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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Critical Thinking and the Crisis of Credibility

On numerous occasions I have raised the alarm through posts that students in educational institutions are being taught "what to think instead of how to think". As a result of this entrenched attitude within education systems, education has become less about effective, authentic learning and more about indoctrination of views held on a variety of topics that favour only one side of topics and dismiss other points of view without considering the evidential merit of these points of view. We see the fruit of this on many university campuses where even speakers holding alternative points of view are denied access to campuses or if given access, their presentations are harassed by those with opposing points of view. A case in point here in Ontario, Canada is the case of Professor Jordan Peterson, who is a University of Ontario Psychology professor who is due to speak to a sold out crowd at the University of Western Ontario in London.

Credit: www.ottawacitizen.com


 Due to the fact that Professor Peterson does not agree with the use of gender neutral pronouns in his classroom and openly criticizes the rise of political correctness on university campuses, the university is charging the student group who invited him to speak a $1200 fee to cover security which is not something they do in an equitable fashion when dealing with speakers invited to speak. Professor Peterson has made his views known on YouTube and is open to rational discussion on his views.



Credit: www.the College Fix.com

As a result of this retreat away from rational thought and discussion, societies are experiencing what I would term a " crisis of credibility". A crisis of credibility occurs when foundational systems such as education systems, religious systems, law systems, and systems of labour which were the bedrock institutions originally designed to serve the people, lose the confidence of the people they were mandated to serve. The obvious question then becomes:

"What are the causes of this crisis of credibility?"

Some of the causes that can be identified, as relating to education, the family and society in general might be the following:


  • The increase in priority of asking learners how they "feel" about topics instead of educating them in the skills of thinking about topics, being able to state what position they hold on issues based upon authenticated and verifiable evidence. Learners are repeatedly exposed to a variety of social issues in our societies without being given the necessary thinking skillsets needed to form informed opinions. This happens at the earliest level of education when students have only rudimentary thinking skills but are requested to take stands on social issues. A good example is the issue of bullying. Young people are taught to use emotionally laden terms and  take specific actions but are never clearly given the root causes to the issue for them to have a complete picture.



Credit: Robert John Meehan


Without this, they learn that feelings are what you should base your decisions on and therefore your actions. Anyone who has an opposing opinion, you should not have to listen to and to protect yourself, we have a vocabulary built up to dismiss them altogether thus freeing you from being upset. Please clear on this! I am not saying that feelings are not important because they are and we all have them. I am saying that it is wrong if they take the place of reason altogether.
  • Moral relativism has been a destructive influence on our understanding of the difference between  what should be considered morally "right" behaviour and what should be considered morally "wrong" behaviour in our societies. The end result of this is societies coming to the conclusion that there is no " right" or "wrong" behaviour. A case in point on this is the declaration of cities and states to be "sanctuary cities". Simply put the rationale, based upon "feelings" is that it is o.k. for illegal immigrants to break our laws and by declaring our city or state to be a "sanctuary place", we the guardians of the rule of law are going to help them do it and we are going to feel good about ourselves for doing it. Such acts lead to a very disturbing question:


"If elected officials who were elected to uphold the rule of law in government, encourage the breaking of our laws and abrogate the processes designed to maintain stability of law enforcement and protect the constitutional rights of all citizens then how can we in good conscience hold citizens accountable for the breaking of other laws?"


Stopping a False Paradigm

One of the first steps that we need to take in education is to stop promoting a false paradigm that is relegating reasoning to a frill topic in schools. In the past, the paradigm that has allowed our civilizations to advance may have looked like this:

Important issue---->identify all sides to the issue---->examine the evidence supporting each side carefully through effective research---->take a position on the issue---->defend your position passionately through effective debate

We may have been inspired by an issue that truly moved us and consider an important issue or the events of the day required that we investigate due to a possibly negative impact on our lives. So, although "feelings" may have started us to take action, we followed a paradigm of necessary investigation based upon reason.

So, what has changed?

