Kathy Sierra is an inspirational educator who created the excellent “Head First” series of self-learning books for O’Reilly. She famously ended her public blog “Creating Passionate Users” and stopped appearing in public after receiving death threats back in April 2007 … an incident that made national news at the time.
Thankfully, she’s back and has just presented at the O’Reilly Gov 2.0 conference a keynote entitled Creating Passionate Citizens. The video was published on YouTube and though the cameraman was focussed on the speaker rather than the slides, many of which don’t make the final cut, there’s enough in what was said to start me thinking.
Like Dave Ferguson, who’s blog post drew my attention to Kathy’s talk, I began to wonder what, if anything, we could do to create a community of passionate teachers and, more importantly, generations of passionate students. I went back to Kathy’s blog and a couple of postings on creating and supporting communities struck me as immediately relevant.
- Building a successful on-line community
- How to Build a User Community
- User Community and return on investment
And there’s a lot more gold to mine.
I highly recommend the Head First books. They are exemplary examples of what learning objects could be and we could learn a lot from them. One of the first head first books that I owned was on Enterprise Java Beans … a hard topic to get passionate about! The Head First explanation of how interactive web servers work from Head First Servlets and JSP is still used in one of my courses. The Headfirst Labs web site is also a fine learning resource. See for example The Learner’s Journey in Practice!