As some of you may already know I've been reading The World is Flat over the last week or so and it has had a great impact on how I see the world and what I think I should be doing as a teacher in my classroom. However, I keep on having a number of historical "flashbacks" as I see an older pattern repeat itself. Ok, here is a pop quiz.
What do these places have in common ?
Lindisfarne, England - 7th century
Edinburgh, Scotland - 18th century
Manchester, England - 19th century
Kitty hawk, North Carolina USA - 20th century
Bangalore, India - now
Well, in short they are all centres of world changing events that in their time were considered to be part of the periphery. In each case these places played host to thinkers and visionaries who changed the world. In each case those who were not considered part of the intellectual mainstream, created ideas and concepts that changed (or will change) the very fabric of our civilisation.
And I see the same thing happening all over again with the next intellectual revolution to hit us in education. The changes are not being led by those at the pinnacle of the educational establishment, but rather by practitioners who are experimenting with the new tools of learning and forging ahead, irregardless of current shibboleths. Once again, it is those who are far from the centre, on the periphery, geographically, economically and politically who are showing people the way forward.
It's a wonderful example for those of us who feel that we are far from the traditional centres of decision making and who have, up till now, felt we must simply do what others have deemed important.
If you want to see what the future of education looks like, check out:
Now, this is just a tiny, tiny part of the wave on innovation that has been released by web 2.0. Just imagine what their students will be able to do!!!