on openness

By robynjay On March 3rd, 2011

‘If you don’t like change you are going to like irrelevance even less’

Notes and reflections on the Openness panel @ the DEHub Summit.

There was quite a lot of talk around Open Education REsources (OER) at the event so it was good to see this panel focusing more broadly on openness in general.

Terry Anderson began by speaking on ‘open scholars’ who he said:

  • are transparent with a key critique element
  • self archive
  • do open research and openly apply research exposing the learning that happened
  • filter and share with others
  • support emerging open learning alternatives
  • publish in open journals
  • assign open textbooks
  • induce open students
  • teach open courses
  • build networks
  • are change agents

Rory McGreal reminded that one third of internet connectivity in the world is ONLY via mobile devices and that our current model of elite education is simply not sustainable:

  • a balancing act is needed between bandwidth and performance etc
  • fluid design is needed to enable displays for different screens etc
  • OERs include games – titanic, mudball wall..

He asked how do we recognise what people learn on their own?

Don Alcott reminded that nothing is ‘free’ – so who does the work? who funds OER? – and stressed difficulties in a climate of competition and closed learning organisations.

Grainne Conole stressed the need to move from a focus on content and resources to practices, activity and use in open education (hear, hear!). Shae introduced her projects based in cloudworks and asked:

  • If learners and their context have changed, we need new approaches to L&T. How can we harness sophisticated tools and OERs
  • What are the quality implications?
  • Will a focus on OER practices lead to improvements in quality and innovation?
  • Will openness enable or restrict social inclusion?

I’ve pondered the last point myself for years.

Are we producing an elite group of learners?

The assumption that any potential learner is capable of finding, filtering, engaging with OERs and establishing connections is unfortunately absurd. So what is needed to support this – community OER mentors and Govt funding/resourcing?

[CC FlickR image shared by Paul Downey]

what game are you in?

By robynjay On February 21st, 2011

Most of last week was spent at the DEHub/ODLAA Education 2011-2021 Summit: Global challenges and perspectives of blended and distance learning here in Sydney. I’ll try to share some of the highlights here followed by a couple of session specific posts.

To begin I was intrigued by the choice of terminology in the title and the purposeful exclusion of ‘e-learning’ and while we did on the whole get it over and done with on day 1, there WAS a lot of wasting of time and posturing around definitions. We should be flexibly meeting the needs and interests of ALL learners via a blend of methodologies and strategies whether they be distanced from the actual physical institution (physically, socially etc) OR within its walls. It is absurd to think that models of ‘distance education’ that abounded in the 1980s when I first studied independently, and which I was horrified to hear described as “the glory days of distance education”, which comprised solely of large bundles of text based readings and study guides, are indeed models that should be still in place today. (At the time of was finishing my education degree while teaching casually on Melville IslandI had no contact with my peers or lecturer apart from comments on returned assignments). Efforts to maintain a viable position for outdated models of provision came across as little more than geriatric academics attempting to remain relevant. Of course we have taken from those old models what worked; of course they were better than nothing in their day.

During the Day 1 morning panel it was revealed that some employers and in fact some countries are refusing to recognise qualifications completed via virtual labs and online study. Some are calling for the modality of courses to be listed in the academic transcript. Interesting given the apparent growth in Open Universities including the OU of Nepal discussed by Mohamed Ally on Day 3. Mark Brown from Massey Uni raised the current NZ policy stance that ‘real education happens on campus’ and the implications of this for a country where 80% of DE learners are over 25, two thirds are women and it is the preferred mode for 35% of Maori learners. Unfortunately he says ‘Government is not interested in personal narrative’ when it comes to policy decision making. Mark also discussed trends in the US for corporate ownership of universities (Kaplan owned by the Washington Post and the Walmart/Uni partnership as egs) as the commoditisaton of education.

Yoni Ryan raised issues around the reactive (as opposed to interactive) nature of current online design, comparing the common current model of making a few minor LMS content tweaks and a few comments in discussion boards, to both private US institutions like the Uni of Phoenix where new online course development is supported with 10-20 hrs/week over 5 months and also to previous DE team development models.

Throughout the conference there was a call to separate research intensive and teaching intensive roles in Higher Ed.

