Invisible learning

February 22, 2010

Exceprts from “Geekonomic. A radar to produce in the postdigitalism” [Pardo Kuklinski, H. 2010] //

What would happen if education was a massive DIY [“do it yourself”] culture and the edupunk philosophy were implemented?The problem would not be for the elite universities, which will continue exploiting the economy of scarcity and will remain highly valued for their reputation. The difficulty would move toward what I call the white label universities. They are the institutions that have failed or have not been able to build prestige around themselves. They have become an expensive parking lot of young people before their entry into the labor market, within a guild of teachers who lack international networks, meritocratic requirements, and real competition. In the case of public universities, the white labels are compounded by their bureaucracy and inbred culture offered by the system, initiating a process of proletarianization of teaching that has impacted its professionalization seriously (Diaz Barriga, 2009). The problem may be bigger. Universities have benefited for centuries for having the power of providing degrees to citizens. What if, at some point, we would question their monopoly of accreditation? ” (p.112)

Mayer-Schönberger (2009) believes that technology inverts our relationship with memory. In history, the previous technologies favored forgetting, but digitization overwhelms us with the amount of information available to us, has eliminated amnesia, and recommends that people (as well as platforms on the Net) must learn to forget, removing irrelevant information. (p.127)

As an authority of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rosalind Williams notes (2004) what is expected of a graduated engineer at MIT: “Students must be able to exercise judgment in the formulation of a task or in diagnosing faulty performance, be able to tolerate ambiguity, and work in the midst of uncertainty.” (p.130)

“To construct yourself as knowmad: Moravec (2008) speaks about nomadic knowledgeyoung people working in different parts of the world, adapting easily to the language and culture, choosing the best opportunities suited to them. Even if you do not want to be a knowmad, you compete with them as they are introduced into your workplace and are better prepared. It is no longer working in a specific place in a city, in the office or at home: young people working in bars with their notebooks. Igarza (2009) speaks of the “Wi-Fi Citizen”. He/she travels and creates social networks together with professionals who have common interests. Castells (2009) notes that a new division of labor in the information society among self-programmed workers, who suit market needs from their ability to manage information in a flexible way, and generic workers who can perform very limited tasks –and often are dispensable for the economy. The category of self-programmed workers by Castells (2009) complements Moravec’s characterization of knowmads (2008). In the logic of what I have said in the introduction regarding netcrats and geeks, college students should realize that the most relevant professional networks are globally connected, and the exclusion of these networks means that major employment opportunities may be excluded. Knowmadism is not an option, but a way of joining the working world with more freedom of choices”. (p.130-131)

Key Ideas

• Learning to forget the irrelevant. • Build a customized curriculum on the Web. • Learn to tell transmedia storytelling. • Promote the culture of remixing. • Encouraging creativity in the classroom as important or more important than analogue and digital literacy. • Collaborative self-learning, demanding the teacher’s role as a tutor more than as a content disseminator. • To construct oneself as a nomad. • Innovation as a professional destiny. • Teachers with multi-alphabetization. • Less encyclopedism. • Open university education resources. • Platforms for experimentation.

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