I called this “learning by lurking” but this is all about how the project global generation education initiative, because of its web based platform, creates learning through a unique aspect of web based collaboration.
This is thinking about the project global generation education initiative with a focus on collaboration for learning.
And, of course, how the project GG initiative can assist in reducing the children out of school numbers, increase literacy and most likely reduce future conflict … all through the collaborative aspects of the initiative.
Let me get a thought out of the way.
I have written a variety of articles on how collaboration is misused in the business world. Misused in that I believe ideas are driven by individuals and collaboration often dulls the edges of individual ideas (under the guise of improvement).
On the other hand … the traditional education system is ignoring the benefits of collaboration for learning … or maybe better said “the gathering & sharing of knowledge” particularly with regard to the global youth.
What I mean is that there is an opportunity within this context where children, utilizing a web platform, could be driving the ideation (versus the current system where teachers facilitate learning and ideation).
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm … sound like the inmates running the asylum? Not even close.
The focus of this write up is to sync up the idea of collaboration (due to the initiative’s web platform) and the original generational idea of “community individualism.” (global generation 1)
Web based children’s education collaboration represents an opportunity because:
1. The existing way we view the education system, based on brick & mortar, is archaic. For a variety of reasons … collaboration included.
2. The existing education system is archaic from a sociological perspective (creating a healthier collaborative mind).
But (ponder this):
“We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday, and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet.”
unknown author from an education article
It is possible archaic is a strong word … but maybe we should be using stronger words as we discuss education children (and improvements).
What I know for sure is the current global education structure misses the opportunity to globalize socialization of knowledge/education. What I mean by that is the existing brick & mortar inherently diminishes some education opportunities because of the face-to-face “clique” challenges.
I will come back to that last one because it is a humdinger of a thought.
– Collaboration and education
Collaboration when discussing the internet is obvious.
I am going to avoid the obvious and utilize a twist on the idea by taking advantage of global consumer trends. Two trends called Casual Collapse and Mass Mingling (source: trendwatching.com).
Casual Collapse and Education
Casual Collapse is the current seeming ongoing blurring of many beliefs, rituals, formal requirements and laws that have defined specific societies. And it continues to collapse because of the internet (to be specific – the cross-cultural sharing of information and knowledge empowered by the internet) and all this is happening without causing any particular apocalyptic aftermath. But it also appears In mature countries/cultures a ‘CASUAL COLLAPSE’ seems unstoppable (whether a government or an elderly culture wants it to happen or not).
People have grown up immersed in consumer culture – they ‘get’ it. But as everyone becomes more savvy about ‘what is happening and what people are thinking’ half way around the world they begin questioning the status quo conventional thinking. It is less tribal thinking but more global perspective.
Casual Collapse is not a negative trend but rather it is indicative of a variety of things (of which the web is a significant component).
But the web is a layer on a natural progression happening – the urbanization of emerging countries.
There’s an obvious link between the broad spread of more liberal attitudes and increasing urbanization globally (in Africa alone in 1980 28% lived in cities while today its 40% – 40 million people). As new arrivals find themselves distanced from traditional social and familial structures, and are exposed to a wider range of alternative goods, services, lifestyles, opinions and experiences, their tolerance to these alternatives grows, as does their interest.
The web simply accelerates what would have been happening naturally.
I am certainly not suggesting this will happen overnight. As trendwatching suggests … “compared to much trend thinking, CASUAL COLLAPSE moves at a glacial pace.”
And I am certainly not suggesting that everyone becomes overwhelmingly liberal as soon as they move to the city. but there is a clear trend for urban populations to have more socially liberal and tolerant views on a wide variety of issues.
And from Casual Collapse I shift to Mass Mingling.
Mass Mingling and Education
Within the construct of the Global Generation Children’s education initiative I am certainly not suggesting a Global mind. Nor is the intent to create a “global mind” (as one) or even a “Global society.” I am rather discussing the benefit of a global education initiative. And therefore I am discussing collaboration as an extension of Mass Mingling through educational platforms to build empowered (or enlightened) individualism with a respect for the global perspective.
This is a big difference then creating a global mind.
This is about fostering innate curiosity and sharing knowledge … where children are then empowered to create their own ‘mind.’
This initiative is built upon the power of an individual’s mind (and the fact of power of one to make a difference). So how the heck does that lead, or encourage, collaboration?
it maybe be easiest for me to discuss collaboration specifically within a construct of the “community individualism” generational characteristic I have proposed in terms of community, individual and the crossing of the two.
Nothing is more powerful within the individual child’s mind than curiosity.
A web based education initiative should encourage/enhance Collaboration that cultivates curiosity.
Most dictionaries define curiosity as something like “a state in which you want to learn more about something.”
(Bruce NOTE: they could possibly have made this a definition for children at the same time)
But it is also about being comfortable with uncertainty and not knowing, whilst at the same time being motivated to explore and discover more.
It is a human characteristic that as soon as you think you know something with certainty you no longer want to learn more about it, i.e., you are no longer curious.
But children are endless vectors of curiosity. With children there’s a sense of not knowing it all going in with an innocent, open mind and an intention to learn more.
We are tapping into an unfillable well at this age (as long as we nurture it).
“The important thing is not to stop questioning … never lose a holy curiosity.”
A bunch of people will say ‘it cannot be done through the internet.” Or. Even better … how can kids collaborate without guidance or a teacher.
Mass Mingling actually thrives on curiosity. Think about the characteristics of curiosity.
– Most of the time, when we make a mistake, or see someone else making a mistake, our automatic reaction is to start making judgment and blame – we tell ourselves off, beat ourselves up about it, and we might even give someone else a hard time if we see them make a mistake. An d this only has the effect of triggering our stress response, which causes our thinking to become more rigid in our thinking.
Mass Mingling permits millions of young children to browse socially through information, existing knowledge and mingle with other’s thoughts – making mistakes along the way as they mingle.
But this curiosity needs to be nurtured by teaching children that mistakes are just information and feedback from the real world, letting us know how things are in the real world, and telling us what’s working and what’s not working, what the blocks and obstacles to progress are, and even tipping you off on opportunities to solve problems and meet needs that other people might have.
Children will be exposed to the idea that their mistakes can be the very things that lead you in the new direction that turns out to be way better than you’d previously conceived.
And, frankly, today’s education system doesn’t foster curiosity.
I find it tragic to watch bright, energetic youth become lethargic about education. The real problem lies with adults who lack a comprehensive view of learning, adults who are guilty of classifying real learning as being a difficult and frustrating experience. The focus on tests is creating a generation of students who equate learning with test results.
But ideas & innovative enlightened thinking does not arise out of a vacuum. It must be supported by a culture that encourages people to experiment with ideas and products. Original thinking and novel ideas should be affirmed and honored and cultivated. Even if it is simply original/novel in the eyes of the young.
A web based initiative can encourage creativity by helping students learn to assess and take intellectual risks as they learn more. In my eyes the goal of education should be to prepare children to be competent and original in their thinking … at any age.
The value of Casual Collapse & Mass Mingling
This is where Community and Individualism become interconnected. And the foundation of the Global Generation takes root.
A collaborative group of kids who have learned together, made mistakes together, learned FROM each other and maybe even laughed at, if not with, each other creates stronger respectful individuals … within an interacting global community.
It is a fact that education at an early age (and hopefully continued) is indispensable in equipping citizens with the abilities and skills to engage critically, and act responsibly.
I found an interesting project being conducted along these lines (although I don’t believe they are thinking big enough).
A collaborative effort is under way on the issue of educational assessment and it offers insight into how it can happen and what motivates the companies involved.
Cisco is in a partnership with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Association of the Evaluation of Educational Achievement aimed at transforming global educational assessment and improving learning outcomes. Joining Cisco in this effort are Intel and Microsoft. Thomson says the three companies came together at the Learning and Technology World Forum in London “with the intention of changing the world.”
The three large, global technology companies have different business models – Cisco sells networks, Microsoft sells licenses and Intel sells devices – but they all compete for attention in the education market. All three are also committed to changing education in the United States and globally, and, according to Thomson, their leadership became convinced through the World Economic Forum that “education itself was still the best way to drive change in the world.”
The sheer number and variety of educational systems worldwide poses a significant challenge to any effort to effect change on a global scale. Thomson points out, however, there are three characteristics common to any system of education that guides the partnership’s work:
Here is the best thing I found …
“Education everywhere is a social construct. It is not an industry or a vocation. “People come together to provide skills competencies and abilities for their children to succeed.”
- Systems are comparable enough in their desire to measure progress. A kind of assessment unique to education is common across all systems.
2. There is still an economic component to education. In all countries its purpose includes fostering social development, citizenship and an ability to participate in the economy.
The spokesperson says that collaborating to tackle the issue of educational assessment worldwide requires Cisco and the others to step out of their “comfort zone.” They are accustomed to relationships through which they sell billions of dollars in technology to the education sector. Now they have to listen to those same customers and ask what they are using it for.
“And sometimes saying to customers you don’t really need to buy more technology from us.” Thomson remarks. “What we need to do is figure out a better way to use it.” Figuring these things out cannot be driven by revenue generation, he stresses. “It’s not about selling more. It’s about changing things.”
The kind of change that Cisco, Intel and Microsoft are striving for will not happen without involving academics, countries (the owners of the educational systems) and corporations in identifying and assessing 21st century skills.
Thomson says that the “Uncommon Table” the Boston College Center seeks to create for collaboration on education will need a “big tent.” That’s just the approach being taken by Cisco and the other companies. Their initiative on assessment draws from educators in Australia, Finland and Portugal, parts of Asia, and the United States, if the fragmentation of the U.S. educational system can be worked with. He says success will take willing partners open to foreign advice and academics prepared to collaborate and ready to adapt change into their own systems.
“If we can find that right way to keep that disparate group of people working together; if we can find that right ecosystem at a national level to actually implement, we’re going to make a tremendous difference,” the spokesperson predicts. “And that’s a difference that’s not there to drive revenue. It’s not there to create new product streams. It’s there simply to create a better world.”
(I would like to note that this can actually be found in my Global Generation how to make it happen & fund write up … and I said a similar thing).
I applaud Cisco, Intel & Microsoft … although I would point out to them that they could do it another way … the project global generation way.
What I DO like about what they are trying is that they are potentially solving a core issue – funding.
Ok. Moving on.
Beyond collaboration ‘missed opportunities’ let me go back to how brick & mortar is archaic from a socialization perspective.
Existing education systems are a breeding ground for a caste system.
Kids are brutal in a face-to-face system.
Online can be just as brutal … but in a faceless way.
Who you are and how you dress and what you say (even the language you speak) becomes secondary to “what you say and what you think” in an online community.
All people are equal in body online. sociologically this means that ideas and thinking create the caste system.
And before someone begins slamming on “decreasing social skills because of the internet” take this factoid along for the ride …
“Our research shows face-to-face time between teenagers hasn’t changed over the past five years. Technology has simply added another layer on top. Yes, you can find studies that suggest online networking can be bad for you. But there are just as many that show the opposite.”
In my eyes the value of an educational web world is that it permits a child to regularly place themself in unfamiliar situations, or with unfamiliar people, and provides the opportunity to be exposed to ideas and views that they’ve not been exposed to before. And all of this provides an opportunity for real-life evidence/knowledge to challenge existing certainties – and open the way for curiosity.
We have the opportunity to integrate the newest forms of interactive technology with children’s natural curiosity (and a generation that has web abilities almost beyond our understanding) to create natural conditions in which collaboration can occur.
– The natural anonymity of online tools frees us from tacit biases or self-doubt and encourages individual leadership.
– Asynchronous tools allow global work teams release from the bonds of time zones to tackle projects with increasing effectiveness and productivity.
