The Augmented Performer

The post I did yesterday on Distributed Cognition also triggered another thought, about the augmented learner.  The cited post talked about how design doesn’t recognize the augmented performer, and this is a point I’ve made elsewhere, but I wanted to capture it in a richer representation.  Naturally, I made a diagram:

DistributedCognitionIf we look at our human capabilities, we’re very good pattern matchers, but pretty bad at exercising rote performance.  So we can identify problems, and strategize about solutions, but when it comes to executing rote tasks, like calculation, we’re slow and error prone.  From the point of the view of a problem we’re trying to solve, we’re not as effective as we could be.

However, when we augment our intellect, say with a networked device (read: mobile), we’re augmenting our problem-solving and executive capability with some really powerful calculations capability, and also some sensors we’re typically not equipped with (e.g. GPS, compass), as well as access to a ridiculously huge amount of potential information through the internet, as well as our colleagues.  From the point of view of the problem, we’re suddenly a much more awesome opponent.

And that is the real power of technology: wherever and whenever we are, and whatever we’re trying to do, there’s an app for that.  Or could be.  Are you empowering your performers to be awesome problem-solvers?

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