I want to try something out, so would like people's views on it. My idea is to try and get some focused activity going around the concept of the learner of the future. Think of it as either a distributed research process or adding a layer of intentionality over some of what we do in the blogosphere.
I have this feeling that between us there are often very good conversations, excellent resources, great ideas, etc but we don't always take the next step in synthesising or collecting these.
Here is what I have in mind: A loosely coupled, distributed research 'project'. We declare 09 the 'year of future learning' (#YOFL or #FLY - take your pick). I accept that 'the year of X' is a bit naff, and comes with all sorts of anti-arguments, (what about next year?) but as a means of focusing our energies, providing opportunities for review, and giving a broad enough umbrella it provides a useful framework.
This is a means of aggregating existing resources and events by tagging them - in the Weinberger sense, we may as well put our leaves on as many branches as possible, so for instance there will be sessions at Northern Voice and Alt-C which could be made part of the YOFL simply by adding the tag.
But I see it as much more than just another meme or tag, I also want to use it as a means of instigating some new open, distributed activities. I have in mind the following:
- A set of interesting questions generated by the community
- Connected blog posts around particular topics - blog-carnivals Tony has pointed me at
- An open, special edition journal
- Combined research results
- A workshop format that anyone can run, and share results via a wiki
- 'Live' events eg George Siemens' Elluminate sessions
- 'Flash debates' in twitter around a specific topic, which are then summarised
- Face to face sessions at various conferences
- A wiki/blog/site collecting all of this material together
- An end of year review
I want to avoid any perceptions of elitism so the idea is that this is open to anyone. I've emailed a few blog chums to see if they would be interested in doing some of the above, to give it some traction, but essentially it's open. If there is a topic of burning interest to you, run an activity and it'll be pulled in.
In addition, my colleague Grainne Conole also has lots of links into various communities, so we will be running a number of face to face activities also. This involves 'talking to people' - not sure what that is, probably some cool web 2.0 service.
The experiment for me is whether the online community can work this way, or whether it really does need a more directed, formal research project. At the moment I think we have good conversation. Conversations and dialogue can be spontaneous but they can also be focused, with a specific aim. Similarly, we have a loose-knit community of sorts, and communities can be around general areas of interest, but they can also have a common goal ('overthow a president', 'find Dave a date').
It is this second, more intentional layer that I was hoping we might foster this year. I like finding other people's posts and riffing off (or ripping off) ideas, but I want to explore whether the edublog community can do a bit more. Whether we can have purposeful conversations, aimed at addressing a specific problem.
To kick off I have created a wiki here for setting out the big questions.
I am go to aggregate anything with #YOFL and #FLY tags at some point. I make the solemn promise to summarise these once a month and try to put some interpretation to them, although anyone else is also free to do the same of course.
I will also set in motion a few activities, such as those listed above.
So, what do you think? Oh, here's a logo: