A Vision: Networked Learning Ecology: A mesh of open, free and participatory media (ICT’s+) and situated learning that liberate humans to create networks for social, economic and ecological resilience. Voices: (Please add more in comments)
- Slideshare: Groups vs Networks: The Class Struggle Continues
- Stephen Downes identifies significant differences between networks and groups, along four major axes. Drawn but not discussed at the Future of Learning in a Networked World event in Aukland, New Zealand. This short video explains the drawing at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen_downes/252157734
More to come….
Leigh Blackall presents a new view of learning that is critical, open, networked and participatory through his research. In a recent twitter stream and blog post he is asks for collective and open deliberation for a definition of networked learning. As a participant involved in networked learning research and praxis I will offer the following as an entry into the collective imaging and deliberation.
Open: Learning is free from institutions or understood to be actively participating in non-institutional learning.
Critical: learning does no harm or actively works for social, economic, and environmental sustainability and resilience.
Participatory: learning is integrative and inclusive of participants regardless of skill level or pre-determined social hierarchy.
Networked: learning happens in a blended mesh. Learners, pedagogues, and others are nodes that exchange information to different degrees, depths and forms both online and in the field.
The best defense of these definitions I have found is presented here by Steven Downes:
Image above: Watts and Strogatz model/small world network graph, credit: Arpad Horvath
Listen closely to the “lesson I want to get across” at minute 6:31….”There is no opting out of new media….it changes a society as a whole….media mediates relationships….the whole structure of society can change….we are on a razor’s edge between hopeful possibilities and more ominous futures….”
At min 8:14 Wesch describes what we need people to “be” to make our networked mediated culture work, and the barriers we are facing in schools. Wesch is right on. Corporate curriculum, schedules, bells, borders, and “teaching/classroom management” are easily assisted by technology. Yet to open learning and deschool our educational system represents the hopeful possibilities Wesch imagines and has acted on. What we accept from industrial schooling, how we proceed in our educational endeavors, and what we do, facilitate, witness, and promote in our actions in education mean so much to learners of today and the interconnected and interdependent systems we are all a part of.
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I was moved today by a video of young people taking action in support of indigenous rights, cultural rights and self determination:
This example of student driven action goes well beyond adult organized marches, or adult driven activity for social justice. Many of these young people show an enduring understanding of their interdependence and interconnection with a nation and the world. For example, at minute 11:00 in the video a young woman articulates a distinct article of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (More on the declaration and UNPFII here!)
For all of us who see open and free learning as a fundamental human right, it’s important to recognize that there is global deliberation and decision making on issues well beyond neoliberalism happening in the UN and in other spaces….How we participate in these movements and with others around the world on these issues will shape the common bond we have as humans in the 21st century. As ecological and economic overshoot continues, understanding how to participate and network for education and global civic culture will increase in importance.
Since [UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples] adoption, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States have all reversed their positions and now endorse the Declaration.
Illich, I. (1973). Tools for conviviality. New York: Harper & Row.
The symptoms of accelerated crisis are widely recognized. Multiple attempts have been made to explain them. I believe that this crisis is rooted in a major twofold experiment which has failed, and I claim that the resolution of the crisis begins with a recognition of the failure. For a hundred years we have tried to make machines work for men and to school men for life in their service. Now it turns out that machines do not “work” and that people cannot be schooled for a life at the service of machines. The hypothesis on which the experiment was built must now be discarded. The hypothesis was that machines can replace slaves. The evidence shows that, used for this purpose, machines enslave men. Neither a dictatorial proletariat nor a leisure mass can escape the dominion of constantly expanding industrial tools.
The crisis can be solved only if we learn to invert the present deep structure of tools; if we give people tools that guarantee their right to work with high, independent efficiency, thus simultaneously eliminating the need for either slaves or masters and enhancing each person’s range of freedom. People need new tools to work with rather than tools that “work” for them. They need technology to make the most of the energy and imagination each has, rather than more well−programmed energy slaves.
I believe that society must be reconstructed to enlarge the contribution of autonomous individuals and primary groups to the total effectiveness of a new system of production designed to satisfy the human needs which it also determines. In fact, the institutions of industrial society do just the opposite. As the power of machines increases, the role of persons more and more decreases to that of mere consumers……
I choose the term “conviviality” to designate the opposite of industrial productivity. I intend it to mean autonomous and creative intercourse among persons, and the intercourse of persons with their environment; and this in contrast with the conditioned response of persons to the demands made upon them by others, and by a man−made environment. I consider conviviality to be individual freedom realized in personal interdependence and, as such, an intrinsic ethical value. I believe that, in any society, as conviviality is reduced below a certain level, no amount of industrial productivity can effectively satisfy the needs it creates among society’s members…..