The Metaphor for 21st Century Learning

From the Connectivism Blog:

In a learning sense, we have treated the learner and the content as one entity. We fill the learner with content and release them into the corporate world. As their content runs low, they attend evening/continuing education classes in order to “refill”. This model works fairly well when the half-life of knowledge (how long it takes for knowledge to lose relevance) is long. In today’s world, knowledge is short – it survives only a short period of time before it is outdated. Most individuals need to spend an enormous amount of time in continuing education classes to stay current. It’s not good for business, and it’s not good for employee’s sanity.

We need to separate the learner from the knowledge they hold. It’s not really as absurd as it sounds. Consider the tools and processes we currently use for learning. Courses are static, textbooks are written years before actual use, classrooms are available at set times, etc. The underlying assumption of corporate training and higher education centers on the notion that the world hasn’t really changed.

This is an amazing metaphor — CSS and XML — very geeky, but I get it loud and clear.  It might make more sense if you check out CSS Zen Garden for those techies — the content is totally separate from the design.

So how do we start separating the content from the skills in our schools?  That is the question.

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