February 11th, 2012

The “Shift to Networks”

Just a couple of quotes that found me this morning, some pattern recognition in my sleepy brain.

Joi Ito in the New York Times:

I don’t think education is about centralized instruction anymore; rather, it is the process establishing oneself as a node in a broad network of distributed creativity.

And George Siemens at his blog:

Planned information structures like textbooks and courses simply can’t adapt quickly enough to incorporate network-speed information development. Instead of being the hub of the learning experiences, books, courses, and classrooms become something more like a node in part of a much broader (often global) network. The shift to networks is transformative in how a society organizes itself.

Two pretty smart guys echoing each other and making me think more deeply about what needs to happen to make this a reality in our classrooms. How do we help our students establish themselves as a “node” in a broad, global network of creativity and learning? Shouldn’t that be one of the fundamental questions that drives our work in schools right now?

The answers start, as always, with our own willingness and ability to go there. But they also start with transparently asking the big questions in our schools and communities. In light of the changes that the Web is bringing to our learning lives:

  • What do we mean by learning?
  • What does it mean to be educated?
  • What is our value in a world filled with content and teachers?
  • How do we best help students become patient, self-sufficient, sensitive, intelligent learners?

And finally this from George a couple of weeks ago:

When the education system is synchronized with the interests and passions of learners, the process is invigorating and tremendously motivating. However, when learners and educators have to fight the existing education system in order to learn and teach, it’s time for dramatic change.

Too many of us are fighting the system to learn and teach. We’re out of synch. If we’re not having these conversations in our communities, we really need to be.

  1. steelemaley reblogged this from willrichardson and added:
    Some good reflection here. Critical Education and deschooling echoed….for if we do not address the structures of Ed from...
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