Stream of consciousness unleashed: My thoughts about the Bag of Gold and Personal Cyber Infrastructure

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I have not had much sleep this week, and I cannot begin to organize my thoughts in a coherent way.  So I decided to just unleash them and see where they go:

Gardner Campbell’s essay, video, and guest appearance in class the other night left me with much to think about.  The way I understand it, his vision is to change the education system in a way that all students and teachers can be globally connected, constantly generating and sharing ideas.  His ideas about educating the future generations to be their own systems mangers for their own online presence is wildly intriguing and very imaginable.  However, I think it will take a long time before his vision comes to fruition.  Not because it doesn’t work well, but because we’re dealing with our society that we know all to well. It would be ideal if things worked out the way we picture it in our minds.  But is it realistic?  Sometimes we forget that not everyone shares the same perspective.  I tend to think that there are more people who resist change than those who welcome it. Change could happen so much more quickly if everyone agreed and worked toward it, but in my experience, that is never ever the case, as frustrating as it is.  What ends up being the ultimate motivator is always the same thing.  The bottom line.  When there’s money to be made, then there will be change. Forward thinkers can visualize the potential and run with it.  But most people have not the capacity to look forward. They drool over the food on a plate or even cash in hand, but they cannot see the value of the “bag of gold” being offered to them. I personally think this is a brilliant vision and something worthy of a fight. Having been in DS106 course for 2 weeks, I can already get a taste of what Gardner Campbell’s vision is.  Let me ask you, though, what percentage of the students enrolled in this course currently have even a fraction of that enthusiasm and passion for sharing their thoughts and ideas openly? Has there been any statistical data collected from previous students?  How many of them are still actively maintaining their own space? I don’t mean to sound like a downer, really.  I do hope with all my heart that this change takes place sooner than later. I am a student, as well as a parent, and I am and have been frustrated with the current education system for a very long time.  Learning has become something dreadful that one must reluctantly endure so they can move on to a job that will potentially make them rich. How many students in this day and age actually go after what they WANT to think about and create rather than what they feel they HAVE TO think about. I came back to college because learning is fun for me.  …because thinking and creating is fun for me. …because I love to learn as much as I love to eat.  But in the 3 1/2 years that I’ve been back, the system has sucked that energy out of me and I can hardly remember what it was like to learn just for the joy of learning. I see infinite possibilities in this model unlike anything else I’ve experienced in college. Oh, to think of a world where every student is in charge of their own education and be excited about learning! My question is, what will it take? How do you effectively “market” the idea and vision to the larger public, as well as the administrators? How can we provide the right lens for everyone to see the true value in the bag of gold? We live in a society almost paralyzed with the fear of the big bad wolf who will gobble us and our children up and steal our identities and our innocence. How do we get past that enough to take a chance on what we do not yet see? I hate the present education system. I love the possibilities of this model. Nevertheless, I remain skeptical.

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0 Responses to Stream of consciousness unleashed: My thoughts about the Bag of Gold and Personal Cyber Infrastructure

  1. lindamckenna says:

    “The web is not education, the web is the web, and teaching an learning happens there every second of every day, and for many it is a total blast. That is where I want to teach an learn, not where stuff is required and people are disinterested”

    I totally agree. I think the education comes from interaction, encouraging each other, asking questions and challenging each other to think and create. That’s what draws me in and keeps me in. 🙂

  2. Jim says:

    Not a downer at all, just realistic. And in answer to your question about a third of the students who have taken ds106 keep blogging regularly in some fashion or another that I know of. Part of the issue is not everyone has the incentive as you pointed out, the other is where else are they required. I really hope everyone realizes the power of a domain of One’s own, but I don’t feel like anything needs to be required, the person needs to want it. An I am fine with that, it makes sense to me. And if only one person out of a whole class really wants to explore this space, deeply understand it, an become intensely creative with it is a total success in my mind. I mean the ratio of 1 out of 35 is enough to make the web an awesome place when you realize there are millions of the 1 out of 35 on the web, an that is where this class lives, it is not limited to UMW, and you do with it what you want. The web is not education, the web is the web, and teaching an learning happens there every second of every day, and for many it is a total blast. That is where I want to teach an learn, not where stuff is required and people are disinterested—I have no use for that.