A new book due out next month from Don Tapscott (whose Growing Up Digital was great) looks at the potential of collaboration on a mass scale and looks like it might offer up some more ammunition to the conversation around rethinking what we do in our classrooms. Not sure if there is an education specific piece to the book as only the introduction and first chapter are online, but here’s a quote that whetted my appetite:
These changes, among others, are ushering us toward a world where knowledge, power, and productive capability will be more dispersed than at any time in our historyâ€”a world where value creation will be fast, fluid, and persistently disruptive. A world where only the connected will survive. A power shift is underway, and a tough new business rule is emerging: Harness the new collaboration or perish. Those who fail to grasp this will find themselves ever more isolatedâ€”cut off from the networks that are sharing, adapting, and updating knowledge to create value.
And, can you say “irrelevant?”
And, just ’cause I like to play with words, here’s another snippet with some “editing” (the original is in the brackets):
For smart schools [companies], the rising tide of mass collaboration offers vast opportunity…Schools [Companies] can reach beyond their walls to sow the seeds of innovation and harvest a bountiful crop. Indeed, educators [firms] that cultivate nimble, trust-based relationships with external collaborators are positioned to form vibrant classroom [business] ecosystems that enhance learning [create value] more effectively than hierarchically organized schools [businesses].
More to read during my break for the holidays…
(Via Steve Cohen)
technorati tags:shifts,education, collaboration
Ken Leebow says
I just quoted Don the other day. However it was from his book that I read in 1996: “Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening.”
I’m looking forward to this new tomb.
Terry Elliott says
What does this new collaborative look like and where does it exist?
Is it in synthetic, 3D worlds like WoW or Second Life” Is it in new social interactive technologies like Open Spaces? Is it in my students’ cellphone convergencies and their web x.x mashups? Or is it in a one-to-one tutorial over a paper? A poetry slam at the local coffee
shop? Or perhaps some chat where some anonymous script kiddie shows me how to create zombie bots for various and nefarious purposes?
As you might expect the quote has a certain apocalyptic whiff that appeals to me. I especially like the rhetorical world we are hurtling toward, something this way wickedly coming. But I also think it is charming that anyone could think that they are going to harness and grasp this beast’s long tail.
As a balance to this I would recommend a read from Inspector Lohmann’s radical blog of the same name. Take a good sniff of this ‘goulash-y’ post titled “The Beginning of the Last Chapter”. You can find it here: http://inspectorlohmann.blogspot.com/2006/11/our-historical-purgatory-between.html
I really enjoyed the transposing of business and educational terms. I think that we are pointing toward something beyond both. Perhaps someday the new American learning that Will is suggesting will add just as much to our gross domestic product as do music and movies. That I can say that with a straight face should be some indication of the core faith I place in those who are trying to midwife the birth of this new story.
Pat Aroune says
The influence and power that your blog is having cannot be underestimated. While reading this blog and commenting, I was on skype with China discussing your quote with a TQM consultant, and he could not agree more. The most empowering aspect of these technologies is the educational value they present, and the ability to share them with all. I also agree with the previous comment that we are in the infancy of this story.
Rob Wahl says
Asked my son (14) if he was growing up digital. He asked why, so I told him there was this book about growing up digital. He said, “can I read it online?” I said, “only part of it”. He said, then what’s it got to do with me?
I asked him if it was true that children control much of the net. At first he didn’t want to answer, so after repeating myself he lowered his voice and admitted it was true. He said, “with TV you’re forced to watch what they want you to see”.
Roger Hiles says
Great post and looks like a great book. I agree with the idea– the spread of enabling technology will change the focus from managing scarcity to managing abundance. We probably are so early in the process that we can’t imagine where it will end, but I look forward to seeing where Tapscott thinks it’s heading.
Kyle Brumbaugh says
Nimble, agile, value added, fluid, vibrant, trust-added. All adjectives I would like to be part of the educational conversation.
What do we have now? Standards, static, testing, bureaucratic, etc.
Hoping the educational conversation and action transforms itself soon! Although, I’d like to be one of the people making the change.
Jeff Utecht says
Nice remix. It’s powerful…now can we get school leaders to understand it?