December 11, 2008

Fluid Learning, A must read

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:16 pm

Add this article to your delicious feed, then email it to every leader and teacher you know and you will have accomplished a lot today.

Will tipped me off to this article by Mark Pesce and it captures so much of what is critical and important in understanding what education must do to remain relevant.  You need to read it but I’ll give you a few snippets of what resonated with me.

He discusses RateMyProfessors.com and sums it up this way,

If we are smart enough, we can learn a lesson here and now that we will eventually learn – rather more expensively – if we wait. The lesson is simple: control is over. This is not about control anymore. This is about finding a way to survive and thrive in chaos.

Taking a page right out of Disrupting Class,

The administration has gone, the instructor’s role has evolved, now what happens to the classroom itself? In the context of a larger school facility, it may or may not be relevant. A classroom is clearly relevant if someone is learning engine repair, but perhaps not if learning calculus. The classroom in this fungible future of student administrators and evolved lecturers is any place where learning happens.

He ends with four recommendations. The first is Capture Everything.

I am constantly amazed that we simply do not record almost everything that occurs in public forums as a matter of course. This talk is being recorded for a later podcast – and so it should be. Not because my words are particularly worthy of preservation, but rather because this should now be standard operating procedure for education at all levels, for all subject areas. It simply makes no sense to waste my words – literally, pouring them away – when with very little infrastructure an audio recording can be made, and, with just a bit more infrastructure, a video recording can be made.

The second was has a special place in my heart, Share Everything. (He really meant share(ski) anything, but I’ll let it go)

The center of this argument is simple, though subtle: the more something is shared, the more valuable it becomes. You extend your brand with every resource you share. You extend the knowledge of your institution throughout the Internet. Whatever you have – if it’s good enough – will bring people to your front door, first virtually, then physically.

Recommendation #3 is Open Everything.

Services like Twitter get filtered out because they could potentially be disruptive, cutting students off from the amazing learning potential of social messaging. Facebook and MySpace are seen as time-wasters, rather than tools for organizing busy schedules……All of this has got to stop. The classroom does not exist in isolation, nor can it continue to exist in opposition to the Internet. Filtering, while providing a stopgap, only leaves students painfully aware of how disconnected the classroom is from the real world. Filtering makes the classroom less flexible and less responsive. Filtering is lazy.

Finally, Only Connect.

…for all its drawbacks, connection enriches us enormously. It allows us to multiply our reach, and learn from the best. The challenge of connectivity is nowhere near as daunting as the capabilities it delivers. Yet we know already that everyone will be looking to maintain control and stability, even as everything everywhere becomes progressively reshaped by all this connectivity. We need to let go, we need to trust ourselves enough to recognize that what we have now, though it worked for a while, is no longer fit for the times.

Read the whole thing and then share it.

, ,