Terry Anderson prefaced his Day 1 keynote with the values of:

  • student control and freedom
  • continued education opportunities as a basic human right, and that
  • we can continually improve the quality, effectiveness, appeal, cost and time efficiency of the learning experience

He spoke of 3 generations of distance education pedagogies – I’ll return to this in a later post.

On Day 2 I enjoyed a workshop by Debra Hoven from Athabasca on e-portfolios, a panel on ‘Openness’, and a presentation by Gilly Salmon on ‘Creating viable futures for learning’ which I’ll return to in separate posts. Social inclusion finally raised its head!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how teachers can be supported, what scaffolds can be created, to engage in quality learning design so I found Diana Laurillard’s keynote – ‘The critical role of teachers in optimising technologies for open learning’ – very interesting. Diana spoke about a (quite sophisticated) starter kit to allow teachers to share learning designs adaptable across different content areas – a creative design starter kit.

In Day 3s afternoon keynote Mohamed Ally spoke on Mobile Learning and asked are we ready for ‘education in the pocket’?. He related the story of a very rudimentary Sth African school lacking in physical learning materials but where the teacher said “we have cell phones”. He reported research indicating that while (in 2007) 94% of students were  ready for mobile learning only 60% of staff were, and last weeks Australian newspaper research outcomes indicating that Uni dropout in Australia was largely due to poor teaching, course content, life issues and paid work commitments. He is working to support the development of the Open University of Nepal where students will be given mobile devices if required. Mohamed introduced a new digital divide definition: where learners have the technology but not the learning materials and opportunities.

I have to say the panel session ‘Anticipating the future’ following was characterised with a large degree of doom and gloom:

  • lean and mean policy
  • funding games and manipulation
  • innovation ONLY if it fits within Government directions
  • staffing issues
  • a continuing emphasis on research at the detriment of teaching
  • increased casualisation of teaching staff to fill research buy out gaps
  • private provider competition (focusing on teaching not research)

Phil Ice provided the Day 4 morning keynote and spoke initially on two technologies that should change our practice: Android 2.2 allowing us to work within different form factors, and Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) that will allow interactive experiences and engagement with limited/ variable connectivity. He also spoke of the role of analytics and a tool developed to track student engagement and risk.

And finally Grainne Conole spoke on ‘Social exclusion or inclusion in a WEb2 world’: digital literacy, community, sociality, digital signatures. See also  www.notschool.net and Cloudworks

[CC FlickR image shared by robynejay]

creative maladjustment

By robynjay On February 9th, 2011

I’ve enjoyed revisiting Herbert Kohl’s ‘I won’t learn from you‘ today. If you haven’t read it it’s an oldie but goody. In particular his final chapter ‘Creative maladjustment and the struggle for public education’ is particularly relevant to our current work on the Bruce Declaration.

Here are a few extracts…

When it is impossible to remain in harmony with one’s environment without giving up deeply held moral values, creative maladjustment becomes a sane alternative to giving up altogether. Creative maladjustment consists of breaking social patterns that are morally reprehensible, taking conscious control of one’s place in the environment, and readjusting the world one lives in based on personal integrity and honesty……

Creative maladjustment is reflective. It implies adapting your own particular maladjustment to the nature of the social systems that you find repressive. It also implies learning how other people are affected by those systems, how personal discontent can be appropriately turned into moral and political action, and how to speak out about the violence that thoughtless adjustment can cause or perpetuate.

Unfortunately, the momentum of educational research and the attempt to turn education into a single, predictable and controllable system with national standards and national tests pulls in the opposite direction. Teaching well is a militant activity that requires a belief in children’s strengths and intelligence no matter how poorly they may function under the regimes imposed upon them.

The book was originally published in 1991, about the time I started working in adult literacy/numeracy. At least at that point in time in Australian education we worked within a system that (although not perfect) genuinely valued and funded education for ALL, personally directed learning, and student-centred engagement. It was a good time to be teaching. It’s been pretty much downhill from there. Grandmothers can no longer gain specific assistance to read to their grandchildren, adult learners are pumped through competencies they do not need or want, truly community based programs have been axed or drastically under-funded, and insufficient allowances mean that our learners must spend every spare hour working in low paid jobs rather than engaging in debate and critique with peers that might rock the system. It’s time for a change.

