As a socio-economic focused on studying the changes brought by new media to our social lives, I understood networks as a space of knowledge production that could give me and my children access to informal communities of interest and practices focused on similar issues. In my mind, the internet has become a sort of “Living library” where peers share their lived experiences and knowledge, potentially giving each other new perspectives and ideas to apply to their own context.
I knew that the emerging digital learners are going to have drastically different learning needs than analog children.
For one, they have or are learning to find what they want in terms of information and content, when they need it. Their learning is out of the classroom for many things such as dancing, media making, etc.
Secondly, their social world is rapidly becoming embedded in mobile technologies. They exist in hybrid spaces where the distinction between space social/ institutional /personal boundaries are being eroded. They learn and live in technological space. Their notion of being is going to be radically different from ours, based on a hybrid life between virtual and physical space and time continuum.
Thirdly, their future success will be defined less in terms of a competitive edge and educational degrees but much more in terms of diy survival abilities defined by varying sustainable, local, cultural needs as well as appropriate solutions to problems, that we as adults can barely imagine, let alone prepare them for, if our teaching methods and our approaches to what learning is don’t change.
Our global crisis will not go away and my dream is that the solutions out of self-destruction will be in new cultural, economy and social frameworks that nurture life in all its forms instead of abusing power. As a European who grew up in an Atheist home and a catholic country, the only models to education and life I have been exposed and conditioned to are lacking traditional (as in indigenous wisdom) understanding. Europe has no natural world left, it is all man remade, so are all its belief systems.