21 Jan 2008

Learning as a social event

One of the participants in the upcoming

21 Jan 2008

One of the participants in the upcoming knowledge co-seminar, Ismael Peña-López, wrote on the visit of John Seely Brown at UOC as part of the institution’s Innovation Forums. He pondered, “is there anything more in ‘open’ and learning than Open Educational Resources?”

From Ismael’s notes:

Tinkering — enjoy fixing, experimenting — as a learning platform. We have to legitimate tinkering.

In the Digital Age, there is a culture of participation: tinkering, building, remixing, sharing. To create meaning by what one produces and others build upon. And sometimes this meaning creation happens without the original author of the work used as a basis for further meaning creation.

The Long Tail in Learning: leveraging and supporting each segment differently, supporting the rise of an ecology of learning/doing niches.

Cristóbal Cobo responds:

I love the challenge of John Seely Brown, who defends the idea that real learning is basically a social event, and therefore the value is within the group learning process (either in person or virtual). Brown adds other qualifiers as chaotic learning, distributed, interactive tools like facebook or where secondlife applications become a substantive value. In addition, he uses as a successful example for the education of tomorrow through “communities of practice,” underpinned by open source (Firefox, Linux, Apache, etc..). This makes me think of the gamble initiated by Yasuaki Sakyo at the Shibuya University in Japan, whose model is community education, open and absolutely horizontal [via educationfutures].

In the world of cut-and-paste learning and creative, new knowledge production, we need to look at how new social tools and environments create new meanings. In this new society, how can institutions that resist communities of practice built on social technologies (i.e., nearly every school) remain legitimate nodes of teaching and learning?

A couple more interesting articles by Seely Brown:

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