Online knowledge organizes itself better than educators can do it


Posted on 25th January 2010 by Judy Breck in Findability

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mirrorToBrainA recent post posits how knowledge for learning is growing as a superorganism from which everyone on earth can learn. That superorganism is a network that lives within the open internet. The first image (above) sketches how the learning mind, which is a network, can directly apprehend patterns of knowledge from the network that forms the superorganism online of what is known by humankind. That apprehending can be thought of as the mind mirroring patterns it encounters on the internet.

If the learning mind can apprehend knowledge patterns from the emergent knowledge online, why then is it that we spend $$ billions every year on systems of knowledge delivery to education that look something like the second image (below)? Would it not make more sense to curate the online knowledge nodes and network, refining them to signal among themselves to create cognitive patterns to mirror directly into learning minds?
The education establishment has assumed from the beginning of the internet era that it was they who should judge, select, and organize knowledge to be learned that is located on the internet. There is a fatal flaw in those assumptions: in the open internet, the knowledge self-judges, self-selects, and organizes itself better than those things can be done by educators because human knowledge is itself a network and obeys network laws. My statement here is radical, I know. It is also a fact of the internet that is morphing learning resources into the superorganism of what is known by humankind. It is a truth too beautiful not to be true and enormously hopeful for the global future.

The subject networks in the images above are from the Map of Science, which is described in PLoS One.  The networking — linking — among subjects has occurred naturally. When you look at the map you are seeing real world online cognitive connectivity.

Learning basic history, science, math in kids’ hands


Posted on 23rd January 2010 by Judy Breck in Mobiles | Nurture

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boysSchoolEvery boy in the picture above (by Griff Witte/the Washington Post) can learn basic history, science, math and more — in spite of what was reported last week in a front page Washington Post story:

“ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — With a curriculum that glorifies violence in the name of Islam and ignores basic history, science and math, Pakistan’s public education system has become a major barrier to U.S. efforts to defeat extremist groups here, U.S. and Pakistani officials say. . . .

“. . . according to education reform advocates here, any effort to improve the system faces the reality of intense institutional pressure to keep the schools exactly the way they are.”

How widespread is this intransigence toward changing schooling? This kind of stubbornness is not just found in Islamabad. Intense pressure to keep schools as they are ranges in different places and cultures from orthodoxy to tradition to profit issues by vested interests and control demands by unions and, most sadly, a panoply of corruption.

While we deal across the planet with the inertia and intransigence that promises to perpetuate failing schools for at least another generation or two of kids, why not let the kids trapped in these schools learn the basics with handschooling? To do that, we need to get a mobile that browses the internet to each kid, and focus more on sharpening the findability online of basic subjects. Every boy in the picture above could learn his algebra from a mobile friendly tutorial in Urdu, Punjabi – and one day the full range of local languages. My guess is that many Pakistanis of their generation are already doing some handschooling beyond their school walls — or when they have no school to attend.
Originally posted in

Nexus Ninjas unbox handschoolable mobile


Posted on 22nd January 2010 by Judy Breck in Mobiles

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This awesome ad is actually for a device that can deliver knowledge — the kind of stuff like reading, writing, arithmetic, history, literature, and science that used to reach students through analog devices like libraries and textbooks. Like the most highly skilled Ninjas, mobile wireless connectivity cuts through all the old time obstacles to put what kids want to learn directly into their hands.

Eric Schmidt: “Information is a tremendous equalizer”


Posted on 22nd January 2010 by Judy Breck in Findability

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One of the giants of the network industry predicts the internet will deliver all information to all people. Speaking to Carnegie Mellon University graduates, Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt said:

Why is ubiquitous information so important? Why is it so important that we have access to all this? It’s a tremendous equalizer. In our lifetime literally — certainly in yours if not mine — essentially every human being on the planet will have access to every piece of information on the planet. This is a remarkable achievement. God knows what these people will do, and it’s going to be pretty amazing.

The CEO of Google is not talking about building universities on a physical campuses the way Andrew Carnegie and the Mellon family did in Pittsburgh in the boom times of the industrial age. He is telling us access to all information to all people will be through the internet.

The 2009 CMU graduates to whom Schmidt spoke are information-elites, having attended one of the world’s great universities where information is open and plentiful. Graduates in 2009 from most other universities and colleges have had less access to information through their school. The slide away from information equality is steep and fast from there to those who do not graduate or even attend traditional schools. There is no chance that we can provide ubiquitous information and the equality it delivers by building more schools across the planet.

The inequity of information delivery will be overcome! Ubiquitous information and the equality it will bring will be sped up by optimizing open access online during the five or so years ahead it will take for mobile internet access to spread to essentially everyone on earth.

Via: Jeff Jarvis’ BuzzMachine

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