Steve Hargadon: Reimagining Education as Networked, Participatory, Social, Global

Steve Hargadon is the Charlie Rose of technology, learning and teaching. On his website, the Future of Education, he has interviewed everyone: from Clay Shirky to Diane Ravitch to Ken Robinson to Howard Gardner, and nearly all those in between. He’s been at the center of open education resources, Web 2.0, and social networking for as long as anyone I can think of. He is a master of virtual live events. His Teacher 2.0 site is essentially a megasized personal learning network for teachers. I caught up with him recently and am excited to share his thoughts on “rethinking learning” with the digital media and learning community. A few excerpts from the video (below):

The idea is to get past the superficial sense of we need to bring these tools into education and really look at the deeper level of how do these tools transform learning. And so, as an educator, how would your own learning be affected by them?

This is a millennia-old conversation. This is one of the great conversations of humanity, which is what is learning and what is teaching, and how do they interact with each other.

In many ways, the larger national dialogues around teaching and learning tend to not reflect that this is a process, and there is real value in individuals engaging. That’s been the biggest take away: how we get back to this sense of a civil dialogue, an engaged conversation around education, without necessarily having to be right.

For me, this synchronous technology — this capability of us talking the way we are right now with Skype or how you can collaborate with a richer set of features — this is very much web 2.0, although we don’t call it that. It’s about participation. It’s about engagement and activity and using the tools of the web.

It’s this overwhelming tidal wave of connectivity and content. At the same time, we are going to sort that out, and the end result is so fantastic that you’d say, OK, we’ve stepped past something, and we are in a new territory now. I have people from 183 countries in my Ning network. That’s only ten countries away from having someone from every country in the world. It’s kind of stunning.

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