[CC FlickR image shared by Rose Latka]

recent changes camp

By robynjay On February 6th, 2011

Finally finding a minute to post some notes and reflections on last weekends RCC in Canberra focusing on wikis.

I’ve got to say that beforehand I couldn’t see how 3 days could possibly be spent talking about wikis, and while for me the conversations around learning and teaching were far more interesting, the breadth of wiki-related topics covered and the diversity of wiki interests represented was great. Two of the education focused conversations were captured by Steph over at TalkingVTE here and here, and there are moves to write up a Declaration (called Bruce) that as Tom Worthington aptly describes  ‘is intended to inform current government inquiries into education and into the NBN. Policies, programs and funding could then be provided to have services directly to students, resources for teachers and for educational institutions’.  See Tom’s post for more on this and if interested let us know.

Mark Dilley from AboutUs.org acted facilitator. I’m still trying to get my head around how useful and/or sustainable the site might be. It’s described as ‘for and about businesses, organizations, blogs, forums -really anyone who has a website’…. aiming to ‘provide visitors with information about websites, a way to share their knowledge about websites, and a place to promote their own sites.’ Given that I have trouble posting to and keeping up to date my existing sites I’m not sure how I’ll go with this but ready to be convinced….

It was interesting to speak to the guys from Lonely Planet about their wiki use and perceived future directions. They freely admitted that the company is still book-oriented and agreed that changes were needed if they were to remain the travel guide/network of choice especially for the younger travelers. They need to be responding to these kinds of demands and fast.

There was a lot of talk about Wikipedia and mediawiki. After my failed attempt to create a page on wikipedia with Alex Hayes and the subsequent lack of any forum for discussion about it, or recourse, I’m not a big believer of its democratic capabilities. There was however some interesting discussion around troublemakers, editors, peacekeepers and facilitators. Although some form of moderation via ‘official moderators’ or the community is clearly needed I kept getting a niggly sense that its pretty autocratic in the end.

We spent a couple of hours talking about the wiki ‘facilitator’ role. Having educators, users, editors etc all side by side enabled some interesting discussion which I attempted to capture here…

[CC FlickR image by robynejay]

Thanks to all the sponsors and participants for an interesting few days!

i’m done with being owned

By robynjay On January 10th, 2011

Another academic year looms and info days are swarming with fresh faced enthusiastic new students. I feel like Mr Bean in the department store perfumery skit, holding my nose and warning them not to enter! I’m feeling quite disheartened with higher ed. Would I pay $30k + for a degree? NO – yet its a hurdle imposed en route to career. As consumers we need to start demanding value for money but instead we meekly accept the tripe.

I’ve been re-reading my FLL paper from 2003. 7 years is a long time and I blush at it’s naivety but there are important connections there I want to revisit. What I found then was that the most successful, innovative and engaging programs were happening in small community-based media, youth projects and community development areas. I suspect its still the case.

I grieve to hear stories of educators being told that research is top priority and that teaching should/must be compromised if necessary. Academics are told to walk into lectures unprepared if necessary, young innovators are told that their careers will go nowhere unless they stop focusing on learning and instead churn out papers and bring in dollars. It’s all about status and income; a factory line of knowledge. Good teachers who toe the line end up working 14 hour days; doing 2 jobs as researcher AND educator, and as a result get sick and burn out.

I’ve been feeling like the past two years were wasted but a flow of messages are giving me heart that I have made some difference. But I’m sick of battling from within the constraining shackles of being an employee; there’s only so much that can be pushed uphill. I’m hoping to skirt around the edges for a bit and find some new avenues to engage and affect change. For a start I’m heading on down to the Transmedia conference at ACMI in Melbourne and we’ll see if openings appear.

cartoon from gapingvoid

[ CC cartoon by gapingvoid ]

cup half full

By robynjay On December 8th, 2010

This post is in response to Alex Hayes’ request for comments regarding his post over on Posterous. It’s an important debate that needs to be spread more widely so I’m repeating here in the hope it will gain some broader readership.

Alex, I’m speaking frankly and openly here as a critical friend, and hopefully to drive the debate forward . Thankfully I did have a posterous account as I would otherwise not have commented at all via the twitter and facebook login options – a tad ironic under the circumstances I think. I guess what concerns me most about your post and current state of mind is the ‘cup half empty’ lens. IMHO it’s about sensible high level policy, being informed, having the required literacy skills, and having and exercising choice.