New Paradigm: 

Important issue----->only one side of the issue presented for acceptance-------> use of selected emotional multimedia assets are used to suggest how you should feel about the issue----> based upon your feelings, put pressure on others who do not share your viewpoint through the use of dismissive vocabulary that uses ad hominem argumentation as a tool to censor debate------> engage in forcing the point of view into enforceable laws upon all people.


The end result of this new paradigm which we even now see being played out in the current events and in social media circles is the systematic sabotage of the great gift that we all have for critical thinking.






So, how do we stop this type of paradigm from continuing to wreak havoc on the intelligence of learners?


The Systematic Re-Integration of Critical Thinking Skills

We can not as civilized societies remain civilized as long as we allow this paradigm to be constantly reinforced throughout all levels of the education systems and the curriculums that they subscribe to. As thinking individuals, we hold that the following truths should be available to all citizens with the understanding that the goal is to strive to help improve the quality of life for all people.

  • Critical thinking skillsets are not frills but as essential for our survival as civilized societies who have to deal with complex real world problems in effective ways that bring solutions that benefit all people. We have already identified what comprises such skillsets:




  • Every citizen is entitled to hold an opinion and have the right to express the opinion giving supporting evidence that can be verified. If I disagree with the opinion, I have the right and obligation by means of providing evidence that disapproves that opinion, to act responsibly.

  • When I hear an opposing opinion and am tempted to use popular dismissive vocabulary terms, I have a responsibility to clearly define those terms. I have an obligation that if others question the validity of my definition to listen to their objections and answer their challenges.


  • I have to accept the possibility that I just might be wrong if the evidence supports that I am in error even if it might hurt my feelings.


E-Learning: The Potential and the Danger

One question that may have occurred to you is:

"What does any of this have to do with e-Learning?"

One of the great advantages to e-Learning is that it is no longer dependent upon local constraints but instead has a global reach. The problem of the disassembling of a paradigm that has served civilizations well in favour of the false paradigm noted above is not just a North American problem. It is evident in the education systems of many countries on a global scale that this problem is pervasive. We see in in discussions in global politics and even as far as organized sports among countries.

The time to stop this paradigm is now so that your children and their children will enjoy a quality of life that puts the needs of others above self-entitlement but even more importantly, that the decisions they make and defend passionately, are based on the building blocks of sound reasoning. 

Together, we can overcome the great crisis of credibility that we now face. We must overcome it....


Monday, February 27, 2017

Part III: AI or Humanity--Can AI and Humans Play Nice?

Much of what has been said about AI in the past has been tied to the field of Robotics. From books such as" I, Robot" by Isaac Asimov to t.v and movie series such as Star Trek to movies series such as the Terminator movies, artificial intelligence life forms have been portrayed more as a threat to humanity than as a support and aid to humanity. Much of what was written and portrayed suggested that humanity needed to develop ways to limit artificial intelligence life forms from evolving to become more dominant over man.


Credit: www.XENLife.com





In Asimov's "I, Robot", guidelines were programmed into robots that placed limits on their development.


Credit: Nrudakova

The great fear was that the AI would advance to the point where human beings were not needed to be involved in the working life of societies at all and at worst that AI beings would become sentient or self aware beings such as what was portrayed in the Star Trek: The Next Generation with "Commander Data". For the "baby boomer" generation, the words of  H.A.L. in the movie titled: "2001-A Space Odyssey" still haunt our memories.

 

Credit: www. scifi.stackexchange.com





With self aware AI beings some were predicting that these new self aware beings would determine that humanity was too deeply flawed to pay attention to and that necessary resources of the planet could be better utilized through the elimination of humanity.



Credit: www.33rd Square.com

  

Jerry Caplan, an expert in the field of AI describes what we should all know about AI and its potential impact on our lives in general and business organization that are striving to compete in a global economy. Although the following YouTube segment is a little long, it is worthwhile to get a good understanding of what AI means to us.







