Somehow googling “bullshit enabler” brought me back to my favorite pastime - reading everything on Arts & Letters Daily. I have no idea how this happened, and I’m not proposing aldaily.com is bullshit in the least. At this point, I can’t even remember why I was googling that phrase - much less what results I was hoping for. Anyway, I was able to read a few very interesting articles, my favorite being “Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age" by Cathy Davidson.
For more than a hundred years, we’ve been training people to see in a particularly individual, deliberative way. No one ever told us that our way of seeing excluded everything else.
Because I do so much work with “eLearning” in a corporate environment, I’m constantly faced with with my own personal feelings about this type of learning/collaboration and the effect, if any, it had on me in college. The University of South Carolina was making a great effort to promote the use of Blackboard and its collaborative tools during my undergrad years. Back then, especially in 2002-2004, this all seemed very forced and unnatural, even though writing a paper of any kind seemed “stupid” because, well, the topic had already been covered, and I could find it in a second by going to google.
Check out the article. It’s interesting to read how Davidson’s ideas in 2002 are almost normal and expected now. From a classroom assignment to “make Wikipedia better” to using blogs as a substitute for the term paper, for now and in the future, we won’t just learn, we must “Learn. Unlearn. Relearn.”