Post racial delivery of knowledge to students


Posted on 19th September 2010 by Judy Breck in Mobiles | Next | Schools we now have

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One of the big, simple, marvelous truths about the future of global learning is that knowledge itself will be post racial.

Post racial knowledge is not dollops of parts of subjects measured to form standards for the average student in a school or state or nation. Post racial knowledge resources for learning are not tailored to kids expected to learn not so much — as happens routinely in inner city public schools. Post racial knowledge is not conformed to a particular religion. Post racial knowledge is not designed to teach students to be loyal to a tribal chief or to support a nation’s tyrant.

The upheaval going on now in schooling is distressing. The Waiting for Superman movie and the likely departure of Washington DC Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee are recent episodes in global education inadequacies and chaos.

Yet almost never considered in the schooling milieu is that fact that what can be learned has become readily available online at little or no cost students. A wonderful aspect of this ready access of knowledge to learn is that the experience is post racial when a student uses online sources. The internet, and the mobile online browsers kids around the world increasing use, have no idea who is holding a connective device in his or her hand.

The learner has no need to tell the device who his daddy is. The expectations for each learner are just the same if he or she is a Harvard grad student, a projects resident in the Bronx, or a small gnome from Neptune.

Education needs an emergence wake-up call


Posted on 19th June 2010 by Judy Breck in Findability | Next

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As emergence shook biology loose from physics in the 20th century, emergence will pry preconceived curricula from the natural networking of knowledge. So far, the education establishment has shrugged off the emergence of knowledge online, and hence is blithely unaware that human learning is entering a global golden age.

Paul Davies described in Edge, how scientists have had to stop shrugging and work to understand the reality and power of emergence:

Although scientists have long had an inclination to shrug aside such questions concerning the source of the laws of physics, the mood has now shifted considerably. Part of the reason is the growing acceptance that the emergence of life in the universe, and hence the existence of observers like ourselves, depends rather sensitively on the form of the laws. If the laws of physics were just any old ragbag of rules, life would almost certainly not exist. [First published as an OpEd piece by The New York Times, November 24, 2007]

Davies writes from the perspective of complexity science, which includes the probing of networks. In the 20th century, as DNA was understood and the functioning of biology was studied at increasing depths of complexity, physicists were toppled from their kingship of science. Emergence, Organization & Dynamics of Living Systems (as the Santa Fe Institute calls it) has taken a place next to physics in our understanding of science and the cosmos. We are overdue in placing emergence as a pillar of pedagogy.

The rise of the internet has caused what is known by humankind to relocate into the network matrix formed by the open internet. Because knowledge itself is a network — as is our brain where we use and emerge knowledge — knowledge does what comes naturally when it gets into the internet: it emerges. In an elegance too beautiful to be untrue, knowledge on the internet resonates with knowledge in the learning mind. They mirror each other as the mind learns and thinks about the emergent knowledge it encounters online.

The education establishment did not create online emergent knowledge anymore than the physicists created emergent life. Both are discoveries. Knowledge has always emerged in our minds — but very new is the internet matrix where knowledge can emerge virtually for us to study and learn.

BTW: Social networking is something entirely different than the networking of knowledge. Both are huge for learning. Social networking, as it relates to education, has to do with people interacting about knowledge. Emergent knowledge is about algebra interacting with calculus, French history emerging from Roman Gaul, the ecology of rice connecting to theories of famine — all the stuff like that which is known, learned, and thought about by humankind.

The funeral is now history for none-net knowledge

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Posted on 26th May 2010 by Judy Breck in Findability | Next

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Egyptian Funerary Stela

Because networks laws naturally and eagerly organize knowledge, essentially all (yes all) knowledge studied in a K-20 superior education has made its way into the open internet — and students who are not allowed to use the net knowledge are cheated. Knowledge locked away in a textbook or behind a firewall, grows stale by not linking into the open network for its subject. Knowledge chiseled into print cannot form patterns for students to mirror into their minds — as open, online study subjects can.

NOTE: Knowledge (as the word is used here) and a textbook, a standard, a curriculum are not the same thing. Knowledge is stuff like how cells divide, the life of Lincoln, or the conjugation of a French verb. The way educators think knowledge can be taught is a place they embed knowledge; educators embed knowledge in textbooks, standards, curricula. Educators do their embedding at such enormous cost in institutions where kids are embedded for years, that we tend to think the knowledge is part of all that is going on under the name of “education.” But knowledge is not education. Knowledge is the sum total of what is known by humankind — like about cells, Lincoln, and French grammar.

