Education Technology and Self-Organization

Steve Hargadon is intrigued by what’s happening in ed-tech:

One element to these meetings that intrigues me, and which I’m still trying to quantify, is the ability for an engaged and devoted group to succeed in producing from their own experiences material and learning which not only meet what a single expert might bring, but often exceed traditional expertise. Darren Draper and I have been struggling to find a easy phrase for this, what he calls “Hargadon’s Law,” but which surely has been expressed somewhere else by someone more eloquent. It’s the literal equivalent of 1 + 1 = 3, which does not invalidate the value of an expert, but which demonstrates or draws out the wisdom of a group, showing it to be significantly more powerful than typically manifest in more traditional teaching environments. Again, arguably not founded on the technologies of the Web, but enhanced and focused, perhaps, by using them.

He has a long list of ideas (at the end of his post) for enhancing or supporting self-organization. Some I’d call kindred to (some are actually already embedded in) an open space approach. Others, like bringing people in by video or audio conferencing, might just get in the way. Generally, though, he’s got a broad inventory of where various sorts of new meetings are happening and a good list of suggestions for supporting self-organization.