Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Isn't it time we stopped playing the generation game?

I have just downloaded Stephen Downes's PowerPoint presentation and mp3 file from his talk at CAUCE, and started listening to the mp3, while flicking through the slides, but something has so taken hold of me that I have had to stop and get this off my chest.

The theme of the CAUCE conference was: Through the eyes of our students: looking forward. The point at which I had to hit pause and come and write this post was when Stephen was talking about the different perceptions of learners and teachers, indicating that they belonged to two different generations. I just can't get comfortable with that. It itches. It is out of keeping with what we keep saying about lifelong learning, about all of us being learners... all the time, about ubiquitous learning. I can accept that in compulsory education, students are (usually) younger than the teachers - although in many countries (including my own) this is cetainly not always the case. However, in post compulsory education, there are many young teachers and even more mature students (I am hoping to become one of the latter, myself - again - in September this year).

Okay, okay, I know that the vast majority of the learners in further/higher education facilities will be younger than the staff, and I accept that CAUCE is about university education. But it is also about continuing university education, and to start from this generational assumption, as if this represents the only norm is to sharpen another line that should be past its sell-by date (see my post on industry and school - the other line that I reckon should be blurring).

I spent 17 years teaching. For most of those years my learners were older than I was, sometimes double my age and more. Only in the last three years did the balance began to shift, and even then I was seldom the oldest person in the room. So where did I go to teach these "senior citizens"? For the most part, I went to where they worked. But for two years, I worked in an outreach centre at a FE college, teaching IT skills to anyone who wanted to learn for a nominal cost - that was where I encountered the oldest of my learners, a few of them in their 80s, while one of the tutors was just 19. I could bore you silly with heartwarming stories from those two years.

By constantly plumping for the generalisation that learners are young, connected digital natives and teachers are older digital immigrants, we are contradicting our own message. Just as by separating institutional education from work-based learning, we are polarising the very community we are seeking to unite. And if we, as learning professionals and professional learners reinforce these nominal boundaries, we're in danger of falling victim to friendly fire.

End of soapbox moment.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Industry and school

George's white paper seems to have generated a lot of talk. The thing that worries me a little is that there seem to be two different responses. Those of us involved in work-based learning seem to be making one set of assumptions, while those involved in the education sector seem to be making another, and of course this informs our responses. I guess it's a paradigm thing (how come that word keeps coming up these days?). I can accept that there must be some difference between the compulsory and post-compulsory phases of the learning life, but I would expect that the line between post-compulsory learning in formal/higher learning institutions and the workplace would become ever more blurred. Not necessarily in terms of content, although that is also a possibility, but particularly in terms of delivery of material and access to knowledge.

Recently I heard mention on a BBC news broadcast that a university professor had begun to use podcasts for his lectures. My initial (most uncharitable) response was a very sarcastic, "Whoop-de-do! Welcome to 21st century, mate!". Fortunately, I was alone in my car, and no-one heard me. Except I've now just gone and blown my cover, haven't I? Anyway, after a few moments' reflection I thought, actually, if it gets people thinking about alternative delivery methods, I'm in favour.

Because the audience at further/higher learning institutions will increasingly tend to comprise digital natives and because of the scope for collaborated projects in these environments, I would almost look to these (traditionally formal) institutions to get learners into the habit of social media, so that when they move into my realm, it's already a given. Perhaps I'm just looking for the easy life :-)

I think Jay Cross captures my situation neatly with this paragraph taken from a post about unworkshops:

The work environment has changed. Networks promote teamwork and two-way relationships with customers and suppliers. The internet makes communication instantaneous and information available to all. The world of work is adopting internet values and practices — collaboration, authenticity, transparency, always on, loosely coupled, experimental, and often, too much information. Work itself has changed. Everyone's work is knowledge work. Personal judgment is replacing company rules. Workers are challenged to make their own decisions, on the fly. And no one has time for workshops and courses.
There are, of course, things that are always likely to be taught by means of workshops, even if those workshops have to go virtual to make that viable (mind you, does a real time workshop still get called virtual just because it happens via webcam?). But I find that I have to keep the last three sentences of that quote in the forefront of my mind as I design learning these days.
I also find that my learning material is beginning to look more like a knowledge portal, which brings us back to "Everyone's work is knowledge work."

