Landing : Athabascau University

Ten Principles for effective tinkering

Slides from my E-Learn 2014 presentation, providing a few hints about how to tinker (as opposed to engineer) e-learning content, tools, engagement, process, pedagogy, etc


  • Hi Jon

    As I engage more in a context of engineering microbes to do useful things, I connect with the suggestion to build and tinker, rather than to engineer. That is how it works anyway, the term "engineering" seems to imply a higher sophistication. It's questionable to assume we have that sophistication, especially when to comes to working with living cells who generally remain a mystery regarinding how they work and what they do.

    Shawn Lewenza September 8, 2015 - 10:28am

  • I like the idea of a discipline of 'genetic tinkering' very much. I can't help feeling it might not have a great effect on the public image of the discipline, no matter how accurate it might be in reality.

    It's a great pity that bricolage has got such a bad press through the likes of Levi Strauss etc. It certainly connotes something less well understood in popular usage, but it's just wrong to think of it as therefore somehow lesser than engineering. Tinkering is and has ever been an incredibly powerful source of invention and, as we slowly begin to realize that reductive science can only ever account for the smallest fraction of phenomena in the world that actually matter to us (e.g. see Stuart Kaufman's Reinventing the Sacred - fine, crazy, brilliant work summarized briefly here) it is also one of the most powerful tools at our disposal for understanding and engaging with a complex world.

    Jon Dron September 8, 2015 - 3:27pm

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