Friday, September 16, 2011

Help when you get stuck

I like the insight from visionary Elon Musk (really) that a teacher's role should be to help you when you get stuck.

It reminded me of my conversation yesterday with @patrickjpr where he described Twitter as his "virtual watercooler" where conversations can range from philosophy or last night's TV/sports through to the practical and technical ...

We're moving so rapidly to a world where collaboration and mutual help and support is what's valued and valuable.

When I was taught at school, working with others was considered cheating and university teaching was mostly through quite gladiatorial tutorials where we took it in turns each week to defend an essay in front of the tutor while the other student would spar and score points ...

Against this background, training in IBM was such a shock where the only thing that got rewarded was team work. This is the right approach: we all need others around us to help us when we get stuck; and the best way to build that support base is to begin by giving help freely to others. In a world developing the need for portfolio careers instead of lifelong wage slavery, we have to learn to give our expertise away freely, at first, in order to develop reputation and contacts and, eventually, the monetary - and other - rewards.
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