Sep 012011

by Maria Popova

The evolution of education, particularly as filtered through the prism of emerging technology and new media, is something we’re keenly interested in and something of increasing importance to society at large. Now, from authors Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown comes a powerful and refreshing effort to approach the subject with equal parts insight, imagination and optimism, rather than the techno-dystopian views today’s cultural pundits tend to throw our way.

A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change makes a compelling case for a new kind of learning, one growing synchronously and fluidly with technology rather than resisting it with restless anxiety — a vision that falls somewhere between Sir Ken Robinson’s call for creativity in education paradigms and Clay Shirky’s notion of “cognitive surplus.”

We’re stuck in a mode where we’re using old systems of understanding learning to try to understand these new forms, and part of the disjoint means that we’re missing some really important and valuable data.” ~ Douglas Thomas

The book touches on a number of critical issues in digital learning, from the role of remix culture to the importance of tinkering and experimentation in creating, not merely acquiring, knowledge. Central to its premise is the idea that play is critical to understanding learning, something we can get behind.

Sample the content with some excellent talks by the authors on the book’s site and grab a copy of A New Culture of Learning —.

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