Fall semester 2007 was the first time that I read this quote:
Sometime in the next 30 days, the telecoms firms of the world will have reached a new milestone – three billion subscribers. About ten percent of that number are customers who have multiple accounts, but – somewhere in the middle of 2008, half of humanity will own a mobile handset.
Among my comments that fall about Mob Rules was a statement regarding the fact that I didn’t have a cell phone and that I was holding out for World Vision and Oxfam. Well, this week I joined the half of humanity that has a handset and we are early into the year of 2008 and surely enough I also have a multiple account. Sort of makes me think that we should be paying closer attention to what Mr. Pesce is saying. I know that I don’t want to get run over by the mob.
Pursuing an education according to Mob Rules is probably one of the most stimulating activities in the world today. The access to information is ever flowing and changing. With the ability to connect to others who share our common interests and goals comes the possibility to satisfy our personal ambitions. Those folks who aren’t sure what they are looking for have, in essence, the world at their fingertips to search for ideas.
Making connections between this blog and education brought to mind Montessori teaching methods wherein students participate in self-directed study and are not assessed through grades and tests, but more through a method of feedback that lists students’ achievements or lack thereof at critical stages in their development. In a sense, students are given free range to discover their interests, abilities, strengths and weaknesses and to grow in the direction that is best suited to their nature. This is possible in the world of Web 2.0.
Magnet schools could also be compared to learning on the Web. In magnet schools, students are permitted to attend schools outside their neighborhood district school. Entrance requirements vary from school to school as do the programs of study. Magnet schools may focus only on certain areas of study such as mathematics, engineering, social studies, or fine or performing arts, just to name a few. The concept originated as an effort to help with the problem of racial segregation in so-called “good” schools and decrease segregation of schools in poorer areas. One of the problems with getting students to “good” schools is transportation. This matter would not be such a problem if students were studying online. Admittedly, access to computers might be an issue and getting to physical sites to practice lessons in classes like performing arts might be a challenge sometimes. But, I have a feeling that if one is connected to a network of people online; finding a way to practice is a problem that could be overcome with a little effort, all of which leads to a more equitable learning experience for all.
The ability to get connected to others is getting easier all of the time with devices like the Mini. We can’t all be at the front of the pack, but what is being created by those in the lead is potentially beneficial to the rest and the exciting part is that one never knows what the response from the crowd will be. The direction is ever changing as new ideas merge and blossom into other products and ideas. Plus, the amount of available freeware (plus tutorials for learning its use) levels the playing field for those who can’t afford the commercial products. I’m not sure why anyone would pay for a product that can be accessed for free anyway.
But computers and online technology aren’t just about discovering career opportunities and creating goals. It is a way of life which appears limitless and without boundaries in the pursuit of a better way of life.