Dear Pamela and Paolo,
i think that recently published book would be in content of new education structures in far more broader sense:
THE ECOLOGY OF LEARNING: SUSTAINABILITY, LIFELONG LEARNING AND EVERYDAY LIFE
, by John Blewitt, 2006, Sept., Earthscan
I strongly believe that new, "open source thinking" is emerging
form environmentalist perspective, what was already highlighted by
(Information Age trilogy) and Fritjof Capra
(Web of Life).
2006/8/30, Paolo Pumilia <paolo.pumilia@...>:
On Saturday 26 August 2006 01:54, Pamela McLean wrote:
> There are benefits in working in new ground. It seems to me that in any
> area where there is already a well established educational system, there
> will inevitably be structures and systems designed for the industrial
> society - not for the information society of the 21st century. If the
> structures and systems - the buildings, the roles, the thinking, and the
> individual and group ways of behaving, have all taken their shape from
> 19th and 20th century norms, then the potential of ICT will probably be
> something of an "add on" - rather than being the catalyst - the main
> force driving developments and structures. By contrast in areas where
> 19th and 20th century educational systems are less well established (as
> in rural Nigeria) new approaches to education, enabled through ICT,
> could develop with greater freedom, in a more organic way (once the ICT
> infrastructure breaks through.)
Dear Pamela, i agree with you that the rise of a new educational system needs
new structures and that surely building on new ground offers certain
advantages over striving to trasform a well established system. Probably
peculiar suggestions towards a new educational system will come from both
Although 'open content' has no broadly accepted definition and being not so
deeply studied yet, as the open source counterpart, in my opinion, some
important organizational traits leading to successful open source projects
could be transferred to the educational context. Open content projects, as
thereafter outlined, could strongly support the innovation of the educational
Paralleling the open source phenomenon, here is my view:
Key concepts of open content successful project are
- re-usability of 'objects', both on the technical and the law sides
- the peculiar community that forms and thrives in the commons, aimed at
delivering and using a well defined 'product'.
In such kind of communities solid and trusted connections are maintained
between the 'project leaders' and the end-users through a consistent
population of effective contributors, thus enpowering end-users to drive the
project development ('shifting the locus of innovation towards users', after
However, project leaders are those in charge for success of the project
(effectivess, long term planning, 'quality', etc).
Out of project leader role features is the ability to understand, to feel,
what is a real need in a professional sector, and to see how to provide an
effective answer. That is the first step to start a successful project.
Coming to the educational environment, my opinion is that open content project
proposers should, at first stage, spend time to clear up which teachers' and
students' real needs they intend to meet, before taking to forge manuals,
lectures, 'knowledge objects', etc.
In that process, directions for the rearrangement of the school/univ
organization will be envisaged, together with the elaboration and the
manifacturing of 'products'.
As the project succeeds, an 'open community' will form, providing their
incentive for the change of structures.
> Discussion of the development of our group knowledge brings us back once
> again to Open Content. I think of Open Content as a continuum. At one
> extreme is the kind of Open Content made available by MIT, which means
> all of us are all free to read course materials that previously were
> only available to registered MIT students. At the other extreme we have
> free flowing discussions such as the ones that Andrius is enabling
> through his groups. He has brought us, and others, into groups on the
> Internet to share ideas in an Open Content way.
Yes, i agree with your view, by and large. I have to admit i do not know much
of the Andrius' experimentation on free flowing discussion (although we have
known each other over years).
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