As a company promoting a particular technology it naturally IS job to provide full and detailed information about what that technology can and cannot do, and the known inherent risks. As such, with educational clientele,  it would be pointless to offer any technology that was at odds with core educational principles (ie wellbeing of learners). It is, therefore, good to alert those customers and to facilitate debate.

People are buying POV cameras because they make the videoing that they’ve been doing since 8mm days more convenient. What has potential (as opposed to being a threat) are advancements in bandwidth that allow that content to be sent handled electronically. How it’s sent and where it’s stored and the systems that that content interacts with OF COURSE must be considered and evaluated. I don’t doubt that technologies exist that have the potential to capture more than a ‘rich media clip that shows a skill’ but to paint this as something ‘sinister’ and impending sounds a little paranoid. Risks and potential misuse exists with almost ANY technology; gaming is a good example.

Of course there are negatives around broadcasting your location and exposing your activities and habits etc. We all must be informed, learners must have choice, educators have a duty of care. Again it comes back to contemporary and ever-evolving literacy skills. All choices must be made intelligently but I don’t believe that that choice will not remain.

Educational institutions, armed with that information and skilled/professional staff then choose products and methodologies to meet the needs of their learners and contexts.

To say that geolocation is one of the most influential forces in the VET sector is just a tad over ambitious at this point in time but indeed it has POTENTIAL.

It’s easy when something is a passion or focus to think that the world should also have the same urgent interest. Unfortunately there are also students for whom traditional (safe) text-based modes of communication has failed, trainers who stand and lecture at poor unsuspecting students, kids who live in such poor circumstances that they cannot attend to learning. We all have our interests and passions and together that builds the diverse and rich professional community of which we are a part. Multimodal L&T and the use of multimedia in education are truly WONDERFUL things. A scare campaign is not what is needed.

I agree that the majority of adults are very poor at critical reflection generally however if there is ‘little open discourse about the implications for pedagogy that this technology is set to unleash’ it is probably because a) people are too busy dealing with more pressing matters, b) there is little balanced information to debate at present and c) there is no evidence that this IS or will in the near future be an actual legitimate concern for people.

‘Insidious modes of digital employee compliance’ is a separate and wider issue. We must be aware and able to opt-in and out even if OUT means leaving an organisation. But to be honest it concerns me little that the employer of Mike and John the landscape gardeners are aware that they spent 2 hours relaxing in the shade under the trees of my local park instead of getting on with their list of jobs including my new garden.

So having said all that we DO need to be informed and I’ll look forward to any further information you provide us and we DO need to focus on the implications of what we implement for learners but we must do so with a positive mindset lest we go sit in a cave and scratch on the walls with sticks.

And as for Latitude, most of us turned that off months ago as a pain in the arse.

CC FlickR image by paloooza

you can lead a horse to water…

By robynjay On November 9th, 2010

It was suggested to me yesterday by a senior manager that we should not focus on the new and emerging technologies that only 5% would embrace but stick to the ‘basics’. Unfortunately the ‘basics’ do not include the new and emerging tools and applications that provide ease of mastery, or which enable multimodal spaces for creation, engagement and collaboration… instead think LMS, anti-plagiarism and assessment.
It’s a depressing state of affairs that promulgates antiquated teaching practice and unengaged learners.

But even where contemporary applications are promoted and supported there is poor take up. Why?
In some cases support mechanisms are ineffective, in others there is lack of policy level encouragement, lack of time, lack of resources, etc etc – an endless list of excuses that does not explain why a small number DO take up new approaches and opportunities. Even in an ideal context where excellent applications are carefully chosen, and time and resources are allocated to mentoring staff in their use I suspect take-up would remain low.
I’m starting to wonder if the key issue comes down to culture and personal philosophy.

The underpinning philosophy behind many of the contemporary learning applications is openness. They support a collaborative learning community that positions the learner as a valued content creator; that values sharing, discovery, connections, opinion, reflection, partnerships. Unfortunately however openness and collaboration are threatening and foreign to many educators. They are not a part of their lives and they are not a part of their teaching practice. It’s a very difficult task to live one set of values and to cast them aside at the workplace gates.

