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Ruben R. Puentedura, Ph.D.
— October 8, 2020
“One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of accidentally becoming your own father or mother. [...] The major problem is quite simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner’s Time Traveler’s Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Many of the events that shape the world of learning and academe are not slow, gradual changes. Rather, they belong to the category of Black Swans, events that:
The lack of predictability of Black Swans might lead someone to write them off as “just one of those things” that you “just have to bear” - and nothing could be more wrong or more destructive. It is possible to design institutions and plans for action that, without predicting the unpredictable, are either resilient in the face of Black Swans, or - even better - antifragile, a term coined by Nassim Taleb to describe entities that actively benefit from unexpected shocks.
Black Swan thinking and antifragile design require a toolkit that is very different from traditional planning approaches. In order to address this need, I will be leading a 6-month project, sponsored by the ShapingEDU group at ASU, to develop such a toolkit for K-20 institutions. It comprises three stages:
It’s an honor to have been selected by ASU and ShapingEDU as an Innovator In Residence and to develop this project. I welcome everyone to the virtual pond - kits for building your own pith helmet and binoculars will be provided.