Knowledge itself is a network. Knowledge now has a new medium — the open internet — that is an elegant place where knowledge can do what comes naturally. What comes naturally to knowledge is to link into patterns. And there is something mThink about cells, Lincoln, or French and you will experience patterns arising from the network format of your mind. The fact that there is a new open network out there (the internet) where knowledge patterns can emerge has made any none-network way to organize what is known by humankind obsolete.

The situation is much like the change that devastated the powerful ancient Egyptian scribes when the Phoenicians invented their alphabet. Suddenly, by inventing just 26 symbols to represent sounds of words, the Phoenicians rendered their highly paid scribes obsolete. The thousands of pictures the scribes learned, during years at scribe school,  to represent ideas using hieroglyphics could not do nearly as good a job of writing down ideas as the 26 phonetic symbols could.

The invention of the alphabet caused a simple new method to leapfrog communication into an entirely new era. The simple fact that knowledge is embedded openly only has leapt learning into a golden age. All that is left is for the scribes education bundlers (textbook, standards, curricula folk) to access knowledge online (which is happening more and more).

The embedding of what is known by humankind into the open internet — where knowledge can emerge in dynamic patterns of ideas as students study — has been held back by the education establishment. Like the scribes of ancient Egypt, most textbook makers, standards devisers, curriculum authors, content managers, and other knowledge content managers dug in early on against the open network. The scribes did the same thing: they stuck a few phonetic symbols among their hieroglyphs and, for hundreds of years, refused to abandon their picture writing. In the meantime, Egypt slipped from power in the Mediterranean, as countries which adopted the new alphabet method grew powerful and rich through communication supporting commerce across their Sea.

Proprietary and otherwise locked-away is — like hieroglyphics — clumsy. It is disconnected in a connecting age. The living human knowledge now is unbundled into its smallest nodes, which which have been released into the internet as freely linkable urls, forming the global knowledge commons where everything is organized and vetted by network laws.

The walled gardens of early internet knowledge have become graveyards.

Findability in the global commons is the new core of education


Posted on 23rd February 2010 by Judy Breck in Findability | Mobiles | Next

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Handschooling is stunningly exciting and hopeful because every youngster on earth will soon have individual access to knowledge. Grumpy posts here about Obamaschool are not the real spirit of this website — but knocking us off of the socialist track is necessary before the new individualized learning can emerge.

The image above — half of which is now in the sidebar — illustrates the conjunction of the two main factors of handschooling:

    1. what is know by humankind and needs to be learned by each new generation has moved online where it is mirroring its cognitive network structure, and
    2. individual mobile devices are now available by which each student can individually connect to the global knowledge commons the network has created.

      The most deeply interesting subject is the networking of what is known online. There is so much chaos and conflict in education that it is very hard to get focus on this core phenomenon. Yet the fact that knowledge itself is a network and that almost suddenly it has found a new medium — the internet — in which to nestle itself conforming to its own cognitive structure is astounding. This event ranks with the invention of language, writing, and printing. This migration of what is known by the human species into a spontaneous virtual medium is most spectacular because no one thought it up. It just happened. Until we reconfigure schooling around the networking of knowledge in the open internet, we are spinning our pedagogical wheels. Finding and connecting ideas in this medium is the core around which we will invent the future of education.

      Watch some rich content to study emerge from online


      Posted on 10th February 2010 by Judy Breck in Findability

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      The content for handschooling is not hypothetical: it is richly abundant online. The animation above demonstrates how related content can emerge in patterns for study. To see this content form patterns, first click to enter the emerger. Then you can click on the four subjects across the bottom of the animation to emerge real online content about the Mars Rovers, King Tut’s Face, the brains of birds, and how Rembrandt painted hands.

      If the class from Denver University recently posted here had used the emerger animation they could have learned a lot and and not found themselves fumbling with technology. The future of learning is much less about technology and very much more about the content for learning that emerges in patterns of interrelated facts and meaning.

      Handschooling is putting emergent online content into a student’s hands.

      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.