The Quantified Self and What it Means for Learning


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This presentation explains (in five parts) why the quantified self movement will have big consequences for how we will learn in the future.

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The Quantified Self and What it Means for Learning

  1. 1. The Quantified Self and Learning Hans de Zwart e-Learning Event 2012
  2. 2. “What if the walls in yourhome could display all yourself-tracking data?”Laurie Frick
  3. 3. Apologies in advance:this is a story about a future which doesnt exist yet
  4. 4. Apologies in advance:it will be to abstract for about 90% of the audience
  5. 5. Who am I?
  6. 6. Innovation Manager forGlobal Learning Technologies at Shell International
  7. 7. Digitale civil rights “activist” and free software fanatic volunteering for Bits of Freedom and the Internet Society
  8. 8. Reader, fascinated by the idea of social engineering and by The Big Lebowski
  9. 9. Innovation ScenariosQuantified Self Learning Risks
  10. 10. Wat does an innovation manager do?
  11. 11. “Early experimentation will leadto invaluable experience andfewer mistakes in the future”
  12. 12. Medicine → Patient
  13. 13. Patient → Medicine
  14. 14. How do you help peoplethink strategically?
  15. 15. One way is: scenario thinking
  16. 16. Innovation ScenariosQuantified Self Learning Risks
  17. 17. Learning Scenarios WorkshopOnline Educa, Dec. 2011
  18. 18. No predictions but better long term decisionse.g. IT infrastructure or organisational models
  19. 19. Two axis with uncertainties
  20. 20. How work is organised: planned, hierarchical ↔ organic, project based
  21. 21. What work is based on: relationships ↔ data
  22. 22. relationships Old Boy In-Crowd Networkplanned, organic,hierarchical project based Quantified Big Data Self data
  23. 23. Quantified self?
  24. 24. Innovation ScenariosQuantified Self Learning Risks
  25. 25. We start in 1945...
  26. 26. “A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books,records, and communications, and which is mechanized so thatit may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is anenlarged intimate supplement to his memory.”Vannevar Bush in “As You May Think”
  27. 27. “Clothing-basedcomputing withpersonal imaging willblur the boundariesbetween seeing andviewing and betweenremembering andrecording.”Steve Mann
  28. 28. "A SenseCam is a black boxabout the size of acigarette pack whichcontains an infraredsystem [..] and when itfinds a person it takes apicture. It also takes aphotograph when the lightchanges or at intervals upto a minute, depending onhow it is set."Gordon Bell
  29. 29. “One day I’m sure everyone willroutinely collect all sorts of dataabout themselves. But becauseI’ve been interested in data for avery long time, I started doingthis long ago.”Stephen Wolfram
  30. 30. OutgoingMailAppointmentsin Calendar
  31. 31. “It only takes a few minutes a dayof recording to create a prettydetailed data set of the year.”Nicholas Felton
  32. 32. Sure Hans, but...
  33. 33. Scientistsand Artists
  34. 34. There is a “movement”
  35. 35. Consumer products are available now
  36. 36. The Fitbit
  37. 37. “Id like to think that Timelinesucceeds at representing yourhistory in a way that mirrorspersonal memory. The mostrecent section are your freshestmemories and are all apparent.As you travel back in time theyears become abbreviated andonly the highlights are initiallyvisible.”Nicholas Felton
  38. 38. You are also being “measured” without you noticing
  39. 39. The costs of self-tracking willbe so low that not measuringyourself contineously will be considered “irresponsible”
  40. 40. First wave:use it to better your physique
  41. 41. Second wave:use it to improve cognitive skills
  42. 42. Now we have arrived at learning (a sigh of relief, finally!)
  43. 43. Innovation ScenariosQuantified Self Learning Risks
  44. 44. What do you need to learn?
  45. 45. 1. You have to do something Something you havent done before (“stretch assignment”, curiosity)
  46. 46. 2. You have to reflect What just happened? Adjust and tune
  47. 47. (3.) Certification/competences is often added as a secondary process
