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Open seminar 2.0 countdown

The co-seminar “From information to innovative knowledge: Tools and skills for adaptive leadership” begins this Thursday evening. Our first open conference with three FLACSOs and UTPL will take place on January 31, and additional conferences will take place every other Thursday evening through May. Minnesota students can contact us for details on the course and for information on how to register.

Open Seminar 2.0: A hemisphere of innovative knowledge

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“Version 2.0” of the open seminar “From Information to Innovation Knowledge” will kick off on January 24, 2008. Partnering institutions include the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, FLACSO-México, FLACSO-Ecuador, and FLACSO-Chile. Confirmed guest lecturers include Dr. Nora Sabelli at SRI International and Ismael Peña-López at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

University of Minnesota students may join the co-seminar by registering for EdPA 5102 section 2 (“Knowledge Formats”). All others should contact Ana Karla Romeru at FLACSO-México for information on how to participate.

Utilizing Web 2.0 social technologies, Skype and Adobe Connect platforms, the course will connect the three FLACSOs with the University of Minnesota for both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Course content includes discussions of:

  • A New Paradigm of knowledge production
  • Tools for information and knowledge management
  • Collective intelligence
  • Learning technologies (including open sourcing of education)
  • Knowledge, innovation and new context-creating workers
  • Human capital development
  • Complex systems
  • “2.0” technologies and beyond

The Minnesota sessions will be facilitated by Dr. Arthur Harkins and myself. Dr. Cristóbal Cobo will coordinate the course among our Latin American partners. For more information on the project or our co-seminar approach, please email me at moravec@umn.edu.

Leapfrog Ecuador!

I’m back from a week in Ecuador, where I participated in a conference hosted in the Faculty of Latin American Social Sciences (FLACSO), and delivered two invited lectures. At FLACSO, I discussed the co-seminar conducted by myself and Dr. Arthur Harkins at the University of Minnesota, in cooperation with FLACSO-México (lead by Dr. Cristóbal Cobo).

On Monday, Cobo and I visited the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and presented to a group of about 150 students and faculty. Cobo discussed his new book, Planeta Web 2.0, and I followed-up with a presentation on the collaboration between UMN-FLACSO, with a focus on our co-seminar model.

On Tuesday, Cobo and I presented the co-seminar model, our joint course, lessons learned, and future prospects at the FLACSO 50th Anniversary conference. Much of the discussion with the audience was centered on the future of education. Dr. Eduardo Ibarra (from UAM-Cuajimalpa) commented on the need for post-disciplinary learning (the dynamic creation of new disciplines, often at the personal level), beyond the transdisciplinary scope that we presented. (That’s Leapfrog thinking!) Eduardo will host a conference on imagining futures for Mexican universities in 2030 in early December. I will participate there, so we will have a lot to talk about!

“Version 2.0” of the seminar will commence in January. This time, in addition to FLACSO-México, FLACSO-Ecuador and FLACSO-Chile may also join. Following a Skype conference with Ismael Peña-López (of ICTlogy), it’s possible that Ph.D. students at UOC in Barcelona will participate as well. So, it is conceivable the co-seminar may be conducted in three languages: English, Spanish and Catalan.

Wednesday involved an early morning flight to the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL) in Southern Ecuador. The school has 23,000 students, of which 20,000 are distance learners. Cobo and I toured the campus, met with leaders of the central administration and research centers, and delivered lectures to about 250 students and faculty. Cobo again discussed Planeta Web 2.0, but also focused on “so what?” questions regarding his book. I discussed the New Paradigm and the Leapfrog Principle. Together, we highlighted how accelerating change is transforming everything in society, and the students presented cheered at several of the leapfrog-enabling technologies on the horizon.

A few audience members posted their reactions to our lectures:

(In two of the above posts, I am incorrectly noted as a co-author of Planeta Web 2.0. That’s not true! It’s written by Cristóbal Cobo and Hugo Pardo. Also, a statement I made was misinterpreted. To correct the record, I stated that U.S. universities are now only discussing incorporating Web 2.0 technologies into their schools; whereas Loja is already adopting their use in the curriculum.)

An interesting aspect of UTPL is that its students and recent graduates run its research centers, and that the university is providing spaces for student-run “skunk works.” In addition to providing facilities, UTPL provides these entrepreneurial students with business and legal advice for forming successful ventures in Ecuador. Their hope is to create a new Silicon Valley in the Loja Valley. I found this focus on youth empowerment to be enlightening.

