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Future of the University

Food for thought:

Bill Farren: Insulat-Ed:

Opening up the institution may seem like a counter-intuitive way of protecting it, but in an era where tremendous value is being created by informal and self-organized groups, sharing becomes the simplest and most powerful way of connecting with external learning opportunities. Why limit students to one teacher when a large number of them exist outside the institution? Why limit students to a truncated classroom conversation when a much larger one is taking place all over the world? Why not give students real-world opportunities to learn how to manage and benefit from networked sources? Institutions that are opening up are betting that the benefits obtained by sharing their resources will outweigh the expenses incurred in their creation. These institutions understand that larger and richer sources of knowledge and wisdom are to be found outside their walls. They understand that allowing students to access these sources, sharing their own, and helping students learn how to manage and understand all of it, will add value to what it is that they do as institutions. They appreciate that the costs of trying to match the quality and quantity of resources/expertise found on the network would be prohibitive. The most practial solution is to become a participatory member of the network. In the end, providing access to these resources and teaching students how to benefit from them not only serves the students, but also keeps the institution from becoming irrelevant, although admittedly, institutional influence will most likely be diminished as more learners self-organize.

Robert Paterson: The Rise of the Old Academy from the ashes of the University?:

So what about the “credential”? Will a student miss out by being taught by me or someone like me?

First of all, in the post industrial world. I suspect that having a meaningless credential that really says that all you did was attended a school, may not have much value. But I think that if you showed that you learned math from an acknowledged great math teacher, this would mean something. If you learned how to write code from a player in the field – that would mean more than a computer science degree. If John Robb taught you about global security that would mean something. If Stuart Baker taught you abut how values really work in society, that would mean something. You would also be part of the network of real teachers and there would not be that gulf between university and life You would show that because you had been accepted by a leader in your filed as a pupil that you were indeed special..

Will Richardson: So What is the Future of Schools?:

I think I’m finally getting to the root of my continued frustration with my kids’ education which is the system’s inability to help them find and nurture the areas they truly have passion for. It would be nice if the institution were the place that connected my kids to the experts they desired and needed to support their learning, wouldn’t it?

———snip——–

Nothing in these conversations changed my view that to really change what we do in schools we have to first change our understanding of what it means to teach in this moment. That doesn’t mean than we throw out all of the good pedagogy that we’ve developed over the years and make everything about technology. But it does mean, I think, that technology has to be a part of the way we do our learning business these days.

Comments

  1. #1 Mimi
    December 13, 2008

    This is EXACTLY what my debate was about on Wednesday. I will have to link to your site again now. :( so much good info so little time.

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