Skip to main content

#Rhizo15 Knowledge is Communication

4 min read

Sternberg, one of my fav theorists on human intelligence  defines wisdom as, "the application of the analytical, creative, and practical aspects of successful intelligence for a common good, over the long as well as the short terms, through the infusion of positive values."

Wisdom in many ways is a collective. A tool communities can access but never really grasp. I have been thinking about Sternberg's definition of wisdom often in these last few days. Especially in terms of online spaces such as where we have been gathering to learn. How does this "application" and "common good" play out online?

I realized wisdom is curated and knowledge is communicated.

Strong 21st Century Communications Magnet and SCSU Lab School

Which brings me to the Strong 21st Century Communication Magnet School in New Haven, CT.  The staff invited me in to do a presentation on communication.

We had a great time. We focused on participatory culture, looked at examples of , and then practiced how to with x-ray goggles.

I usually dread these one hour PD sessions after a brief staff meeting. The real learning gets squished and the managerial details rushed, but today was different. The entire staff sat engaged and ready to learn. When the teachers got to play with the tools we discussed everyone jumped right in. They challenged my claims and demanded evidence.

Many were staying late into the night to collaborate with parents to advocate for a new school. They encouraged students to get involved in the democratic process by writing letters to the local Alders.

Most importantly as a group the teachers seemed committed to the mission and vision of the Strong School (I did explain my aversion to "21st Century"). We had so much fun. It was fitting that I got to present in their discovery classroom. A room built for design thinking.

Knowledge is Communication

I drew on the work Henry Jenkins and his team did  around  new skills for participatory culture:

Here is the slidedeck. While I did not get a chance to record the session I do have a YouTube video with really choppy audio. I was happier with today's talk as we really dug into what it means to communicate knowledge (headless slidedecks are always bad video but thats a talk for another time).

Examples of

I wanted to share some of the online classes I have helped to shape. We discussed and . Each of these courses built on the Wisdom that has been curated from other classes such as , , , and . I wanted to communicate and share the knowledge that I shared in both projects (1, 2).

I believe we can do this in K-12 education. We have done it two years in a row with . There is something unique in having these local nodes sharing knowledge and forking the wisdom of the collective.

We concluded the talk by highlighting Web Literacy as the primary mode of communication in a Networked Society. I shared the efforts of the Mozilla Learning and encouraged teachers to consider a Mozilla Web Club at the Strong School.

Then we hacked the news. Teachers love x-ray goggles. It gets them making in  minutes and the pedagogical possibilities are only limited by the wisdom of their collective.

In order to curate wisdom we need to engage in participatory culture. This requires us to to communicate knowledge. All require students to read, write, and participate on the Web.