The Chronicle of Higher Education just ask a question to their readers — “Who Are the Top Technology Innovators in Higher Education? And this is my response.
It is not just one person or one great teacher I am learning from nowadays. It is many. Through the Internet I have created my own personal learning network, I am creating, curating and collaborating with many though out the world. These skills should be taught to all students from middle school on. It should be a requirement in the first month of any university.
Learning to search properly is one of the most important things I have learned. Curation though following using RSS and even Yahoo Pipes others blogs and having their titles dumped into Netvibes so I can quickly find articles that interest me. I find so many interesting people and links to articles (some in scientific journals) though Twitter. But went use an article in my own blog, I also know who to cite it properly and give that person create for their works. It takes time to learn who to follow and who to believe. Howard Rheingold calls this “crap detection“.
I have been to conferences and watched them streamed live. Last week it was a SWSX like technology conference in France and another conference on Virtual Worlds. I have also watch live streaming of Occupy Wall Street. I have taking several MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses with thousands from all over the world lead by George Seimens and Stephen Downes. I just tried to take Artificial Intelligences course from Stanford with 120,00 others. I did not study as much math on Khan Academy YouTube videos that I need to and got lost. But I can take this again in the future or go back to YouTube and watch the lectures.
In Second Life, I have heard Clay Shirkey and Sir Ken Robinson talk. I have meet with libraries and other educators connected to real world organizations such as American Library Association and ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). I have see how IBM and Cisco uses Virtual Worlds and to train their employees and get them to collaborate with each other. Tony O’Driscoll (from Duke) has a great book on this “Learning in 3D”.
I belong to an Alumi group of past Howard Rheingold’s students that is growing with people all over the world. We are co-learners — teaching each other. We reading books such Cathy Davidson’s “Now You See It” (from Duke) and Douglas Rushkoff’s “Program or Be Programmed” — together and comment in a forum our thoughts and opinions. My co-learner and I meet twice weekly in either Adobe Connect or Google+ — not only learning from each other but also talking with a high school class, their teacher along with Roy Christopher about how they feel about classrooms and learning today. We even got Douglas Rushkoff to speak to our little group and Cathy Davidson is on our list.
And every Saturday afternoon I spend with TED, not a person, but short talks from some of the most inspirational and interesting people around the world. Just last week, I learned about the Knowmad’s movement. I am learning more than I have ever learned in my life. Learning is not just restricted to the classroom anymore. Anyone can create, curate and collaborate.
(Several Weeks later)
The Chronicle of Higher Education has picked their nominations, but at least did mention my post. I still think we need to find many people to learn from, whether on the web or in person. This is old fashions. We need to learn collaboration, we need to learn how to communicate with other in this new world, and to curate the web.