Working Session on Open Social Learning (II). Rubén Díaz: Diagnosis and Perspective

Notes from the the Working Session on Open Social Learning, organized by UOC UNESCO Chair in E-Learning and held in Barcelona, Spain, on June 30th, 2009. More notes on this event: uocunescoosl.

Open Social Learning en España: Diagnosis and Perspective
Rubén Díaz

Photo of Rubén Díaz

Rubén Díaz. Photo by Carlos Albaladejo

Expanded education: Search for new ways of education that embed and adapt social and communicational processes that the Internet made possible.

Education can take place at every moment, in every place. Inside and outside the walls of the academic institution.

We can virtually access all the information that the whole World generates (and has generated), but: Will we have the need for that much information? (Nam June Paik, 1977). And we need to take control over the technologies that make possible the access to all that information and apply them to, for instance, Education (Noam Chomsky, 1998). Education is not, is being (Paulo Freire). Nobody knows it all, everyone knows something, all the knowledge lays on the whole humankind (Pierre Lévy). Today, the voice you speak with could not be your own voice (DJ Spooky).

Margaret Meads (Culture and Compromise) stresses the fact of the non-linearity of knowledge and how we are stuck to the books. Jesús Martín Barbero states the importance of oral and visual culture nowadays (i.e. cyberculture) in opposition with the traditional written culture of education during the last centuries.

Knowledge is delocalized. Everyone’s interested in education, and everyone’s capable of learning.

Learning takes place when solving problems by going through them using creativity. But how and why are people creative? And how can the environment negatively affect the learning environment? Is the actual educational system a learning environment that fosters creativity?

The learning environment is the source of knowledge. Active and collaborative learning environments enable learning by doing. We need to disclose communication channels so that motivation happens. We need to develop a pedagogy of the question. We are used to a pedagogy of the answer, where the teacher answers questions that the students never put (Paulo Freire).

We have to move towards the educommunication, avoiding the education of silence. Oriented self-education, expanded education. Expanded education is the communicative link between memory and remix to build the self from the world we speak from.

An adult assimilates:

  • 20% of information heard
  • 30% of observed
  • 50% of observed and listened
  • 70% of expressed by oneself
  • 90% of elaborated by oneself

Experience: Platoniq’s Bank of Common Knowledge in the 3000 viviendas de Sevilla.


Enric Senabre: What about expanded assessment? A: The problem is not only assessment, but the whole system. And we should begin with youngsters and schools, and later on with the University.

Q: what about beyond formal education? A: At Zemos98 we schedule a yearly Festival, where different people can meet different kinds of knowledge.

Silvia Bravo: If all these approaches and technologies are so evidently good, why aren’t they more pervasive? Where are we failing? A: The blame is maybe on the moral majority of the mainstream, the socioeconomic system where education is business. A second aspect is contextualization: how to use technology to work locally.

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