(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2G141C3)
The one thing I just love about the future and projections for what to expect is that it is always based in what is already here. If we look at what happened in the social technology age, it was the concept of ‘sharing’ posts/information, that totally took everything to the stratosphere. But this is not something new for technology only. Sharing is and always has been the number one way we learn virtually anything.
As a teacher for many years of children, it always amazed me how much children learned despite the teacher’s efforts to stop them learning. Teachers should be facilitators of learning, but so often they have fallen into the world of lecturers. Lecturing gets the teacher to fill his/her ego with the fact that they think they know everything and students feel that the teacher maybe knows something, but is just straight out boring. The bulk of the information that students learn is in the playground, at home with their family and friends and through their own passionate search for things in their spare time that they do find interesting.
After a student finds something that is interesting – what is the first thing they do? They share it either online or verbally with someone they know and trust. So why do they share it? Why not just pile it up inside their head like educationists of the past used to encourage, and just regurgitate it for the right moment when it needs to be applied?
Well people share for a number of reasons:
- The want to know what the other person thinks of this new idea
- They want to talk about this idea to understand more about what they personally think about it – by talking about it
- They want to pass on something they think is important with a view to getting others to pass it on too.
- They want to entertain others
- They want to entertain themselves
- They want to be liked
- They want to start forming an opinion/persona of who they are to others, so others will know who they are
- They want to find out if others know anything about this thing too, so they will share/add to this information so that they can learn more also
These are all true parts of our different characters. Sharing is fundamentally about socializing in one way or another. The social media revolution discovered more than anything else just how much people wanted to connect with others. We all knew that we felt good when we were around others who also appreciated us, but no one could have ever realized just how good we would feel if we could do it electronically. Everyone assumed that the only way we could really enjoy the friendship of another was in person. This is now showing to be very untrue. In fact we are learning a whole lot of new forms of socializing that never happened before. You can in fact fall in love with someone online you have never met, you can engage with a complete stranger on a topic without any preconditions, you can have a laugh about something in a completely different language, and not even need to say a word.
All this is important to know because education will, I believe, become increasingly social, just as social media has – so will begin a new style of learning called learning social media. The core reason is because learning as mentioned earlier comes from the ground up. Common sense learning is constantly tested through sharing. Sometimes it hits the spot, sometimes it doesn’t, but basically it will happen whether you like it or not, and whatever the outcome you will have to deal with it.
Ultimately, the fundamental reason why sharing will be the most important way to learn anything of value to the individual is because – well – it already happens that way right now. Sharing comes from a basic drive to tell someone something that they feel is important. It comes from a core passion for a topic, whichever it is.
The goal of educationists is to turn what is already happening into a recognized learning vehicle, market it and ensure that all people understand the value of it. The days of the University degree as a benchmark of learning is fading fast. Task based learning where people share what they know through collaboration and pool their creative minds to problem solve and build something new is the future. The concept of hiding we they know to be better than others, is going to die.
There was a time when people would say ‘information is power’, now it needs to be ‘sharing is power’. I think half the world is already considering it.
I love this idea and I can hardly wait to see it in action…