Credit: Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs





How Should Business Organizations Plan?

In a Canadian news broadcast this week (Feb. 6, 2017) an economic think tank predicted that 40 % of the present jobs will be taken over by automation. Statistics for other countries can be easily found but I would predict that the percentage is higher in countries such as the United States, Great Britain, China & India. The results of such a prediction coming to pass can be reduced to two events:

  • Disruption of societies due to the increase of unemployed workers which not only then places the social support networks of such countries under duress but also creates a crisis for governments in trying to balance their books. The cascading effect for business organizations means loss of potential sales.
  • A second possibility is that decision makers take note of the pace of change and then take steps to enable employees to retrain with the goal of acquiring new skillsets that technology will create a need for. This means having a plan driven by a vision of how new technology will be integrated in the way the business organization does business.



Credit: www.accenture.com


The idea of coming up with an effective plan recognizes the need to be proactive rather than reactive because the future of your best assets, your employees, is at stake. Engaging them with a clear vision of the way forward and how they are integral to that plan is an essential.





Credit: www. accenture.com

We also need to heed the warnings given by very intelligent leaders about regarding the potential drawbacks to using artificial intelligence. The drawbacks arise if we fail to recognize that there is a moral imperative in how we move ahead in the adoption of new technologies. The question that innovators, scientists, business leaders, and technology leaders need to ask is:

"Just because we have the technology to do this, should we do this?"


Views of Intelligent Leaders On the Use of Artificial Intelligence

Some very intelligent and well respected leaders in technology and science have been quick to voice their concerns about the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence:




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As ominous as these statements appear, AI will continue to be integrated into the fabric of business organizations and our daily lives.





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The integration of AI based "intelligent assistants" into the fabric of our lives will advance faster  than even the growth of social media.






Credit: BI Intelligence, 2015

Besides the development of online chatbots integrated into the global online business presence, with the advancement of Microsoft Hololens technology we will see intelligent assistants take holographic form as in the example of Cortana.




Credit: www.blogs.windows.com

Discussion of the advances of technology and business is all well and good but the question still remains:

"How do businesses get started on a proactive path in adopting AI and what part can e-Learning play in this?"

Some very important business understandings need to be considered:


Credit: Frank Diana (2015)




Five First Steps for Planning for the Adoption of AI into a Business Organization

  1. Identify work areas within the business that involve repetitive, time consuming actions that could better be served by automation. It is important to re-task the talents of employees involved in such labour to higher skilled positions.
  2. Create learning profiles for employees that identify present talents that they have and then plot areas of potential growth for them so that they advance to higher skillsets that will be required as technology advances.
  3. Create a "technology sandbox" both within the organization and online where employees can go to try out new technologies and applications. Time should be timetabled in where employees have the opportunity to try out these new areas of learning and the online site for this should be open to employees 24/7.
  4. Hire a "learning principles guru or expert" who will have the responsibility of tracking employee learning and presenting new opportunities for employees to advance their skillsets into new areas of technology and applications. This individual should have a separate line for advancement within the organization.
  5. Create a "learning culture" within the organization that encourages employee engagement in innovative and creative thinking. The environment should involve a forum where employees may collaborate with each other in the organization but  on a global scale. The opportunity should be available for a collaborative group to present and defend innovative ideas that they have come up with.

  
Business Prospects for the Further Development of Chatbots in Business

The operative goal in the use of chatbots in business organizations is to free up employees so they can focus on the higher end skillsets that involve creativity and innovation. This is in line with what a firm called Venture Radar predicts.
 
Credit: www.ventureradar.com
 
These are just a few ideas to promote more discussion within business organizations about how this might take shape in their own specific context.

As for the warnings about AI, as much as we would like AI intelligent assistants to become more and more human, we have to keep in mind that the model, the human being, that we are using is far from perfect and like Asimov's three laws of robotics, we need to make sure that what we do with AI technology leads to a better quality of life for all people and not just those who have business interests.