Friday, May 26, 2006

George Siemens's White Paper: Learning in Synch with Life

I have come across several pointers to this (via blogs, phone calls and email) white paper from George Siemens for the Google 2006 Training Summit, among them Mark Berthelemy and Stephen Downes (I'm sure there were others, but I can't remember them all - sorry). Reading through it, there were several moments when I wanted to stand up and cheer.

So much of what George is referring to is relevant to projects on my plate at work, right here, right now. There's huge emphasis (as you would expect from George) on connectivism, networks and social media. I kept feeling like I wanted to say, "This is what I'm talking about!" If I were to extract what I found most helpful, there would be so little of the paper left, it wouldn't be worth the effort, so I'll settle for just this one quote:

A learning model is required that is reflective of the challenges and opportunities facing learners now.
What I particularly like about George's work is that I know he's not a pure theorist. This is a man with a direct accountability to a group of learners and to an institutional hierarchy in his day job. He is daily engaged with the process of getting people to see that he's not actually trying to make water flow uphill: the water is flowing quite happily downhill, now get in the flippin' boat!

That said, this paper lays out the theory. Now it is time to put it into practice. This is the part that's not so easy. Balancing a client's perception of their own requirements with the changing state of knowledge and learning from our perspective is very tricky. George mentions the reluctance of organisations to set aside the real-life-on-hold approach to learning and buy into this approach of learning that is in synch with life - an integral part of the day job... and the rest. Learners (and I hope I count us all in that group) are getting on with the business of this type of learning - organisations need to find way so to facilitate, support and augment that.

So now we know what we should be doing, we know why we should be doing it, we know when we should be doing it (now). The next step is the how. How are we going to persuade (s)he-who-signs-the-cheque to let us get on and do it? (To be fair, I know that's my problem, not George's, but I just had to vent for a moment.)

Freedom of blog-speech?

This post on freedom of speech in the Chicago Herald News via Stephen Downes. Although this instance revolves around a school pupil, the issue has wider significance for those of us with non-corporate blogs. The minefield of drawing up company policies in respect of blogging is illustrated here. Where does freedom of speech end and the employee's contractual duty not to bring the employing company into disrepute begin? Does the employing company have the right to fire someone for bad-mouthing the company at a private party? In a pub? Is a blog governed by different rules? Is the issue the size of the audience? The potential for the slight to be picked up by the press or a competitor? It's a tricky one and I suspect there will be a few precedent setting cases along the way. Sadly, this young man is caught in the middle of one such situation.

Calvin and Hobbes (again) rewarding achievement

When this cartoon landed in my Bloglines today, my mind went zooming off in a million different directions, thinking of all the metaphors I could use and how I could relate it to learning and teaching. But you know what? I don't think I need to explain - the cartoon says it all, and you're smart enough to come up with your own clever metaphors and parallels.

It's getting to the point where I might as well just put in a daily link to Calvin and Hobbes. Perhaps I could do a dissertation on the Calvin and Hobbes philosophy of teaching and learning :-)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Calvin and Hobbes getting close to home

Today's cartoon raises a wry smile!

Jay Cross on Informal Learning

This link via Stephen Downes. Jay argues the case for informal learning in his inimitable fashion. My favourite quote from the post is:

Training is something that’s pushed on you; learning is something you choose. Many a knowledge worker will tell you, “I love to learn but I hate to be trained.” Knowledge workers thrive when given the freedom to decide how they will do what they’re asked to do. They rise or fall to meet expectations.
One of the factors that is impacting the way I approach learning design nowadays is summed up in Jay's observation that:
Google is the world’s largest learning provider, answering thousands of inquires every second.
If I can harness that sort of immediacy of learner-driven access to learning within the materials...

The Disruption of Social Media

I read Jackie Danicki's post on the VNU Blogs and Social Media Forum (via Mark Berthelemy) and this paragraph jumped up and smacked me in the face:

Someone (I didn’t note who) quotes Hugh MacLeod saying that no company should get into social media if they don’t actually welcome disruption.
We (bloggers) have said it in so many different ways: this is very likely a driving force behind initiatives like DOPA. It's the disruption in the classroom that is unwelcome.