In higher education academics are part of a system that dictates the PhD hurdle be jumped to obtain permanency; a PhD that in essence requires secrecy and non-collaboration lest ideas be stolen and which results in a piece of work that is read by 1.8 others. Without knowledge of contemporary education practice they lecture, providing content and grading papers. They teach as they were taught in a system that prizes paper publications and revenue generation, not which celebrates and expects innovative teaching. So presented with, and trained in the use of, social media/software spaces and applications the focus is on two things: content and assessment. Wikis look good (if kept private) because they allow PDF uploads or easy authoring of lecture notes and are used for such until the users is lured away by LMS assessment and grading admin functionality. Blogs and podcasts (if kept private) might be used to post concepts. FlickR is used to illustrate course content (we’ll use the work of others but not put anything back). And that’s as far as it goes until told that you can do all of those things together in one place via the LMS and its automatically private – no risk, no exposure.
The few that do embrace new applications and approaches I suspect live that life of openness and collaboration. They gravitate towards technology that supports their core values; that position learners to embrace (or at least be exposed to) what they themselves are passionate about; a different way of living.

How can the minority reculture the majority? Should they?  The developers of collaborative/ social applications and open content, and the few that can model effective use, are change agents. They are laying at the feet of the masses a new approach to life and learning and working but what does it take to value what is offered in its entirety?

CC FlickR image by anmuell

participatory education

By robynjay On October 28th, 2010

enough procrastinating, I’m back to the blog…

I’ve been exploring the notion of transmedia, particularly in relation to it’s potential in engaging learning experiences. A little late maybe; it’s interesting how we operate in our communal shared discourse and miss what’s happening elsewhere.

I’ve been talking about multimodal education, digital storytelling etc for years and in a sense transmedia is simply putting a label to those thoughts. Too often though we think of multimedia as a means for offering choice to students; a variety of means to access the same information. and what’s worse it typically aligns to discussions around catering for diverse ‘learning styles’. SO what I particularly like about the discussions about transmedia is its participatory nature; different ways of engaging with aspects of a concept (or story). It’s about developing a comprehensive understanding by looking at the concept through a variety of lenses and piecing together the ‘learnings’ from each. It allows individuals to explore aspects that are of particular interest to them and to articulate what has been learned to a shared group understanding. So, in an learning context this might include design, video, mapping, fiction, reports, interviews, history, scenarios, quiz development, opinion etc. Kind of like a ‘choose your own adventure’.

I’m not sure if ‘transmedia’ adequately captures the concept and potential but it’ll do as starter. I’m looking forward to watching the TedxTransmedia videos for further inspiration

embracing the tumult

By robynjay On March 23rd, 2010

I’m doing some design and facilitation work at present on projects that essentially focus on equipping and inspiring teachers to rethink and redesign their practice. It has led me to reread a load of approaches to learning design but also to ponder why it is that we see so little in the way of exemplary contemporary practice.

I think that many (but not all) senior managers and Ministers are genuinely interested in providing ‘quality’ education services. Misguided often its true; outrageously bad decisions are made by incompetent incapable advisors, out of date practices continue or alternatively the latest ‘fad’ wastes inordinate amounts of public monies. But I’m going to be generous and say that its ignorance, and not evil (Mike) that is the cause.

And most teachers too have hearts in the right place. Unfortunately in post-compulsory settings most ‘teachers’ lack education training that allows time to read, revise, connect, deconstruct and reconstruct the models of being a teacher they carry in their minds from their own life experiences. (How some people end up in teaching roles I have no idea – good conditions and reasonable pay I suspect. I watched my sons suffer in the hands of a science teacher who spent each class writing notes on a blackboard for them to transcribe.)

Good teachers are genuinely interested in how people learn. The really dedicated stay in touch with the latest trends, opportunities and theoretical approaches in their own times and by their own means. They are what George Siemens describes as master learners; not only reflecting on what works as a learner in a metacognitive sense, but continually looking at how they can do it better.

“Good teaching may overcome a poor choice of teaching, but technology will never save bad teaching.”

