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Milken Institute

I will be sitting on a panel at the Milken Institute – (Blogs, Wikis, MMORPGs, and YASNS: Shaking Up Traditional Education) early next week with Will Richardson (I’ve been reading his book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms – a wonderful introduction to the new learning opportunities available through simple, social tools – if you’re trying to transform your teaching, this is a great place to start), David Weinberger, Liz Lawley, and others. As I’ve stated in other forums, the substantial value of blogs and wikis is not the tools themselves…it’s what the tools enable. We have always needed more dialogue-focused views of learning…we have always had the need for collaboratively-created content (though both of these considerations are more substantial in the current pace of society). As educators, we haven’t always been able to move in those directions because we lacked the tools, time, or skills needed. In my opinion, the best tools are those that align with how people like to learn in the absence of barriers (though I often talk about transforming learning, I wonder if it’s not more accurate to say that the intent is to transform the process of learning by eliminating barriers that obstruct the rich experience of unhindered learning – i.e. spend some time watching how children learn through trial and error, or reflect on how you meet learning needs in your hobbies and areas of personal interest). Blogs and wikis are largely about reducing the hierarchical barriers imposed by organizations and instructors.