A teacher friend recently told me that the computers in the ICT classroom at his school have had their Internet access barred, because the teachers couldn't control what the kids were up to. Sites like MySpace and MSN (instant messaging) were being hit almost constantly during school hours. I fully acknowledge that this is a problem, but the path they (and DOPA, and NASUWT) are choosing is not the answer.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Delivering Computerized Assessments Safely and Securely

Via Trainingzone I downloaded a white paper from Questionmark with this title, authored by Eric Shepherd, John Kleeman, Joan Phaup, Kay Fair, Martin Belton. I found this paragraph significant:

Over-engineering low-stakes assessments can result in unnecessary costs and wasted time. Under-engineering high-stakes assessments can undermine people's confidence, organization's processes, and undermine the face validity of the assessment.
The paper distinguishes between formative, summative and diagnostic assessments, defines four different assessment types (exam, quiz, survey and test) and categorises the consequences of passing, failing or completing each of these respectively. Delivery considerations are listed in relation to each of the four types.

Different types of assessment environments are considered. In the spirit of the subject matter it seems, symbols are allocated to the different environments to indicate their suitability for delivery of the four assessment types. For example, professionally controlled centres score an A+ for very high-stakes exams, but a lowly F for quizzes and surveys, while the best overall scores seem to belong to training rooms, with scores ranging from a B- for very high-stakes exams to and A for surveys and tests.

Attention is given to the creation of the right environment and the deployment of software to ensure security, touching on authoring, communication, scheduling, monitoring and browsers.

I found some of the terminology a bit odd ("reduce forgetting" as opposed to the more positive "improve retention"), but that might simply be my own pedantry rearing its head, and the section numbering is inconsistently applied, but it makes for interesting reading.

Some years ago, I worked at a college that offered the City & Guilds IT courses. These courses all culminated in an exam with a very rigorous marking system from which the tutors were not permitted to deviate. A pass or fail meant the difference between receiving or not receiving the coveted certificate. It was heart-rending to have to fail a learner who had eveidently grasped the concepts, but whose single error happened to have been one of the mandatory points, while passing another whose multiple errors were on non-mandatory points and fell within the permitted quota (it was also very difficult to try to explain this to learners in the former category!).

During my time there, the e-Quals were due to have been introduced, with some form of online assessment replacing the traditional hard copy exam papers. However, there must have been some complications associated with this process, since the e-Qual failed to land (apologies Jack Higgins!) during my time there. I have no idea whether this transition has now taken place and if so, how successful a step it proved to be.

Nowadays my involvement with assessment tends to be restricted to quizzes and surveys, so I do not feel qualified to judge the accuracy or usefulness of the content of the white paper. I would be interested to hear the views of those who are closer to the coalface.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Tell us what we want!

Is this the marketing world's take on we don't know what we don't know? Some years ago, I was working at a college and one of my "silver surfer" learners was looking to buy his first computer at the age of 60+, but had no idea what to ask for or how to select the most suitable product. Knowing that a salesperson on commission can smell ignorance a mile away, he was understandably intimidated by the whole prospect!

Perhaps there's a market niche for tech-savvy folks of intimidating appearance to hire themselves out as shopping escorts for people in this situation !-)

Wisdom of crowds

Yesterday, I attended a team development session that focused on group decision making, drawn in part from James Suriowiecki's book "Wisdom of Crowds". In case any of my team who didn't attend are interested, here is a synopsis of what it was about, as well as my own reflections:

Philosophers such as Nietzsche and Thoreau contended that, while individuals may be wise, crowds/groups were not. Surowiecki's book challenges this view and cites research by Belbin and Galton that evidences that group judgements, when aggregated, tend to be wiser or closer to the truth than those of individual experts, without there being a need to start with a particularly smart or well-informed group. The example of "ask the audience" in the TV quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire was cited - apparently, over the history of the show, this option has generated more correct answers than the option to "phone a friend" who may be expert in the subject.

