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Invisible learning: The (r)evolution outside of the classroom

Who gets to decide what kids learn? For whose benefit is all this, really? We make learning visible for the people who get to decide. But, what if we could invisibilize learning?

Dr. John Moravec share that the Theory for Invisible Learning is that we learn more, and do so invisibly, when we separate structures of control that restrict freedom and self-determination from learning experiences. Learning becomes invisible when we empower each of us to learn our own way. Removing structures of control opens possibilities. The end outcomes or goals of an experience are neither dictated nor determined from the start, but instead emerge as learning develops. Such experiences include free play, self-organized learning communities, authentic problem-based learning, and experimentation to acquire new knowledge. This talk was given at TEDxUCundinamarca in Colombia using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Dr. Moravec is an internationally-recognized scholar and speaker on the future of education and work, lead author of Knowmad Society, and the founder of Minneapolis-based Education Futures LLC. For a full bio, visit John’s personal page at john.moravec.us/about.

Rise of the Knowmads: John Moravec at TEDxUMN

Knowmads are nomadic knowledge workers –creative, imaginative, and innovative people who can work with almost anybody, anytime, and anywhere. The jobs associated with 21st century knowledge and innovation workers have become much less specific concerning task and place, but require more value-generative applications of what they know. The office as we know it is gone. Schools and other learning spaces will follow next.

Watch John Moravec’s introduction to Knowmad Society at TEDxUMN, and read the book, Knowmad Society at http://www.knowmadsociety.com

What if schools trusted us?

Watch this great talk from TEDxCopenhagen 2012:

Many institutions we take for granted are designed from a basis of mistrust. Skip school too often? Go to jail. Run that red light, even when nobody is around for blocks? Ticket.

Why do we do it? According to Jerry Michalski: to avoid chaos, dealing with scale of a growing world, a lack of trust, and the need to retain docile consumers.

The fix: Unschooling, free-range kids, and edupunks.

Again, watch Michalski’s talk.

Knowmads and the next renaissance

From TEDxBrisbane: Edward Harran shares his personal story into the knowmad movement: an emerging digital generation that has the capacity to work, learn, move and play – with anybody, anytime, and anywhere. In his energetic talk, Edward gives us a compelling insight into his story and highlights what the knowmads represent: the beginnings of the next renaissance.

Eddie has written more about his experience at TEDxBrisbane in his blog.

As for me, I’m very, very pleased to see the knowmads concept catching on around the world.

Exploring education futures at TEDxLaguna


Photo by Cristóbal Cobo

On Monday, I participated in TEDxLaguna, the second TEDx event ever held in Mexico. I called for “leapfrogging toward Knowmad Society” (video coming soon). Also, Cristóbal Cobo shared an overview and invitation to join our Invisible Learning collaboration. I believe the event was a great success, and I am pleased to have collaborated with Ernesto Gonzales (the event’s organizer), his team, and the other speakers. Videos of the talks will be posted to the TEDx YouTube channel soon, possibly in both English and Spanish… stay tuned!!!

Related on the Net: El Siglo de Torreón: Muestran ideas transformadoras

"This is bullshit!" – Jeff Jarvis on the death of lectures

In a TEDxNYED talk that is destined to become a classic, Jeff Jarvis takes on the industrialization of education and the irrelevance of lectures in an innovation-powered world (Knowmad Society!):

From his notes:

One more from him: “It’s easy to educate for the routine, and hard to educate for the novel.” Google sprung from seeing the novel. Is our educational system preparing students to work for or create Googles? Googles don’t come from lectures.

So if not the lecture hall, what’s the model? I mentioned one: the distributed Oxford: lectures here, teaching there.

Once you’re distributed, then one has to ask, why have a university? Why have a school? Why have a newspaper? Why have a place or a thing? Perhaps, like a new news organization, the tasks shift from creating and controlling content and managing scarcity to curating people and content and enabling an abundance of students and teachers and of knowledge: a world whether anyone can teach and everyone will learn. We must stop selling scarce chairs in lecture halls and thinking that is our value.

And:

We must stop looking at education as a product – in which we turn out every student giving the same answer – to a process, in which every student looks for new answers. Life is a beta.

Why shouldn’t every university – every school – copy Google’s 20% rule, encouraging and enabling creation and experimentation, every student expected to make a book or an opera or an algorithm or a company. Rather than showing our diplomas, shouldn’t we show our portfolios of work as a far better expression of our thinking and capability? The school becomes not a factory but an incubator.

(My apologies for deviating from convention and cutting-and-pasting so much from Mr. Jarvis, but his message is THAT good.)

Thanks to Marcel Kampman for spotting the video!

Arthur Benjamin: Drop calculus, mainstream statistics

A short video with a compelling argument from TED:

Someone always asks the math teacher, “Am I going to use calculus in real life?” And for most of us, says Arthur Benjamin, the answer is no. He offers a bold proposal on how to make math education relevant in the digital age.

TEDIndia fellowship deadline approaches

The organizers of TEDIndia asked that I share this reminder that the application deadline for TEDIndia fellowships is June 15, 2009. What makes TEDIndia extra-special is, that the TED Fellows program will include a group of 100 innovators from India and South Asia who have shown unusual accomplishment and exceptional courage. These young world-changers will get the opportunity to become a part of the TED community which will help amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

TED is looking for an eclectic, heterogeneous group of young thinkers and doers from the fields of technology, entertainment, design, the sciences, engineering, humanities, the arts, economics, business, journalism, entrepreneurship and NGOs. More information is available at http://conferences.ted.com/TEDIndia/