Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Global University? - radically new ways to teach

It's the spontaneous insights, that can occur when casually networking at conferences, that can sometime's produce some valuable knowledge nuggets!

Concerning knowledge creation and sharing, everything is moving on the Web towards One!

One Planetary Encyclopedia of Life, inspired by one global Wikipedia etc, and the list will rapidly grow, I am sure.

Whilst in Singapore, two weeks ago, I casually met in a coffee break with David Gurteen, from Gurteen Knowledge, and Roger Smith from the National University of Singapore.

Roger inspired me by telling us how many University students these days take their laptops into lectures. Whilst a lecture is proceeding, some of the students may also be chatting with other students through the Web and comparing notes. Even with lectures in the same building.

Apparently, one student hadn't turned up for a lecture as he had too much to drink the night before, and was feeling fragile. A student sent him a link to an Ipod of the best rated lecturer in the world on the same lecture subject.

I thought - why attend mediocre lectures when you can have world class experts at your fingertips in the global knowledge space? Why not One Global University with the best teachers in the world?

Well, I guess of course that we still prefer many other social ingredients like physical interaction, wherever possible, and a sense of community, I am sure.

But I am also sure that radical and better ways to teach and transfer knowledge in social networks, and what I would call 'best of breed streams', will certainly emerge into the final mix too. Like music producers, students will become increasingly capable, and personally responsible, for mixing, mashing and producing their own educational recipes!

Ron Young

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