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Data, Metrics, Teams, Learning
James R. Bracy
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This previous weekend I was able to hear Charlie Kim give a talk about the importance of data and how it will become a valuable asset. With software moving towards being commoditized, similar to how hardware has become a commodity, data is playing an increasingly bigger role.

Initially when I heard this, I generally agreed. It wasn't until I was reading about Education as a Platform that it clicked. The article itself doesn't directly deal with data, but Charlie Kim mentioned several points that come up in this article, and I don't think it is a coincidence.

First is that metrics are critically important. "Metrics in this area [education] are the absolute crux of eduction reform and poor metrics are a major contributor to how innovations are damped out in the education system." The key to making this happen is data science. There is is! Data, will play an integral role in the transformation of education.

But wait! Charlie Kim was an absolute genius in the way he structures the teams in his company. The second point brought up in the article is that "traditional hierarchical, silo’d human systems are inefficient and resistant to change, but that they improve dramatically when restructured to support self-organizing teams." These are simple teams that have feedback loops built in. The outcome of the team is what matters, not that they show up for work.

The third point in the article isn't something that I directly heard, but it does fit in. For a while I have felt that there shouldn't be a distinction between formal and informal learning. With the credit based on outcomes, this distinction starts to disappear. If I want to learn how to paint, well I'll do it with or without the formal eduction (in my case without). In this outcome is obvious and if the feedback loop happens as soon as I have complete the painting, and should I get to the point of letting a masterpiece go I can understand if others find it valuable.

It took a few days for all of this to sink in, and am really glad I stumbled on the article about Education as a Platform.