Let’s pretend the bundled asparagus above is first one kind of thing and then another kind of thing. The two kinds of bundles to imagine the asparagus represents are HUGE obstacles to 21st century learning.
First let’s say the bundles are educational resources such as textbooks, curricula, and grade standards. Each stalk of asparagus represents something like fractions, polynomials, cell mitosis, the planets, and classic short stories. Pedagogues and publishers have divided the stalks by subject, into math, biology, astronomy, and literature. All the stalks for each of the subjects have been gathered together and bundled — bound and held together. The individual topics like cell mitosis are stuck in one of the bundles and cannot be found or linked openly online.
Second let’s say the bundles are students. They have been sorted out by grade, gifts, scores, etc. and bundled together. The bundles of students have then been placed in a pile that we will think of as a particular school. In this image of two schools (one on the left, one on the right), students of different color go to different schools.
Webster’s gives us this definition: bundle — a number of things fastened together into a mass or bunch convenient for handling or conveyance.
This is a disturbingly vivid metaphor for actual schooling — especially public schools in the United States and those with rigid grade standards in Europe and many other places.
UNBUNDLING AND CONNECTING
Bundling of educational resources makes them incompatible with the open internet because the medium is a network. Nodes are needed for fractions to connect with other fraction resources and polynomials, mitosis and the rest to link to their related knowledge. Knowledge needs to be unbundled for it to be useful online.
There is now a quick and easy release for a student now experiencing schooling in a bundle: handschooling. Give a student a smartphone so she can connect on her own to the knowledge she wants to learn that is unbundled in the open internet. She will begin feeling less like a piece of asparagus, and become a scholar.