Next: "Exploring the Dark Side of Big Data"

Monday, February 13, 2017

Part II: 21st Century Technology and Business Organizations-The Year 2016 Trends

The previous question that decision makers need to consider stated:

"With the explosion of technology advancement in 2016, how do I know which technologies will allow my organization to compete effectively in the globally connected economy?

To begin to answer this question, you need to do some honest, professional introspection  as a group of decision makers and ask yourselves whether or not your mindset is still entrenched in the ideas of the industrial economy which has been the foundation for business vision, mission and drive since the Industrial Revolution or have you come to the realization that this particular mindset is anachronistic given the new realities of 21st century societies and you desire to make change work?

Mindset defines and directs vision, mission and drive in building the future of an organization. So, this process needs to be considered in the light of what actually is happening in the global economy and also in the lives of employees.




Technology Trends of 2016: Gauging the Impact On Business

During the year 2016, the following technologies came into the limelight and much speculation was offered on such technologies could revolutionize business as we know it:

  • Microlearning
  • Mobile Learning
  • Virtual Reality and Augmented Technology
  • Gamification
  • Blended Learning
  • MOOC's
  • Big Data
  • Social Media
  • IoT
Much has been written about each of these technologies in relation to their potential for changing business but there is a technology that has been evolving in the background, out of the limelight that all of the listed technologies will be impacted by and stands to have a much greater impact on business organizations than those listed. The technologies being referred to here are called  "intelligent agents or bots" and "Artificial Intelligence".




Credit: www.CLBW.org

The Rise of the Intelligent Machine or Agent and Business Change

Right now as some business decision makers read this, their eyes are probably glossing over and they saying to themselves this technology will have no credible impact on my business organization. First it is wise to define what we mean by the terms that we are using. 
 
Credit: Shehzad Ashraf (2014)
 It is worth noting that in the above definition that the list of things that humans do better has already shrunk due to the effects of Moore's law on technology growth. If computers using AI are doing things better than humans already ten the natural progression for the use of AI by machines takes the form of the "bot" or "intelligent agent".


Credit: Yisela Trentini (2016)
Putting these two ideas together into a business context, we start to see why employees have good reason for concern in regards to their future job security. Simply put, the advantages of an intelligent machine over a human are:
  • Intelligent machines are more efficient and can mass produce product faster, requiring no breaks other than scheduled maintenance. This means increased productivity without loss of time since the machines can work 24/7. What needs to be noted is the nature of the work that the machines are more productive and efficient at doing.


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Before rushing to judgment, consider the following ways that Artificial Intelligence and intelligent agents can be beneficial in moving business organizations into more favourable positions for growth in the 21st century global economy by first looking at what features bring to the table.


Credit: Monique Calisti
What this means for business organizations in regards to the use of the intellectual capital resting in their employees is that they need to capitalize on the talents of their employees by effectively helping them develop higher order skillsets in their learning that will at the same time enable them to work with and capitalize on the features that AI and intelligent agents have to offer.

Chatbots and Business Organizations

One of the rising uses of AI in relation to business organizations is the development of the "Chatbot". 

Credit: Teewee Ang
This trend only predicted in 2014 by the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, is already moving ahead in the integration of chatbots into a variety of business contexts.

At this point in time, these very pertinent series of questions should occur to you:

"What precisely is a chatbot? How can it be utilized in our business organization and will we like the cost?"


Credit: Teewee Ang
If this sounds somewhat familiar it is because we have already seen innovative glimpses of it in such science fiction movies as the Avengers. Of particular note is the character of Ironman (Tony Stark) and the relationship that he has with his "intelligent AI assistants". What should occur to you is that in using chatbots, a new type of cross disciplinary thinking skillset will be required in order to interact with intelligent assistants.



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If at this point you feel yourself becoming skeptical keep in mind that many of humanity's innovations were first predicted in science fiction. For example the use of Lasers, scanners...etc were first predicted in science fiction and lest we forget the works of Jules Verne's innovation of a nuclear powered submarine, the Nautilus, we should endeavour to keep an open mind.

