The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563)

Tower of Babel

Reda Sadki #DigitalScholar

What happens when a fledgling, start-up foundation convenes learning leaders from all over the world to explore digital learning? Over 800 participants from 103 countries have joined the Geneva Learning Foundation’s #DigitalScholar course developed in conjunction with the University of Illinois College of Education and Learning Strategies International. The course officially launches on Monday. Yet participants  joining the online community have begun introducing themselves and, in the process, are already tackling challenging questions on the pedagogy, content, and economics of education and its digital transformation. “Look at all the people here!” exclaimed one Digital Scholar. And, yes, we are from everywhere. You could start from “cloudy England”, a hop-and-a-skip away from “rainy Amsterdam” and then keep travelling, stopping in any of the 103 countries where participants live. You might end up in the “paradise island” of Mauritius, “sunny but chilly” Sidney, or “hot and humid” Puerto Rico. Think about it. When Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis …

Minecraft learning science

Insomnia against the grain – and putting Bloom to bed

Reda Sadki Thinking aloud

Summer 2016, Day 1. “So, that puts to bed Bloom’s Taxonomy… that reliable workhorse,” sighed C. “What do we use in its place?” “We don’t”, answered the Walrus. “There is no successor to neatly replace Bloom’s. It’s still there – and can still be useful. It’s about changing the way we think and do the design of learning. Just look at how we are building our course in real time.”  And we are. Observing the accelerating flow of applications for the #DigitalScholar course is more than a spectator sport. It is turning me into an insomniac. It is about feeling who is out there in the interwebs, somehow ending up with a course announcement from a brand-new (read: obscure) foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. Reading motivation statements, trying to figure out how they connect to boxes ticked… It is on that shifting knowledge landscape of what is shared, across time and space, that we are sculpting the experience we …

Digital learning with the Geneva Learning Foundation

Beyond MOOCs: the democratization of digital learning

Reda Sadki Events

It is with some trepidation that I announce the Geneva Learning Foundation’s first open access digital course in partnership with the University of Illinois College of Education and Learning Strategies International. The mission of the brand-new Geneva Learning Foundation is to connect learning leaders to research, invent, and trial breakthrough approaches for new learning, talent and leadership as a way of shaping humanity and society for the better. This open access, four-week (16 hours total) online course will start on 4 July 2016 and end on the 29th. It will be taught by Bill Cope, Catherine Russ, and myself, three of the eleven charter members of the Foundation. We’ll be using Scholar to teach the latest digital learning pedagogies. Everyone will develop, peer review, and revise an outline for a course relevant to their own context of work. This outline is intended to be the practical basis for developing and offering an actual course – so this is no academic exercise. The …

Peter Paul Rubens. From 1577 to 1640. Antwerp. Medusa's head. KHM Vienna.

Experience and blended learning: two heads of the humanitarian training chimera

Reda Sadki Design, Events, Learning design, Learning strategy, Thinking aloud

Experience is the best teacher, we say. This is a testament to our lack of applicable quality standards for training and its professionalization, our inability to act on what has consequently become the fairly empty mantra of 70-20-10, and the blinders that keep the economics (low-volume, high-cost face-to-face training with no measurable outcomes pays the bills of many humanitarian workers, and per diem feeds many trainees…) of humanitarian education out of the picture. We are still dropping people into the deep end of the pool (i.e., mission) and hoping that they somehow figure out how to swim. We are where the National Basketball Association in the United States was in 1976. However, if the Kermit Washingtons in our space were to call our Pete Newells (i.e., those of us who design, deliver, or manage humanitarian training), what do we have to offer? The corollary to this question is why no one seems to care? How …

The Infinity Room (The House on the Rock) (Justin Kern/Flickr)

7 key questions when designing a learning system

Reda Sadki Learning, Learning design

In the design of a learning system for humanitarians, the following questions should be given careful consideration: Does each component of the system foster cross-cutting analysis and critical thinking competencies that are key to humanitarian leadership? Is the curriculum standardized across all components, with shared learning objectives and a common competency framework? Is the curriculum modular so that components may be tailored to focus on context-specific performance gaps? Does the system provide experiential learning (through scenario-based simulations) and foster collaboration (through social, peer-to-peer knowledge co-construction) in addition to knowledge transmission (instruction)? How are learning and performance outcomes evaluated? Are synergies between components of the learning system leveraged to minimized costs? Have the costs over time been correctly calculated by estimating both development and delivery costs? These questions emerged from the development of a learning system for market assessment last year, thinking through how to use learning innovation to achieve efficiency and effectiveness despite limited resources. Photo: The Infinity Room …