Schooling is unbundling into the global commons of what is known


Posted on 2nd September 2010 by Judy Breck in Findability | Mobiles | Next | Schools we now have


Network laws are causing schooling to unbundle, just as they have been doing to other sectors: music, journalism, merchandising and more. The image above mashes a traditional school that is breaking into little pieces as it engages the Map of Science which reflects online networking of academic subjects.

The force behind school unbundling is the network out there which the Map of Science depicts. The map of academics subjects is not an illustration; it is the plotting of real data and relationships among the nodes of the network that emerges from the data.

Unbundling of schooling allows the individual student to connect directly to individual knowledge nodes. In spite of years of standing back, and then of pushing hard against it by established education, schooling is being broken apart and reconfigured to individual students by the spontaneous online academic knowledge network.

Brick and mortar of buildings or of curriculum cannot for much longer systematically keep the student from connecting directly. A mobile internet browser is all it takes for a student to be able to become a node who links and learns individually to the global commons of what is known by humankind.

Think outside the bundle for network learning


Posted on 8th May 2010 by Judy Breck in Mobiles


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: bundlea 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.


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.

Research open-access chatter grows, and grows findability

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Posted on 26th January 2010 by Judy Breck in Findability

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“Suddenly people are talking about open access on campus in a way they hadn’t before,” says Susan Gibbons, vice provost and dean of River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester. “And it’s going to push the need for repositories front and center again.”

Ms. Gibbons’ prediction is from an article today in WIRED CAMPUS that describes how and why the University of Rochester is creating new institutional repository software.

Included in what will be offered to authors to lure them to contribute their papers and dissertations are “collaborating with colleagues” and customized “researcher pages.” In findability terms, the collaborating (1) gives link love to the ideas that interest colleagues and (2) puts online customized landing pages. Thus, the Rochester is not only making knowledge in their depository open, it is giving the ideas that attract collaboration some highly merited findability.

What are these two findability principles? (more…)