However, returning to our questions, how will chatbots be of value to business organizations?



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 As can be seen, there is a number of business goals that chatbots can help reach in making a business organization more effective in the globally connected business economy. What this does for the learning culture of a business organization is that it enables employees to re-direct their time to collaboration and innovation thinking which represent the highest levels of human talent, with the decision makers being able to engage and make connections with employees in the learning culture and guide the vision of the organization.



Credit: www.kooki.co

A Practical Example Of A Business Chatbot: The HR Assistant

An HR individual reading this title might think this is suggesting that his or her role in the business organization is at risk but it is not. With the introduction of AI and intelligent assistants into the learning culture of a business, re-definition of various roles is an effect but it is not a negative one but in fact an enriching positive one for the individuals involved. Emphasis is placed upon their best qualities and talents while relegating repetitive but necessary time consuming tasks to an AI HR assistant.


 

Credit: www.kooki.co


Drawbacks To AI Assistants?

You may have noticed that the questions above have not all been answered. The reason deals with what some very highly intelligent people have been warning about the adoption of AI. This deals with conflicting visions of the future use of AI as a help to humanity and it has ramifications for business organizations. The final segment will look at what is being said in a world already living on edge in many respects.

Part III: AI Or Humanity - Can AI And Humans Play Nice?

Friday, January 27, 2017

First Post in E-learning Industry

My first post to e-Learning Industry will be on Jan. 29, 2017. Part II of this post will go to the reviewer shortly after.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Important Changes and Opportunities!

People who read articles here on this e-Learning blog are probably wondering if I passed away or I ran out of things to say about the new frontier of 21st century of e-Learning. Neither is the case!


I have been offered the opportunity by Christopher Pappas to be a contributing author to his e-Learning Industry organization which I have accepted. This means that the next range of articles on e-Learning will appear in e-Learning Industry group. If you are unfamiliar with this organization, I strongly urge you to consider joining simply because it is the number one source of all aspects dealing with e-Learning and contains very useful resources to getting e-Learning right for your organization whether it is business or higher education.

What Happens to the Blog?

The blog will remain active. It still holds over 200 articles dealing with e-Learning. Also, after a new article has run its course on e-Learning Industry, it will appear in this blog. I urge you to check out the wonderful organization, e-Learning Industry if you have not already done so!

Don't think outside the box! Instead push the boundaries of the box until it no longer exists!


[ If you know of others who read this blog, please pass on this message to others!]


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

E-Learning in 2017--The Adventure is Just Beginning ...Part I

It has been said that often hindsight is 20/20. This could be applied to the advancement of E-Learning in 2016. This past year will be remembered as the year that the potential of E-Learning reached the consciousness of business organizations and higher education. Before we look forward to 2017 and beyond, it is worthwhile to examine different trends in E-Learning as they pertain to business organizations and higher education. In each of these instances it is important that stakeholders in both know how to ask the right questions that will yield information that is credible.



Credit: www. Platte River Networks.com

E-Learning and Business Organizations

Business organizations have to ask whether or not using E-Learning in some form is a worthwhile investment that will yield good dividends for share holders and enable them to hold their place or even advance their position in the globally connected market place. The fundamental question then becomes: 

"Why should we adopt and utilize E-Learning within the training culture of our business organization?"


Credit: http://www.e-learningeducators.com

As indicated there are a number of factors that are native to E-Learning use that add value to the engagement of employees and their performance within their respective learning cultures within business organizations. One of the important aspects in such an approach is that it creates a symmetry between the very connected lives that they lead in the outside world with their labour within the business organizations that employ them. This means that the digital skillsets that they have developed in their world outside of work, now take on meaning and personal value because they can have successful transference and application of these skills within their place of employment.

For business leaders, this should lead them to the important question:

" Is E-Learning an important driver for globally connected businesses and does it present us, as an organization, opportunities to create new markets and capture a greater share of emerging and established markets?"

