Douglas Rushkoff calls it the “Society of Authorship” this new era that we are entering, and I like that phrase a lot. But I also like Sun Microsystems’ CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s description too: “The Participation Age.”
The Participation Age, in which an open and competitive network fuels growing opportunities for everyone – not simply to draw data or shift work around the world, but to participate, to create value and independence. If the Information Age was passive, the Participation Age is active.
Sometimes I’m astounded, literally, by the threads that seem to keep popping up, the idea here, for instance, of independent participation to create value. It feels like a very radical idea to education. Can we get to the point where we believe our students can add value, can participate in meaningful ways even while they’re still in high school (or middle school, or elementary school)? Better yet, can the mere opportunity to add value to a larger, broader body of knowledge motivate students to work with more passion and interest?
I know this harkens back to the discussion from a few days ago when Ken raised the question of just how many people would actually end up participating as opposed to staying on their keisters glued to “Survivor” or “CSI.” (110 million people watch that show. Oy.) The difference is, those boob tubers never had the chance to participate. These kids do.