Types of crowd wisdom cited were:
Cognition: pertaining to market judgement
Co-ordination: pertaining to behaviour patterns
Co-operation: pertaining to the voluntary suspension of self-interest and/or distrust to form a network

Examples of causes failed crowd intelligence:
Too centralised: Columbia shuttle disaster blamed on the overly hierarchical structure of NASA
Too divided: failure to prevent 9/11 blamed on lack of cohesion between intelligence analysts
Too imitative: the information cascade, resulting in the "everyone's doing it" mentality
Groupthink: a situation where each member of a group deliberately conforms to what appears to be popular consensus. The Bay of Pigs debacle was blamed on this phenomenon in the team of decision makers

We covered some of the experiments that have been conducted to explore things like groupthink, conformity and obedience:
Asch's conformity experiments which investigated the extent to which individuals could be influenced to make a patently incorrect statement so as not to disagree with the majority.
Stanley Milgrim's obedience to authority experiments which investigated what he believed to a be a peculiarly German trait to carry out acts of atrocity in obedience to instruction (he obviously hadn't heard of the Zulu half brothers Shaka and Dingane). To his surprise (and mine), apparently 65% of us are likely to administer a potentially lethal electric shock to a complete stranger on the instruction of an authority figure. Regardless of nationality. I can't help wondering what the long term impact was of this realisation on the naive subjects of this experiment!

The elements required for a wise crowd were identified as:

  • diversity of opinion
  • independence
  • decentralisation
  • aggregation
In order to be able to be an indepent individual in a wise crowd, Surowiecki's recommendation is:
  • keep ties loose
  • expose yourself to as much information as possible

Some recommeded reading to come out of the session:
Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgrim
The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker
An Intimate History of Humanity by Theodore Zeldin

My reflections
I found the workshop interesting and informative. I do not consider myself sufficiently expert in the subject matter to take issue with most of the allegations or findings, but I did have one major reservation. I was concerned about the use of the terms "crowd" and "group" interchangeably. I consider them very different phenomena and subject to very different psychological influences. To me, a group would be something like the electorate, motorcyclists or television viewers - a disparate collection of individuals loosely connected by a common interest or purpose (my own definition that probably needs work!). A crowd, on the other hand would be an audience, a rally or a congregation - all simultaneously subjected to a set of circumstances. I strongly believe that this is an important distinction that will have enormous bearing on collective behaviour, although the workshop presenter did not agree with me.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Learning objects

The conversation on the beginning of the end of the learning object is gathering momentum. Albert Ip (via Stephen Downes's OLDaily) and Michael Feldstein have both posted on it recently. As a learning designer, I'm still trying to decide how I would get by without them, but I'm willing to be taught. I can see that this is going to exercise me for a while.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Education in Italy

Time recently published an article about the disaffected Italian under 40's, which includes the paragraph:

Today's Italy is defined by stories like that of Vincenza Lasala. At 32, four years after graduating with honors in mechanical engineering, she is living with her parents in the same house where she grew up. She has sent more than 200 résumés to large corporations and small companies around the country, but all she has managed to secure are a handful of part-time stints, unpaid internships and training programs. From her home in the sleepy southern town of Avellino, near Naples, a frustrated Lasala speaks for much of Italy's younger generation: "Without a job, my parents are basically still in charge of my life. After all my studying, I don't see the fruits of my effort. Right now, I can't even envision my future."
I read the article and felt all the things a sensitive person feels in response to this sort of news, but I didn't think it had much to do with me. I live in a different country, my political insight is limited at best - the whole situation seemed remote somehow.

Then, yesterday, I picked up (somewhat belatedly) the Time magazine of 8 May and read a letter that brought it oh, so much closer to home and into a realm I could get a handle on. The letter comes from Giulio Cicconi in Teramo, Italy:
While you cited cultural, social and economic reasons that young, educated Italians under 40 still live with their parents, you failed to mention the outdated and inadequate teaching system. Since education doesn't focus on practical, market-orientated subjects, Italy's potential workforce is full of talented and educated youths who are inexperienced and struggle to find their place in the labor market. A first-class degree doesn't help when you are faced with high rent, a housing crisis and double-digit unemployment.
This is ageism at the opposite end of the spectrum than is experienced in the UK, and Cicconi has pigeonholed a possible reason for the problem: irrelevant education. And is the need for relevance in learning not the song we learning-geeks sing long, loud and repetitively to whomsoever will listen?

Even if I knew how to remodel the Italian education system (which I don't pretend to), I wouldn't know how to begin gaining the ear of the national education department. But maybe, just maybe, the noise we make on the blogosphere will reach the ears of someone who does know how and can make a difference.