Credit: http://elearninginfographics.com


As of 2016, it can be seen that the global E-Learning market is growing, with Asia showing the greatest potential for expansion. If we break this down in terms of E-Learning adoption by country, we see the following pattern:



Credit: https://elearningindustry.com


One conclusion that we should draw from this is that E-Learning is not a fad and it isn't going to go away. Effective use of E-Learning within business organizations makes that business well prepared for the "knowledge work" that more and more employees will be engaged in as the 21st century progresses. To allay the fears of employees concerning the security of their jobs, there needs to be a transformation within the learning culture of business organizations so that the learning needs of employees become more of a priority so that employees have an opportunity to learn the new skillsets needed within the 21st century global economy.

An important question that business leaders need to ask is:


"What are the new skillsets that are the focus of the new globally connected economy?"



Integral Skillsets of the New Globally Connected Economy

One stark realization that business leaders need to face is that under the new globally connected economy, it can not be the conducting of business in the ways that we have always done things. They need to prepare for change in a proactive fashion.




  
 

 A symptom of this change can be seen in the drive to create large trading blocks globally, a process that at this time is in great flux as we have seen with Brexit and the threat posed to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement which is is a trade agreement among twelve of the Pacific Rim countries—notably not including China. The finalized proposal was signed on 4 February 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand, concluding seven years of negotiations. The President elect, Donald Trump, has threatened to pull out of the agreement. When such events settle down, this is when collaborating global networks will create pathways between blocks.

Coming back to the new skillsets, the following are some that will be crucial to the health of business organizations desiring to move forward:

Employee Collaboration: This is a skillset that many people outside of their business organizations have already developed and refined. When you consider how much time people devote to such social media as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, FaceTime, IM..etc, you can readily see that they have integrated this into the way they live. 
 
 

  

The problem is that much of this usage is devoted to socialization. There is also a great deal of covert use of social media during business hours. 

 
A crucial question that business leaders need to ask is:

"How do we re-task employees' use of social media to serve their learning needs as they pertain to our business beyond the singular use by digital marketing?

Employees As Agents of Change: Two important concepts that have gained prominence recently in the business world as a result of the global economy shift are:
  • Employee engagement
  • Employee empowerment as agents of change within the learning culture of the organization
How we structure the learning culture and its personalized learning experiences within the organization will determine the level of employee engagement. This means that those who design irresistibly engaging learning experiences should be well versed in online pedagogy as it relates to new technologies. 
For example, in a revised learning culture, employees need to know that their task driven collaborations are important to the health of the organization and that they will have credible opportunities to present and defend their ideas in a forum that involve company decision makers. They need to feel that their contributions to the organization are valued and will be incorporated into the organizations' mandate for change.
Steve Jobs of Apple had the right idea in creating the necessary environment to nurture employee engagement and employee empowerment.





Employee Exploration of New Technologies: One of the ways to overcome employee fears about the security of their employment is to create a way in which they can experiment and explore new technologies on their own supported by the organization. It would also answer the fear of adopting technology that organizations often voice. 
"It is better to be proactive in dealing with change than reactive!"


A possible way to provide a solution in this instance is to create what may be called a "technology sandbox". This would be a place where employees have access 24/7 whether at home or at work online. It is here that they can start to build proficiency in technologies that might be useful and develop the necessary skillsets for the future. The technology sandbox might also be a place where an employee might be able to achieve certification in the use of a particular technology which then be part of the employee's learning profile. 




As a business leader, you have every right to ask with a healthy amount of skepticism  the question:

"With the explosion of technology advancement in 2016, how do I know which technologies will allow my organization to compete effectively in the globally connected economy?"

 Next....Part II:  "21st Century Technology and Business Organizations: The Year 2016 Trends"






Thursday, December 15, 2016

Engaging the Power of E-Learning: In Search of a New Mandate

As we come to the end of 2016, it is important that we step back from the routines and priorities that we have listed and re-listed, and reflect upon the progress of E-Learning through the year. One of the things that we need to be careful of in taking such a step back is that we not spend too much time focusing on the changes in technology that have advanced during the year.



