I have been experimenting with using Diigo to improve my blog workflow. Part of that improvement plan is to use worthwhile articles as touchstones for my own thoughts. Diigo makes this plan simple although the commenting is never easy. Today's blog is a commentary on Will Richardson's World Without Walls: Learning Well with Others | Edutopia.
Welcome to the Collaboration Age, where even the youngest among us are on the Web, tapping into what are without question some of the most transformative connecting technologies the world has ever seen. These tools are allowing us not only to mine the wisdom and experiences of the more than one billion people now online but also to connect with them to further our understanding of the global experience and do good work together. These tools are fast changing, decidedly social, and rich with powerful learning opportunities for us all, if we can figure out how to leverage their potential.
Our ability to learn whatever we want, whenever we want, from whomever we want is rendering the linear, age-grouped, teacher-guided curriculum less and less relevant.
Working together is becoming the norm, not the exception. The Collaboration Age is about learning with a decidedly different group of "others," people whom we may not know and may never meet, but who share our passions and interests and are willing to invest in exploring them together. It's about being able to form safe, effective networks and communities around those explorations, trust and be trusted in the process, and contribute to the conversations and co-creations that grow from them. It's about working together to create our own curricula, texts, and classrooms built around deep inquiry into the defining questions of the group. It's about solving problems together and sharing the knowledge we've gained with wide audiences.
I believe their best, most memorable, and most effective teachers will be the ones they discover, not the ones they are given. More than learning content, the emphasis of these projects is on using the Web's social-networking tools to teach global collaboration and communication, allowing students to create their own networks in the process. The complexities of editing information online cannot be sequestered and taught in a six-week unit. This has to be the way we do our work each day. The process of collaboration begins with our willingness to share our work and our passions publicly -- a frontier that traditional schools have rarely crossed. Look no further than Wikipedia to see the potential; say what you will of its veracity, no one can deny that it represents the incredible potential of working with others online for a common purpose. The technologies we block in their classrooms flourish in their bedrooms Anyone with a passion for something can connect to others with that same passion -- and begin to co-create and colearn the same way many of our students already do. I believe that is what educators must do now. We must engage with these new technologies and their potential to expand our own understanding and methods in this vastly different landscape. We must know for ourselves how to create, grow, and navigate these collaborative spaces in safe, effective, and ethical ways. And we must be able to model those shifts for our students and counsel them effectively when they run across problems with these tools.
Yes, we must prowl around this new 'Serengeti'. Yes, like Odysseus, we need to be skilled in all ways of contending in this sea of terror and delight. Yes, it must be clear to students that we are learners on a continuum and that respect is earned by not only walking the walk, but in making the road as we walk it with them. - post by tellioThanks, Will for being my touchstone.