The Art of Knowledge
All Bloggers Are Educators
It's like a big giant world of people who want to teach in some way. They all sit around and want to inform about what is good or what is bad. They want to tell us what to do or what not to do. They do this directly by actually pinpointing the topics of interest or by writing self-reflective pieces that allow people to make a judgment based on what is being written and how it affected that person.
There is something in these free form pieces of information that revolves around the bottom goodness that should be education and the technology that needs to bind it all together. It all revolves around the want to add to the big collection of information out there and allow your voice to be heard. At the very essence of a culture, especially a learning culture, is the ideology of equal and respected contribution. The blog paradigm levels that playing field immensely. It allows me to pick my educators.
Yes! That's what it does. It allows me to pick my own path. You don't read a blog because you feel obliged or forced. You read it for many reasons. The main reason is because you believe in it, and the second reason is because you were drawn to it out of personal interest. Those two things combined are more powerful than any guidance counselor or 10th grade social studies teacher. That's more powerful than SCORMS or online initiatives revolving around giant repositories. And the big reason you are interested in that information doesn't necessarily stem from your own greed to be entertained. It stems from the human want to easily understand something and make it applicable to their own life. The blog is a great vehicle for this. The blog inspires people to share information. It inspires the user to create a network of these information repositories (because a blog certainly is one) and retrieve their daily knowledge from them.
The key is to shift the focus of these blogs just a little. You don't want to take the personal trust that comes from blogs out of the picture and you don't want to keep in all the things that can make a blog a little too heavy. You want to be able to search them and find information pertinent to the objective you are trying to achieve. The shift needs to be on many levels but I think some of the levels are classification, legitimization, and organization.
Sorting out topics via XML and retrieving them by RSS could attain classification. Now of course this is already happening. I think there are many companies that are attempting this classification structure. The thing that they will lose that will turn most people off to the app they are making, and Tim has eluded to this many times, is their loss of the personal feeling you get when you read a blog. Nobody wants to learn from something that feels cold or like school.
Legitimization is obviously the biggest thing that needs to be improved within blogs. To actually believe in the information and trust it is one thing, but to be able to convict and convert on it is another. The information in blogs is largely personal with a whole bunch of narrative. The narrative is important because it gives things that human touch, much like Amazon allows personal comments about each item and personal lists attached to those items. But to be able to legitimize the info and have it be directly applicable to a goal is vital.
Organization is just a nice way for me to not scare everyone off and say repository. This is the place where the info is housed. Having free-range blogs is wonderful. Having millions upon millions of entries a day into the cyber world is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It is adding to the new human information gathering mentality which has been evolving for nearly 700 years and is now starting to really reach it's apex The key is to allow the average user to find these gems of information without personally knowing or being recommended to that person/blog. Recommendation is a great tool but it doesn't lead to legitimization. What I'm talking about here is a giant domed infostructrue that can house these blogs and check information as it roles in and then categorize it into levels of importance. I'm talking about something huge and complex. That is, right now, just an idea. And I do think Skillsnet has a head start on this by organizing people's skills.
Maybe what we are after here isn't necessarily the next great education business idea or platform. Maybe what we are after here is making education fun by supplying this structure to it, taking personal tools and letting them remain personal but having a focus and infostructure based on learning. We don't have to necessarily train people who work for Innitec. We can train people in their leisure. This could be a new way of blogging that still allows the freedom and personal wonderful growth but at the same time brings organization, legitimization, and classification.
It could be a combination of the two. It could combine blogging and education. By constantly bombarding my head with this idea that the mass tools need to be taken into consideration, it made me realize that this tool that would be developed would not be initially used for business purposes. It would be used for people to have fun with, and learn at the same time. I mean hell you are learning right now by blogging. The difference is, I think we can make it so much better by focusing the content.
Link posted by JVMM : 5:23 PM