In the final analysis it is not about technology but it is about learning, the adaptability of human beings to changing digital environments that they find themselves immersed in and the exploration on how we can move learning to higher levels that capitalize on the great human potential for creativity, innovation, and the enrichment of the quality of life for all people through the means of effective education. In order to truly address this goal of human endeavor, we can not hide from the significant complex real world problems that as societies we have created for ourselves to our detriment. In our struggle to deal with such problems, the first reality that we need to face is that our previous routines and methods of dealing with such problems are not working and in some cases are exasperating the problems.

Taking the First Step: The Need for a Globally Unifying Vision for E-Learning


In order to make sense of the changes in E-Learning and technology that impacts our lives, we need to have a vision that is global in nature because we are no longer isolated societies in time. With the rise of the Internet with all its positive and negative attributes, we are all connected to each others lives no matter where we live on the planet. In this connection, we have doors of opportunity to learn about each others lives and relate to such lives as well as the power to impact and bring about change. The vision not only involves the social connections that we form but also connections on a moral level. For example, if we learn of someone living in great poverty, in an altruistic fashion we seek ways that we can instigate positive change in the person's quality of life. The use of crowd sourcing is but one way. However, if the problem is systemic and can be addressed through bringing more effective education into their lives then the change is more long term and benefits the generations that follow as well.

Taking the Next Step: The Need to Ask the Right Questions in Regards to Technology

As much as we have become enthralled with all the new technology that has emerged this year from the use of drones to the development of Virtual Reality, some questions that we need to think about are:

  1. Are all the examples of technology that are emerging useful for enriching E-Learning and capable of enabling us to expand the human potential for creativity, innovation and collaboration so that real solutions may be found to the very complex real world problems we face? 
  2. In the choice to use and teach technology application to new learners, do we have a moral obligation to also emphasize moral accountability in how technology is used. A case in point would be the drive to teach very young children and teens how to code. Do we have a moral or ethical obligation  to make sure that the message that users of technology have a moral obligation to use coding to help our societies in a life affirming manner, is clearly and repetitively emphasized?
  3. Are we prepared to make sure that technology is harnessed to its master, pedagogy and not the other way around? Although technology may inspire changes in pedagogy it does not control pedagogy in E-Learning. Technology is but one means to a greater end.
  4. Are we prepared to entrench and model the teaching of systems thinking, critical thinking and innovative thinking into learning organizations both in the corporate world and higher education world to prepare learners to become global agents of change to the betterment of their societies?
 

 Taking Yet Another Step: Defending the Need to Create Conditions to Develop Agents of Change
In order to bring about and manage effective change in learning both in business organizations and within education systems proper, we need to recognize the need to overcome institutional inertia that is prevalent in so many institutions. Unlike the often repeated concern that change could be too disruptive to the organization, "treading water" in a globally connected world is more dangerous to the health of organizations. Organizations raise too many defense mechanisms when asked to consider making effective change guided by a new vision. A favourite in dealing with innovative ideas is termed "paralysis by analysis" . An idea is studied ad infinitum and gets to the point where subsequent leadership forget why they are studying the idea and it gets shelved.
The greatest travesty in such scenarios is that those who have the greatest stake in advancing the health of the business organization, the front line stakeholders, become disengaged and reduce themselves to "just doing the job but not contributing anything". With students, they simply disengage with their education all together, judging it to be irrelevant to the real world.
You can probably think of many more reflections you could add but the crucial factor that will decide where E-Learning goes is the quickly moving factor of time.
Consider what lies ahead for E-Learning in 2017 and make it your mandate as a professional to make a real difference in the quality of life for the people in our globally connected societies and most importantly, get off the "hamster wheel" and spend quality time with those who you love, who inspire you and who re-energize you to want to make a difference.