(Tony Bates, 2005)

Good teachers are an inspiration no matter what approach they take;  good teachers armed with effective educational technologies are mighty. Bad teachers are simply a drudge no matter what medium. Tragically education largely reflects the model of 100 years ago. It IS still predominantly something that by and large is DONE to people in courses that run over X weeks…. transmission of ideas happens via hideously bad lectures, readings etc.

So let’s focus on those with potential. A window of opportunity exists if we can capture the good teachers and support them to grow and re-establish momentum. We’ve dangled tools and strategies as carrots until we’re blue in the face but that’s not enough.  What we get in reply is ‘but now what, how do I use these in my teaching?’ For some, models and a kick start are all that’s needed but if your teaching approach is instructivist in nature the best we can achieve is to adjust PDFs to video or the inclusion of quizzes. We give them the tools but not the inspiration and scaffolds to rethink practice. It’s no wonder people cannot see beyond the walls of the LMS – why would you if your world as a teacher is to instruct?

Good friend and mentor Robby Weatherley suggested last week that the pendulum has swung back to a focus on learning design. But we need to think very carefully what that looks like before we turn the clocks back. Too often what WE ourselves provide is instructivist in nature. I’ve seen leading thinkers in contemporary educational thought stand and lecture.

We need to model contemporary learning design in our staff development programs.

We need to acknowledge and what learners (teachers) bring to the environment – their strengths and experiences and passions.

We need to provide the scaffolds for teachers to become independent networked learners beyond their time in staff development programs and under our gaze.
We need to acknowledge their lives and interests and identify areas as launching pads for experimentation and risk taking.

As George Siemens suggests ‘our learning institutions have been created in the spirit of research and openness, yet they have acquired their own neurotic tendencies. Yes we need a dynamic alternative to address our ambiguous, tumultuous personal learning needs and that scares the heck out of most educators.

No it’s not really about resourcing Mike . Some of the very best learning happens in small, community based, lowly resourced programs. It’s about WILL not dollars. And while I agree that stagnant dinosaurs of institutions will and DO lose the innovators its not necessarily to an emerging educational counter-culture –  That has always been present. We are lured to job security and better pay that institutions offer but that’s not where satisfaction lies.

Relationships grow in communities – thats where uniqueness and individuality are valued, cherished and encouraged – within communities of shared values and goals.  Don’t fear the reactive policy measures – they will come and go – thankfully most of us at least in Australia live with freedom and choice. We can opt-out.And we should if it becomes soul destroying.

So in the coming weeks I’ll be working with some excellent minds to play with new designs, and hopefully to give inspirational teachers room to grow and embrace the complex and chaotic beauty of contemporary learning possibilities. I’m looking forward to the challenge.


cc licensed flickr photo shared by radiobrain_

the dawn of learning

By robynjay On January 22nd, 2010

I’d been pondering the skills and capabilities and attributes I think the contemporary education system needs to support in young people today when I came across the following video thanks to a post from Rod Lucier in his The Clever Sheep blog. I first saw it a couple of years ago but it was good to revisit ….

So what do young people need to effectively operate, and be the change agents, in a world that will see substantial change in their lifetimes ….

In his post – Empathy: An Overlooked 21st Century Skill – Christopher D. Sessums reflects on the same.

He refers to the work of Henry Jenkins et al who in 2006 list …
•    Play — the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving
•    Performance — the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
•    Simulation — the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes
•    Appropriation — the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
•    Multitasking — the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details.
•    Distributed Cognition — the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
•    Collective Intelligence — the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal
•    Judgment — the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources
•    Transmedia Navigation — the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
•    Networking — the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information
•    Negotiation — the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.

and to Tony Wagner’s seven survival skills:
•    Critical thinking and problem solving
•    Collaboration and leading by influence
•    Agility and adaptability
•    Initiative and entrepreneurial-ism
•    Effective oral and written communication
•    Accessing and analyzing information
•    Curiosity and imagination

To these Christopher himself adds empathy.

So, what’s missing?
Here’s my own additions. I’d like to hear what you would add….

  • creativity and lateral thinking
  • compassion and civility
  • perseverance and persistence
  • the ability to critique and validate
  • the ability to filter and synthesize large amounts of information
  • cultural awareness
  • resilience
  • balance
  • risk-taking
  • the ability to self-promote and manage a virtual identity/ presence and content

The big question is of course, how well does the current education system acknowledge and focus on these?