Time's 100 most influential people of 2006

I'm a bit late with this one, but I didn't get to see the publication until yesterday. Time published a special edition for May 8, giving their list of the top 100 movers and shakers of today's world in a range of spheres:

  • Leaders & Revolutionaries
  • Scientists & Thinkers
  • Heroes & Pioneers
  • Builders & Titans
  • Artists & Entertainers
Of course, the obvious names are there: George Bush (both of them), Bill and Melinda Gates, Bono, even if some of them appear in rather unexpected categories. I also wonder if the global influence of some of the US-based entries may have been somewhat overestimated.

But the online community should be pleased with the inclusion of Jimmy Wales, the Flickr Founders, the MySpace Men, Omid Kordestani and the Skype Guys.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The future of e-learning

I found this Breeze presentation from Kineo's Mark Harrison via Stephen Downes 's OLDaily. I enjoyed the both the content and the format, although I would have preferred a swing in emphasis from bullet points to graphics, but then my abhorrence of bullet points is no secret!

I didn't find myself digging my heels in against anything Mark had to say, although time will tell whether his predictions are on the money. I found particular resonance with the point that we don't refer to the work we do at our computers as e-working, so why should we have the term e-learning? Flippin' good question!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thriving under pressure

According to George Siemens in this articulāte presentation (and I'm paraphrasing): when the pace of change/development is moderate, an imperfect learning model is acceptable. However, when external pressures force the pace to increase, we are forced to reconsider what works and what doesn't.

Isn't that weird? When we have the leisure to investigate things, to make new discoveries, we accept the status quo. When critical mass is reached and we have more to cope with than we can manage - that's when we start to explore, research, trial.

The same sort of thing happened to plastic surgery, I'm told. It was during the war (I think it was WW2, although it might have been WW1 - or even both!) that horrifically injured and disfigured people began to require medical attention in large numbers. (Note: according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it was, in fact WW1). In the middle of this dramatic increase in demand, surgeons began to find ways to rebuild destroyed faces and perform skin grafts on burn victims. They almost routinely did what they would have thought impossible a scant few years (months?) previously. You would have thought that they had enough on their plates just keeping up with the workload, but somehow they found the time and the inspiration to be innovative and creative, to challenge boundaries and prior understanding of what could and could not be achieved.

The phrase "their finest hour" does not refer to an idyllic period in history when everyone had a handle on everything and peace and tranquillity reigned. Instead it refers to a time when people were facing the worst circumstances of their lives, and yet managing to endure, displaying an indomitability of spirit that continues to be celebrated today.

Isn't it odd how we need to be pushed beyond the edge of what we think we can handle before we discover that we're capable of so very much more?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Love that book

It was never (and still is not) my intention to use this blog for book reviews, but right now I am so impressed, I have decided to make an exception.

I have just read Love that Dog by Sharon Creech. This takes the form of the poetic diary of a boy's journey into poetry and self discovery. I guess it's meant to be a kids' book (my favourite kind) but it transcends age boundaries and is well worth the read. It shouldn't take a confident reader more than an hour, and even my reluctant reader son is devouring it.

Why don't grownups go out to play?

I am an ardent fan of Calvin and Hobbes, and this cartoon, while less funny than some, raises a very good point: why don't grownups go out to play?

Note: I have no idea whether the site producing these cartoons is in breach of copyright, so I hope Mr Watterson is getting his dues out of it.

When did it become such a shlepp to go outside and expend vast amounts of energy? When did it stop being fun and start being a chore? Why do I have to drag my tail out to go for a run around the park next to the office at lunch time? I have a punchbag hanging from a beam in my garage - why is it a hassle to go and beat the whatsit out of it? Why do I betake myself to masters' swimming training and then groan as the coach writes the sets up on the board?

Mind you, my husband plays ice hockey with a bunch of "silver skaters" (non contact and no slap shots) on a Sunday night, and there is only one criterion that has to be filled in order for him to feel up to going: he has to have a pulse! He can be on death's doorstep with a raging fever, he can be suffering from an injury, he can have a boatload of work to do, but he goes to hockey, come hell or high water. He and his peers have no trouble "going out to play" ice hockey - and none of the others have his excuse of being Swedish, so what is it?

This post isn't really going anywhere, I'm just ruminating...

Friday, May 05, 2006

A different approach to school

I came across this post via Stephen Downes's OLDaily. Watching the video, I found myself thinking, as my kids would put it, "Just no!"