  48. 48. What does quantifying yourselfmean for: doing, reflection and certification/competences?
  49. 49. A couple of my ideas...
  50. 50. 1. Doing
  51. 51. Yes, I am not afraid to put forward the idea of a personalised computer- based tutor
  52. 52. “Imagine that this tutorprogram can get to knowyou over a long period oftime. Like a goodteacher, it knows what syou already understandand what you are readyto learn. It also knowswhat types ofexplanations are mostmeaningful to you.”Danny Hillis over “Aristotle”
  53. 53. Will you be more daring?Insight in your own lack of change and habits as a catalyst for change
  54. 54. Invitation for a moreexperimental mindset?
  55. 55. 2. Reflection
  56. 56. Measuring creates a tight feedback loop
  57. 57. Think of what Amazon knowsabout you through the Kindle
  58. 58. Which pages did you spend the most time on?
  59. 59. Which passages did youhighlight? How does that differ from the rest of the world, your colleagues and your friends?
  60. 60. Hans around 2008-2009
  61. 61. Imagine a “temporalwordcloud” which you can useto see which themes you have been paying attention to
  62. 62. Insight into your use of timeWhat percentage of my time have I been doing email, sitting in meetings, talking at the water cooler or networking on LinkedIn?
  63. 63. Also for social skills
  64. 64. You can “query” yourself
  65. 65. “People argue about the need to forgetthings, but if you look at businessdiscipline—advising that you writeeverything down, your goals andobjectives, and return to them to seehow you did, examining what wentwrong—I think the same thing couldhappen with our personal lives. Beingable to say, ‘Now I realize my tone ofvoice was threatening’—I think there’s areal positive aspect in having the realrecord of what things looked andsounded like, and sequences of events,because we often end up believing thingsthat are not based on facts anymore.”Jim Gemmel
  66. 66. 3. Certification/competences
  67. 67. The end of competency management
  68. 68. The end of portfolios
  69. 69. Instead: “views”/visualisations of a person“searching” through a person
  70. 70. Automatic certifications?
  71. 71. “One can easily imagine submittingtheir usernames for Google WebHistory, Facebook, Twitter, Delicious,Blogs, Google Reader, YouTube, etc.IN PLACE OF taking a four hour highstakes exam like the ACT or GRE. Whymake a high stakes decision based ona few hundred data points generatedin one morning (when you could besick, distracted, etc.) when you couldget 1,000,000 data points generatedover three years?”David Wiley
  72. 72. Innovation ScenariosQuantified Self Learning Risks
  73. 73. Of course there are risks too
  74. 74. Can we still re-invent ourselves if we never forget anything?
  75. 75. “[..] Forgetting is not anannoying flaw but a life-savingadvantage. As we forget, weregain the freedom togeneralize, conceptualize, andmost importantly to act.”Viktor Mayer-Schönberger in “Delete”
  76. 76. zA world constructed from the familiar is a world inwhich there’s nothing to learn ... (since there is)invisible autopropaganda, indoctrinating us withour own ideas.Eli Pariser
  77. 77. The “filter bubble” will only get stronger (self-accelerating)
  78. 78. Sleepwalking into asurveillance state?
  79. 79. A last provocation:“the proactionary principle”
  80. 80. “People’s freedom to innovate technologically ishighly valuable, even critical, to humanity. Thisimplies a range of responsibilities for thoseconsidering whether and how to develop, deploy, orrestrict new technologies. [..] Give a high priority topeople’s freedom to learn, innovate, and advance.”Max More
  81. 81. Quantifying = Learning
  82. 82. Questions? Mail: h@nsdezwart.nlTwitter: @hansdezwart
  83. 83. Image Credits and Licence This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands License, Except the images, they have their own license, see the sources below: Steve Mann: Vannevar Bush: Gordon Bell: Stephen Wolfram: Wolfram measured images: Nicholas Felton: Bell timeline: Laurie Frick (opening slide): Online Educa workshop: Danny Hillis: Victor Mayer-Schönberger: Jim Gemmel: Big Brother Awards: Max More:,_Stanford_2006_(square_crop).jpg David Wiley: