I saw this today:
Absolutely fascinating. As the cost of such data acquisition drops, and as the cost of storing such data drops as well, the possibilities are tremendous.
From an enterprise perspective, what the report represents is a part of the future of two things: CVs and appraisals. Nick’s work reminds us that you can now tell a story about what you did in ways you could never have done before. As with anything else, there are opportunities to game the “system”, but that is not what I want to concentrate on. I want to look at the positive benefits of having such facilities, my world is littered with half-full glasses and half-open doors.
Why am I excited about this?
Firstly, because of the importance of feedback loops. Because feedback loops of this sort are valuable as learning tools. As I learn more about what I really did with my time, I learn more about what I would like to change in that context; the feedback loop of “actuals” helps me do that. As I learn more about what I liked and what I disliked, I learn more about how I can keep doing the things I like doing; collaborative filtering helps me do that. As I learn more about what others perceive as things I did well and did badly, I learn more about how I can improve my strengths as well as my weaknesses; the feedback loop of “reviews” helps me do that.
Secondly, because of the value of “independent” low-cost data collection in this context. Writing down every song I listen to, and writing down all the time I spend listening to music, is painful. But rating songs as I listen to them, and having something like last.fm do the aggregation of my listenstream, it takes that pain away. Now if activities at work could be aggregated in this way, people would think differently about time sheets. Today too much of what goes into a time sheet is a lie.
Thirdly, because of the ability to share the information so gained. In the past, whether it was a CV or a “performance review” or an “appraisal”, what went into the report was very subjective, very biased. As a result people didn’t like sharing the information with others. When the data is collected independently and objectively, this unwillingness to share goes away.
Finally, because of the value we can unlock in teaching. Take the enterprise context of “induction”. You know what I mean, that strange process when you try and explain what you do to someone completely new. When you can give someone a “Felton Report” for a particular role, there is so much rich information there. The report could be an exemplar’s actual report, it could be a synthetic report made up of a number of exemplars averaged out.
We can learn so much. About differences in locations and geographies and cultures.
I’ve kept my comments to the enterprise context, but actually they apply everywhere. Everywhere where people want to learn. Felton Reports will become valuable in the context of education everywhere.
Which is why I am not surprised that I learnt about their existence from glassbeed. [You’re a good man, Clarence Fisher.] I follow Clarence Fisher because he’s that rare breed, a teacher who really means to make use of modern technology in the classroom to the benefit of the people he teaches.