Stephen seems to be strongly in favour of the concept and I am usually sufficiently intimidated by his infinitely more prodigious brain and far deeper grasp of things to presume that he must be right and I must be wrong when we differ. So, I examined my motives and assumed that I must just be stuck in a different world, with a different set of paradigms, lacking the will to break out.

I acknowledge that the school in the video has structures in place to prevent a decline into complete anarchy, which was what I initially thought was the case. But I still find I can't distance myself from the notion that parents and teachers have a greater breadth of experience and a perspective that only time and, well, experience can provide. I acknowledge that these are going to be flawed adults, but as far as possible, they should have a child's best interests at heart. From this vantage point, surely they are better positioned to know what a child will need to know in order to tackle what experience has told them life is likely to have in store?

I encountered a school run on similar lines several years ago, and met several of its existing and past students. They generally seemed inadequately prepared for "real life". Their academic results were mediocre, their sporting ability was all but non-existent, they lacked drive and ambition. They seemed kind of, well, woolly - a bit granola-and-birkenstocks-and-we-are-one.

Perhaps I'm just a control-freak, but I can't see myself ever leaving my own children to decide when and if to attend lessons. One of them would stay home and play Star Wars something-or-other on the PlayStation in between episodes of Futurama and the Simpsons, while the other would hit the sports field, returning only to plug in to MSN. Their plans to become a demolitions expert and a forensic scientist respectively would never even come close to fruition.

This kind of harks back to Jeff Utecht's post about people not knowing what they don't know (although admittedly he was talking about teachers, but I think the principle holds). If they don't know what they don't know, how do they know what knowledge will prove beneficial?

It would be interesting to speak to some of these kids in 10 years' time to see whether they still feel so well disposed towards this form of education.

So I'm going to have to continue to differ from Stephen on this one, although I'm sure if we had to have a debate about it he'd open a can of whup-ass on me.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Is Korea leading the way?

Yesterday I had a meeting with a representative of an Indian company with offices in several parts of the world. His job has taken him to several countries, and he exressed the firm view that Korea is the most technologically advanced country in the world, with Japan second and the USA third.

I was surprised at this, because I've heard a great deal about India and China as the emerging powers in the technological world, but not a word about Korea. According to this man, every Korean home is likely to have several computers (4 or 5 was his estimate) and a router. My own home has two computers, plus two work-based laptops that get brought home regularly. We also have a router. I'm a bit of an ignoramus about networks, but I kind of thought that a router was a standard requirement for a broadband connection - how else would you route your phone and your computer through it? I know that we don't represent the average UK household, but we are certainly not far from it among our peers.

So what else do they have in Korea that makes them so advanced? Apparently gadgets. Lots of them: mp3 players, Blackberries, handhelds, you name it. I heard that if you walk across any carpark you like in Korea, you will see at least two gadgets on every dashboard - antennae, satnav, all kinds of stuff. I wonder if they have wifi clouds over the cities.

Because this wasn't the purpose of the meeting, we didn't pursue the matter any further, but I'm curious now. Is this common knowledge - am I the only one who didn't know this? If so, why hasn't there been information about it all over the blogosphere alongside the information about India and China? Or is it all over the blogosphere and I've managed consistently to miss it? Or, is my "informant" misinformed?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Update on my quest for a master's degree

For those who have been kind enough to display an interest in my quest for an institution that is prepared to take a gamble on me (here, and here), it looks as if there is light at the end of the tunnel. I won't say more than that as this point, but will divulge details as I know one way or the other whether my application is successful.

If I succeed, prepare to be bored silly by posts about what I am learning, complete with ever-handy soapbox.

Personal learning environments

Is he back? Stephen Downes, that is. New posts are appearing on OLDaily that seem to be related to matters other than speaking engagements. It's been very quiet without him - he's like an aggregator with skin on.

Via one of his posts today, I found this link. The slides are fascinating - although there are too many bullet-point slides for my taste, but I find I want to know what the speaker said. I have this thing about a presentation being what the speaker says and not about the PowerPoint slides (see my pontification on the subject, here). So I e-mailed Scott and asked for an mp3 or a transcript. He has been very helpful, but still needs to source the audio for that event. In the meantime, he has sent me this link, that I need to make the time to look at.