Opening Up Education

I think this is an important new book.

From the introduction:

The latest evolution of the Internet, the so-called Web 2.0 has blurred the line between producers and consumers of content and has shifted attention from access to information toward access to other people. New kinds of online resources—such as social networking sites, blogs, wikis,
and virtual communities—have allowed people with common interests to meet, share ideas, and collaborate in innovative ways. Indeed, the Web 2.0 is creating a new kind of participatory medium that is ideal for supporting multiple modes of learning. Two of those include social learning, based on the premise that our understanding of content is socially constructed through conversations about that content and through grounded interactions around problems or actions. The focus is not so much on what we learn but on how we learn.

The second, perhaps even more significant, aspect of social learning, involves not only “learning about” the subject matter but also “learning to be” a full participant in the field. This involves acquiring the practices and norms of established practitioners in that field or acculturating into a community of practice. By entering into this community, you are required to assimilate the sensibilities and ways of seeing the world embodied within that community. And this is exactly what happens if you want to join an open source community with their key practices and expected contributions.

John Seely Brown

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