It seems at times as if understanding what learning should/ could be today depends on encompassing expertise in a broad swath of fields .
If learning is a function of human minds/ brains/ bodies…and if it all takes place through a process of perception that is a given of that mind/ brain/ body, as well as through language, and through culture built on language, and whatever communication media one is plugged into at the time …then we need to understand how all that “works”
In addition to understanding the brain/ mind, it’s perceptive process, how we use media and it’s influence on us, the way language works as a part of culture and as the means for encoding knowledge, we need to understand the forms of artificial intelligence we immerse ourselves in, and connect ourselves to.
Much of the above is undergoing rapid change and development, and that includes AI curators of knowledge, such as Siri, and pattern recognition wizardry such as IBM’s Watson. And that’s all included in the necessary undertaking of asking what is knowledge in a world with instant access to almost everything that human’s know.
What form or domain of knowledge do students or learners need to absorb into their own minds? And is it more important to be able to curate knowledge than store it on one’s personal wetware harddrive?
Four deductions from the above:
- We really don’t understand anywhere close to what we need to understand to create learning MO for our students today, whether preK to post 12, or for adults.
- To get where we need to be to support learning the way we “should”, we will have to be able to correlate, synthesize, and formulate a “whole new way of understanding” the task.
- Our future depends on bringing enormous resources to bare on solving this very complex problem, as learning is what provides a society, a culture and nations with the capability to adapt to, and thrive in, conditions of highly disruptive change.
- Learning itself may become the central human pre-occupation and “job” or “employment”.
We have a long way to go…a new frontier has to be scouted out and gradually inhabited and then “settled”. Today, we might be in the “scouting out” stage of exploration with so much we don’t know. We’re like Lewis and Clark setting out with maps and a compass, but needing above all to keep our eyes open at all times to what the new landscape is telling them, and avoid seeing the new territory through conventional perspectives.