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Alec Resnick: Educological Possibilities
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Alec Resnick: Educological Possibilities

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Alec Resnick's talk at Refactor Camp 2013.

Alec Resnick's talk at Refactor Camp 2013.


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  • 1. educological possibilities reasoning by analogy about the Silicon Valley of the future of learning
  • 2. Tell compelling stories about novel models for learning and LONG-TERM research featuring science as a cultural activity.SPROUT & CO. Make tools & materials which MID-TERM generate those stories. Create experiences we want SHORT-TERM by hand to learn what’s involved.
  • 3. A HIGH SCHOOL IN BOSTON
  • 4. THE OPPORTUNITY ★ Bottom 10% academically ★ Top 10% per capita spending ★ The reason families leave Somerville. ★ Looming, order-$10e6 investment ★ Socioeconomic stratification
  • 5. IMMUNOSUPPRESSANTS TOOL ENVIRONMENT COMMUNITY
  • 6. MY QUESTION What would a Silicon Valley for the future of learning look like?
  • 7. School offers unbeatable access & permission, especially in metropolitan contexts.THE HYPOTHESES
  • 8. School offers unbeatable access & permission, especially in metropolitan contexts.THE HYPOTHESES Learning happens everywhere.
  • 9. School offers unbeatable access & permission, especially in metropolitan contexts.THE HYPOTHESES Learning happens everywhere. School politics will bend to school economics.
  • 10. School offers unbeatable access & permission, especially in metropolitan contexts.THE HYPOTHESES Learning happens everywhere. School politics will bend to school economics. To invent the future of learning, we need a different (not better) Silicon Valley.
  • 11. SCHOOL CAN BE REPLACED 1952
  • 12. WHAT DOES SCHOOL DO? services Hang out with people who look Daycare Learn to X Make (valuable) capital and act like you. friends Social capital Human capital Network capital signalling You can speak You’ll know other proper English & You can build engineers or perform affective things or write an hedge fund labor & show up Excel macro. managers and their on time. parents.
  • 13. e.g. peers, elders, e.g. tools, space, support networks stuffGOOD LEARNING Social Material Intellectual e.g. materials, notations, models
  • 14. A MODEL: WEBDEV Social Material Intellectual
  • 15. SUBSTITUTE & COMPLEMENT A substitute for a product is one A complement for a product is one you will buy instead, if the first you will buy also, usually to make the product is too expensive. first product valuable. ( ) ( ) * With your partner, take some time to brainstorm as many school substitutes & complements as you can. Substitutes on green Post-its, complements pink. When you’re done, put them on the paper. * Turn to your right, figure it out.
  • 16. Silicon Valley had cheap land, proximity to technicalWHAT’S A SVFL LIKE? skill, easy money, ... What affordances—social, technological, economic, environmental, political and value—would a SVFL benefit from? * With your partner, take some time to brainstorm as many affordances as you can. Extant affordances on green; non-existent pink. When you’re done, put them on the paper. * Turn to your left, figure it out.
  • 17. It is clear now, as it was not at first, why Illich reacted with such horror to my saying that we should push the walls ofINVERT, NOT EXPAND the school building out further and further. That seemed at the time a good enough way to say that we should abolish the distinction between learning and the rest of life. Only later did I see the danger that he saw right away. Think again about the global schoolhouse, madhouse, prison. What are madhouses & prisons? They are institutions of compulsory treatment. . . A global schoolhouse would be a world, which we seem to be moving toward, in which one group of people would have the right through our entire lives to subject the rest of us to various sorts of tests, and if we did not measure up, to require us to submit to various kinds of treatment, i.e. education, therapy, etc. until we did. A worse nightmare is hard to imagine.

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