Wednesday afternoon focused on conversations with UTPL leaders on “what’s next.” More on that will emerge over the next few months… stay tuned!

Taking the co-seminar model to Quito

On Saturday, I’m off to Quito, Ecuador, the home of Guayasamin! I will present at the FLACSO 50th Anniversary Congress and at the Universidad San Francisco. The University of Minnesota-FLACSO Mexico co-seminar I taught with Arthur Harkins and Cristobal Cobo will be the primary focus of my talks. Since I will travel without my laptop (relying solely on the N800 and available wifi networks for Internet use), Dr. Jayson Richardson will guest blog next week.

Here is my presentation, in both Spanish and English:


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View the presentation full screen.

Planet 2.0 meets the USA

This has been a quiet blogging week due to FLACSO México‘s visit to the University of Minnesota. The visit has been very busy, and highly productive.

This morning, Education Futures contributor Dr. Cristóbal Cobo (read his blog) presented his ideas at a University of Minnesota’s Institute for New Media Studies and Digital Technology Center research breakfast on his new book, Planet Web 2.0: Collective Intelligence or Fast Food Media (English translation). The event was also webcast by the University’s Supercomputing Institute. (A link to the recorded video will be posted when it becomes available.)

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A debate followed the presentation on the roles and values of online technologies. Most puzzling for academicians in the audience was how might reconcile the need for producing peer-reviewed, “academic” publications with freely available, open material. Whereas a journal article might solicit a handful of readers, an open document might bring in thousands more (for example, Planet 2.0, which was issued under a Creative Commons license, has already registered over 61,000 downloads in the first few weeks since its release). Our promotion and tenure process, however, recognizes only publications that appear in traditional print media. Why?

At the end of the event, Dr. Cobo was approached regarding an open sourced effort toward translating the book from Spanish to English by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies. Planeta 2.0 approaches…!

Horizon Forum on October 3

flacso_logo.gifThe Preparation to Practice Group is pleased to announce that the first Horizon Forum meeting of this year will be held on October 3 from 8:30 – 11:00am in the historic Upson Room at the Walter Library on the University of Minnesota East Bank campus.

Two visiting speakers from the Faculty of Latin American Social Sciences in Mexico will discuss initiatives to bridge technologies between classrooms (co-seminars), and the use of electronic media in classrooms to completely replace traditional textbooks to transform pedagogies:

  • Giovanna Valenti, Director General, FLACSO México
    Internet-mediated co-seminars: Reflections on the Mexican experience
  • Cristóbal Cobo, Communications Director, FLACSO México
    Enciclomedia: Redesigning curricula with videos, text, virtual visits, sounds and images

Space for the event is limited! RSVP to me at moravec@umn.edu.

The Horizon Forum is an ongoing discussion group, focused on the role of innovation and the future of PreK-17 education. The Forum is sponsored by the Preparation to Practice Group in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota.

Validated parking and a light breakfast will be provided.

Introducing Cristobal Cobo, guest blogger

Dr. Cristóbal Cobo, professor and director of communications at FLACSO-México is joining Education Futures over the next week or so as a guest blogger. He is no stranger to blogging, and is the author of e-rgonomic, which explores human-web interactions.

Cristóbal studied his Ph.D. in the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona. In addition he has been teacher of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey and Universidad de Colima. In Flacso he manages projects related to innovation, distance education and knowledge management supported in the information and communications technologies. Recently, he’s been researching knowledge, “collective intelligence,” the “architecture of participation,” and the phenomenon of “wisdom of crowds” and its application in the learning environment.

Bienvenida and welcome!

Saludos! …to visitors from the UMN-FLACSO knowledge seminar!

I hope that this blog will serve as good resource for exploring issues surrounding knowledge and innovation societies. There are three easy ways to navigate this site to find the information you’re interested in:

  1. Use the search box at the top of this page.
  2. Browse the list of categories on the right.
  3. Explore the tag cloud, where more frequently explored topics, ideas and memes appear in larger print.

As on the course blog, discussion and debate is also invited and encouraged here! Feel free to post your feedback!

Also, University of Minnesota students are encouraged to create their own blogs. The UMN Libraries hosts a “UThink” service that allows any person affiliated with the university to publish their own blog. More information is available at: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/