cc licensed flickr photo shared by bionicteaching

I saw a presentation today delivered by Jason Tester (Institute for the Future). It was one of the more interesting presentations I’ve seen in a while.

The whole presentation was framed around superhero skills for the immediate future. The names are a little silly but he had some fresh websites and I think the ideas are solid. Tester is not an education expert and so he didn’t try to make tight ties to how these skills play out in schools.

  • mobbability -work in large groups while maintaing role, organize and collaborate with many simultaneously
  • influency -ability to be persuasive in multiple social contexts
  • ping quotient -measures your responsiveness to other peoples request for engagement, propensity/ ability to reach out to others via a network
  • protovation -fearless innovation in rapid, iterative cycles
  • open authorship -creating content for public consumption and modification
  • emergensight -ability to prepare for and handle surprising results and complexity (or create the right conditions for it)
  • signal noise management -filtering meaningful info patterns and commonalities from the stream of information coming into our lives
  • cooperation radar -the ability to sense, almost intuitively, who would make the best collaborators on a particular task
  • longbroading -thinking in terms of higher level systems, cycles, the big picture


One of the things that struck me was an art project based around emotion maps (see image above)/ I’d seen this before on Boing Boing or something but today it sparked an idea. It may be that I’ve been dealing with trying to figure out how to gather data to assess our 1:1 initiative1 The basic idea is the artist build a GPS device that tracked people’s emotional states via some sort of skin temperature reading. So it picked up emotional highs and lows. The individual could also text in information.

Here’s what I thought would be interesting for a school. Think of the map above but done in a school. There are a variety of ways it could work even without the thermal readings and GPS data. Even if you did the data collection with simple a simple number system, you could map the people to the time codes and then to places or do it through an online database that skipped a step or two of that process. There are definitely ways to work it out.

Think of what you could do with an emotional map of your school and/or class. You overlay that data with location and various teachers/subjects/standards and you’d be able to have some really interesting conversations.

It’s late and I’ll try to make this more exact in a forth coming post on the ultimate data dashboard for educators. There’s also a fair chance I’ll post more on Tester’s presentation.


1 Long, involved post on that and data dashboards in the future. It’s currently molding with a couple hundred other drafts.

4 thoughts on “Jason Tester Presentation

  1. Wow – he really does a great job of identifying and “naming” some traits of successful individuals in this space. This is the first attempt I have seen at this. Thanks for sharing!

    1. He was an interesting guy and has a pretty amazing job. He joked some about making up names being one of the best parts of being a “futurist.” I’ll get around to posting the rest of my notes from his talk sooner or later.

  2. I’ve done some work with emotion mapping in undergrad. It’s a neat concept. I like his use of the super hero skills as realistic skill sets individuals can possess and use in technology and education.

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