– Social networks now become visible through community tools allowing financial, time, human and other organizational assets to be redeployed toward developing innovative approaches to unique problems, rather than reinventing solutions to problems that have been previously solved.
Lets move along from socialization socializing and discuss socializing learning.
I call it … Learning by Lurking
Twitter has certainly taught us you don’t have to be an active participant … you can be a ‘lurker’ … and participate (or build a viable network system and have people be involved). And in education’s case it isn’t creepy … it can actually benefit a dormant mind … or a personality that doesn’t feel comfortable stepping forward. In other words, all have the opportunity to benefit from the few great minds. And providing an opportunity for the few who don’t have a voice (but have the mind) to be able to finally step forward at some point.
THAT is the benefit of a global NON brick & mortar system.
Online permits some of the best minds, but possibly not the most socially acclimated, to rise and maximize their talent.
Such places could even be more than just schools but genuine hubs for related activities for the entire community. With a global connection to the net – maybe not the net but another layer (along the lines of facebook which is also another layer of net) an education/informational platform awaits to be activated by a mind. (note: as outlined in global generation 6 this is hardly pie-in-the-sky nor cost prohibitive in this day and age)
Another ‘lurker’ (or maybe better says ‘anonymity’) aspect of the web enabled platform is that it permits mistakes … maybe some spectacular mistakes … with little or no social repercussions.
Am I suggesting social skills aren’t important? Nope. They are.
But here and now I am talking about education and enlightenment.
Frankly the current education system is not about enlightenment.
That just is the truth.
The benefits of Lurking & Collaboration summary (or … The Big Close …)
At its most basic level we are teaching our children the way they need to act within a learning construct at such an early age that when they grow up they will not depart from such behavior because it is ingrained (positively).
Behaviorally the child’s mind experiences the right way of dealing with issues & thinking & ideation so that it becomes a natural instinctual act. It becomes habits that produce profitable outcomes in their adult years (hopefully in the form of ideas & accomplishments).
This idea is truly about teaching kids, beginning at the preschool age, relationship-building collaborative skills that creates a mental foundation on how to deal with others AND educate.
Even prior to a child entering a traditional classroom (should that opportunity exist) there are opportunities to teach them how to interact & ideate with other people in a positive way. And the project global generation children’s education idea is truly about learning collaboration skills at their most rudimentary level.
I also believe, in my heart of hearts, that this is the best way for humankind as a great way to preserve and instill languages and cultures to counter the homogenization of urbanism combined with globalism.
That is fostering Community Individualism.
When collaboration takes place between people who realize the benefit of smooth working relationships then higher creative achievement and productivity is accomplished. Healthy cross-functional teams working in concert for the greater good eventually translates into efficient operations, regardless of whether in an academic, work, social or home environment. In the end, society benefits from groups performing productively with another. Of course, teaching the basics of all of this at the preschool age means a greater likelihood of kids continuing positive collaboration abilities as they progress in life.
And I do believe that the structure of web based schools/schooling with children as young as five or six in which they can express their opinions, share thinking & ideas and ultimately propose their own solutions creates a solid foundation for a ‘community individualism drive/intent’ Global Generation. It is this kind of attitudinal construct which offers unlimited opportunities for leadership and engagement. And it is this type of education structure which, by the time those five- and six-year-olds reach an appropriate graduation age, they will have a profound and enduring understanding of what it means to be in a collaborative society and have the ability to contribute within their own community … as well as a global level if given the opportunity.
This is an idea of molding a people from diverse origins, cultural practices, languages, into one collaborative group of thinkers, within a framework which has to be democratic in nature (because it crosses any and all geographic boundaries, yet it can be absorbed within any cultural construct.
And by doing so it mitigates conflicts and adversarial interests without oppression and injustice but rather through expanding brain power.
Sound big and audacious? Yup.
Sound like it could better individuals? Yup.
Sound like it would therefore better any country construct (regardless of its unique government or religious direction)? Yup.
Sound possible? You bet. I call it the Global Generation children’s education initiative.