining opinion, fracturing certainty. It’s a continual process of renewal: evaluating the things that we are sure are true, against new evidence that our certainty maybe unfounded, leaving us with the choice of growth, or stagnation. It’s an aggregated activity: we may not read one page that changes us, but the pages, in aggregate, change us immeasurably. If we are open to the opportunity.

Bookmarked 12 Modes of Failure by Julian Stodd (Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog)

Organisations fail for a broad range of reasons, but rarely for no reason at all. I found myself thinking about a taxonomy of failure: unless we deem failure to be the action of idiots and fools, we must be open to the idea that we too may fail. Paralysed or deceived by the same forces that have levelled so many other seemingly unassailable entities. So understanding modes of failure could prove to be a useful exercise in both innovation, and change: to provide the impetus to start, and the insight to succeed.

Julian Stodd attempts to identify different reasons failure may occur. This is list is a useful provocation when thinking about where something may have gone wrong and what the next iteration may be.
Bookmarked Citizen of Apple, State of Lego (Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog)

Imagine a future state, one of multiple citizenships, so i can be a Citizen of the UK, a Citizen of Apple, and a Citizen of Lego, not traversing physical borders to move from one to the other, but rather conceptual, or internalised ones. Each providing real utility, it’s own type of ‘space’, and each giving us it’s own component of culture. Perhaps in this model, ‘Culture’ becomes a meta entity that we each construct, through a combination of our geolocation within space, and our subscriptions online.

Julian Stodd explores the evolving idea of ‘citizenship’. Whereas it was defined by geography and culture in the past, Stodd wonders if in the future it will be subscription based. Rather than depending on the state and taxes to provide societies infrastructures, we now rely on the various multi-national platforms, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google. This reminds me of the conversation that was had recently around being a citizen of the #IndieWeb. If states lose their sway, I wonder if this upon up other alternatives? This is something Aral Balkan touches upon. I also wonder what this means for rituals?