Pyramide d'abricot à La bague de Kenza (Paris)

Bite-sized update: higher education in fragile contexts, discovery without analytics, and the epistemology of learning culture

Reda Sadki Thinking aloud, Travel

As much as I wish this blog could document my reflections as I read, research, speak, and listen… it cannot. Knowledge is a process, not a product, in this VUCA world we live in. I know that I am doing too much, too fast, to be ale to process everything. Accepting this is part and parcel of navigating the knowledge landscape. So here is an incomplete round-up with some schematic thoughts about where I’m headed. Higher education in fragile contexts as a wicked problem: Most ed tech conferences I’ve attended are mostly male, and tend to focus on the education of those least-in-need. Inzone’s workshop on education in fragile contexts was at the other end of that spectrum, with a diverse team of scholars and practitioners coming together to tackle wicked learning problems such as how to ensure access to education for Syrian refugees in Turkey (access), what to do when refugee camp conditions are such …

Summer leaves near Annecy Gorges de Fier

In the leafy month of June

Reda Sadki Thinking aloud, Travel

June is good busy. Here are three highlights. Wednesday and Thursday 4-5 June 2014 I’ll be at the second Google Course Builder Faculty Workshop in Zurich. Google engineers built their own platform to host courses internally, but soon offered public-facing courses like “Power searching with Google”, and then open-sourced Google Course Builder. For an organization that seeks to retain full control of its content and data, Course Builder is one of only two MOOC-era open-source platforms available. (The other one is OpenEdX. Moodle is the elephant in the room). The workshop will bring together 30 learning leaders from universities, companies, and non-profit organizations to share diverse experiences, ranging from citizen math to entrepreneurship and global health. Only downside: this workshop overlaps with EdX’s Future Edu. Then, for two days, I’ll be in the open online symposium on scaling corporate learning, on 18-19 June 2014, organized by George Siemens and hosted by Corp U. Last but not …

Chicken crossing the road

Panamanian chicken

Reda Sadki Thinking aloud, Travel

Why did the chicken cross the road? Lunch time, after a jet-lagged conference morning. Hand shakes and smiles, mingling Spanish and English. Forks and knives scrape plates as we skewer the plump, roast chicken. Within the first 90 seconds, I am being mandated or tasked to request funding immediately upon returning to headquarters. Before dessert, we are exploring how Caribbean and Asia Pacific island nations could – should – work together on sustainability. There is funding for that, too. Pause. Smile. Eyes light up.  Puckers his lips. Whispers. Confides. “Cross-cutting.” “It’s a magic word,” he bursts out. Say this word and you are skewering the organizational silos. You are cutting through the red tape. You are opening the doors to the world. You are bridging the gap. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side, of course.

Street view in Oxford

Learning Technologies in London and European MOOCs in Lausanne

Reda Sadki Events, Thinking aloud, Travel

My feet hurt. I’ve just returned from a week-long trip for pounding the pavements of London and Oxford, meeting 26 humanitarian, academic, and corporate people in four days. I wish to thank every organization and individual who took the time to welcome me and share thoughts, insights, and experiences. The common thread is that all these amazing people are working on the same wicked problem: how to transform learning in the crazy VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world that we live in. Right after leaving IFRC, I tried to formulate the problem statement to a potential partner. Excerpt: Currently, the humanitarian sector has no global platform for learning, education and training (LET), despite a widely-acknowledged human resource and skills shortage. In addition, the sector is deeply ensconced in face-to-face training culture, with many humanitarian workers earning at least part of their livelihood as trainers, and training events are key …