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The Frank Kovac Effect and What It Means for Your Future

Written by : , Category : cqzoiuex , Date : December 12, 2019 , No Comments on The Frank Kovac Effect and What It Means for Your Future

first_imgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This is part of the “Hi AleX,” series — advice to AleX NetLit about enhancing her levels of network literacy through day-to-day personal and professional social networking. AleX Netlit is a fictional persona created by Network Literacy Community of Practice to serve as a guide to Military Families Service professionals, Cooperative Extension educators and others seeking to learn more about using online networks in their work.More about Alex NetLit Hi AleX,This may strike you as an odd question: What does a middle-aged Wisconsin paper-mill worker possibly have to do with your professional future?Short answer: everything.The worker’s name is Frank Kovac, and a few years ago, he did something extraordinary. From a very early age, Kovac dreamed of becoming an astrophysicist. Difficult college math courses ended this dream, but it didn’t stop him from building his own planetarium in his free time — a facility he proudly describes to his visitors as the “world’s largest rolling, mechanical globe planetarium.”In fact, the Kovac Planetarium, located in the tiny, unincorporated northern Wisconsin community of Monico, has become a popular tourist attraction.Kovac has demonstrated that in terms of knowledge empowerment, people no longer have to wait on someone else — a teacher or a mentor, for example. They can tap into the enormous generative capacity of the Web to educate themselves.Call it the Frank Kovac effect.This holds major implications for you, AleX, because in spite of all the passion and commitment you pour into your job, people no longer have to wait on you. Thanks to the enormous generative capacity of the Web, they, like Frank Kovac, have the means of empowering themselves.Granted, your passion and commitment will always be key professional assets — that’s the good news.  The part you need to worry about is how you’ve been taught to conceive and deliver your products.You and millions of other professionals were trained to think about and deliver information in linear terms — through programs such as lectures, seminars, and workshops, with your students serving more or less as passive recipients of this instruction. Your work has been defined by those methods for the bulk of your career.The problem is that a growing number of people around the world no longer want to acquire knowledge this way. Thanks to the technological advances that have occurred within the last generation, they don’t have to anymore.In this respect, your methods are quickly rendering you obsolete.Yes, there is still a place for these methods. The growing numbers of people learning to empower themselves still like to enhance what they’ve learned with occasional face-to-face interactions with similar-minded people.Consequently, face-to-face interaction will always comprise a facet of your work. But make no mistake, AleX: Traditional face-to-face interaction will largely be supplanted by these emerging forms of learning.Pretty soon, you and everyone else will be challenged to think and work in ways that reflect the new, flattened information order that prevails in the 21st century.We’ve talked in the past about how acquiring networking skills will enable you to aggregate and curate vast amounts of online information for the benefit of those you serve. (I’m reluctant to use the term client because in this new information order, the people you serve are not clients in any conventional sense. They are equals — “co-learners” who are now equipped to engage in two-way dialogue with you and to collaborate on the design and distribution of your end products.)No doubt about it: Aggregating and curating information will be valuable skills in the future, but in this new information order, you will be valued even more for the role you serve in contributing to networks — virtual spaces where people can exchange information and, equally important, where ideas can meet, mate and morph into even bigger, more innovative ideas.Some Net experts and others prefer to describe these new virtual venues as ecosystems rather than networks— take your pick.The people who master skills and who see themselves as both co-learners and contributors to these networks will be the most highly valued and successful professionals of the 21st century.This is your professional charge, AleX. Good luck. This article was originally published Thursday September 6, 2012 on the Military Families Learning Network blog, a part of eXtension. Author: Jim Langcusterlast_img

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