Thursday, March 30, 2006

"Pulling learning" by John Seely Brown

I first bumped into John Seely Brown's work in the 1990s in a fascinating book called, Internet Dreams (1997) edited by Mark Stefik. Later I read The Social Life of Information, a book that I don't think I really understood, but I continued to be fascinated by Brown's thinking about the Internet, culture, technology, learning and community. These ideas get woven together in different ways that always lead to interesting insights.

His latest work From Push to Pull-- Emerging Models for Mobilizing Resources is directly reponsible for me trying out this blog idea.

Here is the kind of idea that he is exploring that is critical to how we need to be building online learning environments:

"Pull models treat people as networked creators (even when they are customers purchasing goods and services) who are uniquely positioned to transform uncertainty from a problem to an opportunity. Pull models are ultimately designed to accelerate capability building by participants, helping them learn as well as innovate, by pursuing trajectories of learning that are tailored to their specific needs."

He is thinking about businesses when he writes this, but I am thinking about students and anyone interested in learning.