Friday, October 9, 2009

Romano: "I don't fault Xerox." But what's up with XRX and PIA?

To be clear, Frank says:
I do not fault Xerox. I fault PIA for not meeting its responsibility for fairness, neutrality, and openness.
The straight talk from Frank Romano continued today at What they The article is behind the subscriber wall, but Cary Sherburne has good post at PrintCEO continuing a useful conversation.

Since I tend to look out for brand risk for the companies in which I invest, there was a part that particularly got my attention,

The snippet.
The State of U.S. Printing Associations -- Part Deux - Printing Industy Analysis fromWhatTheyThink:

"Some of the deals that PIA has made are interesting. Xerox has an exclusive arrangement where PIA members receive a discount. This is wonderful. What is not commonly known is that a percentage of the sale is rebated to PIA and to the local affiliate. The benefit to PIA and its affiliates is said to be in the millions of dollars. This has not been confirmed but several people have mentioned it. Other digital printing suppliers are locked out.

By the way, I do not think that any printing equipment has ever been sold at list price. I bet that Gutenberg got a trade-in credit on a wine press.

PIA just announced an audit program for digital printing. Is this program neutral? When one has an exclusive arrangement with one supplier, the question must be asked. PIA sent out a letter criticizing HP for its managed print services; yet, no letter was sent when it was announced that Xerox seemed to be doing something similar at Procter & Gamble."
But that's all business. What really has me concerned are the emails that Frank received. I keep looking for canaries in mine shafts. The following doesn't smell right to me.

I received lots of e-mail about all this: “I was at an Ohio (PIANKO) conference and the president of PIA made a presentation. He said he had just returned from a meeting in DC where Senator Hillary Clinton was present. He said the “stench” was still on him. This is the head of the association in charge of government affairs for our industry. How can we get the printing industry agenda in front of lawmakers if we are not neutral?” I personally recall that event and heard the audible gasp from the audience when the statement was made.

Another printer wrote “My health care costs are going through the roof. I can see the day when I spend more for health care than for paper. The PIA seems to have a Republican agenda rather than a printing industry agenda. Get our costs down!”

Or, “[The PIA president] made a video a few years ago that was offensive on almost every level. He mentioned how someone praised his “ass.” It may still be on YouTube.

Or, “... administrative costs are so high. I guess we are paying for all those dinners and all that booze.”

Or, “I was about to take a job at PIA and the president said that a prerequisite was personal loyalty to him . . . not the board and not the association.”

Or, “The president dropped the TIAA/CREF pension plan and selected Principal. There was no good reason.”

Or, “PIA may have lost some of its Government security work because its research head and the president are not American citizens.”

A path for the Print Industry to Grow is help High School Dropouts

To see what I'm trying to say, listen to Chris WJ Sykes - Chief Executive PIFSA

To clarify the mechanism,watch as Los Angeles Times reporter Duke Helfand takes a closer look at California's controversial dropout rate by following the diverging paths of 15 high school students from Birmingham High School.

The issue is not motivation. Every kid is motivated to learn until they meet obstacles and make some bad decisions. The issue is delivering just the right information at just the right time to just the right person. That plays exactly to the Power of Print.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Score for Kodak in the UK!

What's old is new. EK does digital thermography. Smart.

From Printweek:

The University of Surrey . . . invests in a Kodak Nexpress 2500 and becoming the UK's first print operation to use Kodak's Dimensional Inks. . . .
It has already fully personalised 21,000 undergraduate prospectuses and 4,000 postgraduate pieces that are specified to what courses and subjects the potential student is interested in studying.
. . . The tactile effect has been used to add variable height to the university crest on degree certificates and open day materials, which are all now printed in-house.
. . . Ive said a job that previously cost the university £40,000 to outsource is now being carried out for an eighth of the cost in-house.

A conversation with @doctorjeff at TwitterSchool about the Space/Time of twitter. And the power of Print.

Every Tuesday teachers from all over the world gather around #edchat.

For anyone passionate about education it is a great way to spend 2 hours on a Tuesday between 7 and 9 pm EDT. Of the many interesting conversation strings, I particularly enjoyed my conversation with

According to his twitter page,
doctorjeff is an"astrophysicist, educator, writer, nat'l pgm director, w cool apprch to earth & space science education. See Blog on the Universe!"

Blog on the Universe is for anyone who gets joy from learning and aspires to know. To visit this space, you just need to be open to the possibility that science, the majesty of the universe, and the nature of our home world—Earth—can be presented in an exciting new light.

The conversation started when he asked,
doctorjeff I thought education was a team effort - teachers, administrators, government working together. What am I missing? Help help. #edtec
I said
@doctorjeff education a team effort What am I missing? . #edtech Admins, teachers, pols, parents all play dif games with dif incentives

He said
doctorjeff @ToughLoveforX Admins, tchrs, pols, parnts all play dif games w dif incentvs. -Agreed. But what am I still missing? It's not a game#edchat
I said
@doctorjeff "It's not a game." | Actually, game theory+systems theory+ behavioural economics is a good lens to clarify the problem. #edchat
@doctorjeff IMO, we need the right rulers, clocks & models to fix this problem. "Time and space are the deep fundamentals" - Alvin Toeffler
@doctorjeff Consider the space/time of info exchange on twitter and how different that is from the sp/tm of a typical teacher's day. #edchat
He said
doctorjeff @ToughLoveforX I actually like space time curvature of the Twitterverse. It's non-linear, but locally Euclidean, unlike classrm. #edchat
I said
@doctorjeff non-linear cause there are multiple conversations at once. Locally flat cause I'm doing it one on one with computer. | Nice.

He said
doctorjeff @ToughLoveforX non-linear cause there are multiple conversations at once. Locally flat cause I'm doing it one on one with computer. #edchat
I said
@doctorjeff .Nice. So ..What's a "non-linear, but locally Euclidean" ed system #edchat If the space/time changes, everything changes.

@doctorjeff without control of your space/time, it's hard to feel power -> hard to learn. Twitterspace allows power & conversation.
He said
doctorjeff @ToughLoveforX In classrm, if managed the way I;d manage, its not locally flat given there r many 'centers' of learning. Thoughts? #edchat
I said
@doctorjeff What's the space/time around each kid? Is it locally flat and communication complete from the kid's lens? #edchat
End of conversation for now.

The point for Print
Marshall McCluhan correctly said " The Medium is the Message." One way of understanding what he meant was that each medium creates it's own space/time. When we enter into the space/time created by the technology of communication it changes our natural behavior.

In an information rich, but attention scarce society, the risk of engaging is wasting time. If the benefit is not clear, engaging does not happen. The forward looking benefit of engaging is not worth the risk of getting engaging in a conversation.

The paradox of "motivating" a student or teacher is that it requires engagement to learn the benefits of engaging. I think it's a version of Einstein's
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

"Teaching" the going forward benefit of learning most easily reaches exactly the students who already see the benefits of learning. But it is very inefficient in reaching the students whose space/time is me and now.

To see the value of Print and the space/time it creates I want to use some words doctorjeff put on the table. Our most at-risk students live in a deeply "non-linear" world. But learning emerges most quickly in flat "locally Euclidean" space/time.

Print is a medium that creates "locally Euclidean" space/time.

To clarify what I'm trying to say, "compare and contrast" seeing this conversation at #edchat versus seeing it in this post.

Then consider the potential reach if this post were delivered in Print to the hundreds of thousands of non engaged teachers who don't see that the going forward benefits of engaging in technology are worth the time required of them, now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"The National Association of Scholars, in fact, knows exactly what universities will look like in fifteen years, and in twenty
A close reading should give you the outlines of why Print connected to the web is looking at a game changing opportunity in education.

HP gets it just right in Prague. Let's do the same thing in the States.

This morning I found this in the twitterstream.
RT @djlwq Setting @t HP Education Center Prague - wow, interesting :-P
So I googled HP Education Center Prague got to this:
The Multicultural Center Prague is a non-profit organization interested in issues related to the coexistence of different cultures in the Czech Republic and abroad.
As near as I can tell, for the cost of a printer and a projector, at least one person called it the HP Education Center. Now that's quite a marketing ROI.

The problem of "the coexistence of different cultures" is a big problem everywhere, including these United States of America. Why wouldn't Xerox, Ricoh, HP, Oce, put this at the center of a close to zero expense "marketing" campaign? Do well by doing good.

From the about page at the Multicultural Center Prague.
Since our founding in 1999, we have been busy working on new educational, cultural and information initiatives. We organize workshops, courses, international seminars, debates, film screenings and book readings for children, students, teachers, librarians and just about everybody else. Additionally, we also run websites devoted to issues such as migration or multicultural librarianship. We have a well-stocked public library designed for those with an interest in multicultural issues.
I might be able to help by tweeting and blogging. If anyone is interested, just DM me at Twitter. It's ToughLoveforX.

Sponsors in 2007

Hewlett-Packard (HP)KosmasNewton ITSYMBIO Digital, s. r. o.

United Way International (Citigroup Foundation)Canadian EmbassyCity of PragueOpen Society Fund Prague

plus lots more...

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Enduring Value of Print in Teaching and Learning

One of the emails I look forward to is from Education on the Plate, -A passionate lock at learning, teaching, eating and drinking. The blog is maintained by Deven Black.

In response to today's post, I commented with what I hope is a useful description of the role Print can play in high school education.

I posted:
I want to point to one of lines in our post and argue that it shows how important print can be in changing minds and in education.

“to read the page of the bill that specifically prohibits that.”

The Print forces a closed mind to confront a new idea in words. Unlike talk, it’s hard to ignore, mis interpret or talk over. But, the real enabler is your son, the teacher. By his presence and attitude, he created the expectation of a response. No forcing, no threatening, just the mutual expectation.

To me, it seems a perfect demonstration of creating the “teachable moment” It helps explain the failure of multi-media to change the daily classroom experience for the student.

A trusted teacher can create the expectation of a response to new ideas represented by words in print. Education is about integrating new ideas to modify old ones. But, it means that a student or any person has to admit they are wrong.

Given how ferociously people fight the experience of being wrong, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it happens so infrequently.

The takeaway is that students in a classroom need more than anything an “expectation of creating a response.” Writing assigned and not returned with comments the next day are often worse than no assignment at all.

Of course, it’s a daunting task. But I think that twitter can help make it manageable.

Consider, a one pager handed out to students. It has two or three 140 chrcters assertions about whatever. The assignment is tweet what suprised you, or what you disagree with.

Then after the conversation has evolved, putting it in print to distribute to the students in the class.

When the student is forced to edit down blablabla into 140 characters, it creates a word object that can be responded to with manageable effort. The speed and appropriateness of the response can train the student to know that someone is listening.

My experience is that as soon as students see that someone is listening, their behavior can change amazingly quickly.