A really great post from Aaron Campbell on the potentials of blogs and wikis in developing students that know how to create knowledge rather than just possess it. It really captures the disruptive nature of all of this, and crystallizes the huge shift that will be required should we adopt on a wide scale. The whole post is worth the read, and it’s one I know I’ll return to later when I have a bit more time. This sentence captures it pretty well:
I believe that personal publishing via weblogs and wikis on the growing social semantic web can be an excellent educational practice for feeding the being mode in young minds. The medium emphasizes process over goal, collectivity over individuality, decentralization over centralization, humanity over automation, authenticity over simulation, freedom over control, self-directed over teacher-directed, and the dynamic over the static. Furthermore, it can be self-reflective, potentially giving rise to insights into the socially constructed nature of self-identity.
That’s really well put, and defines much of what’s “different” about the read/write Web. But making that happen in schools is a huge task, as Aaron notes:
When learners are given the chance to join in the authentic and cooperative social practice of constructing knowledge in society, we are providing a new educational arena which encourages a participatory and potentially political orientation toward the ‘world out there’ – necessary for a healthy democracy. I can’t help but wonder though, whether our institutions of “learning” are commited to helping young people ‘know themselves’ or to merely condition them for a status quo existence, currently a predominant having mentality.