Saturday, January 30, 2010

Read, Reflect, Share

Thanks to a Christmas gift card to from my family, I have been reading some exciting books lately about the changing world of education.  Two of the books, The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education and Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education & Training are being discussed in ISTE Ning forums at The World is Open and SIGML Book Study 2010.  I've found that discussion of books on line by people who are passionate about the subjects of these books is a very exhilarating experience.

In the mobile learning discussion I learned that efforts were being made to provide solar-powered mobile learning devices to people in rural Haiti and in Kenya.  I'm sure that there are more such efforts going on worldwide and I hope to learn more about them.

In Curtis J. Bonk's The World is Open, I have only finished the intro and chapter 1. The phrase the jumped out at me was participatory learning culture Bonk deftly illustrates this with the metaphor of the Borg from Star Trek the Second Generation. He writes, Once you arrive [online], you will discover that you are not simply using the Web of Learning; instead, like the Borg in the television show 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', you are now a part of it. Your actions-contributions, reactions, comments, and designs-have been assimilated into the corpus or being of the Web of Learning.

I think this is a concept that bears reflection. Actually, it wasn't until I had significantly expanded my own personal learning network that I began to feel what he was describing. We definitely become a part of our networks by the contributions we make and the input we receive. Both change us in many ways and online book discussions can be part of the process.

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