Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rhizome: You Are World University, School, Knowledge for People

To All People Who Are Studying and Learning Now -

Please Post a Course or Class (for example, by video now).

I'd like to highlight to you directly what I think are fascinating aspects of World University and School, a global, virtual/digital, open, free-to-students, {degree-granting}, multilingual university & school - Wikipedia-like, I find fascinating the free-to-student and open aspects for all of World University and School, thinking especially in terms of making this information technology platform accessible to the developing world. (One Laptop Per Child - - countries are Rwanda, Ethiopia, Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, USA, {Birmingham, Alabama}, Uruguay, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Cambodia, & Papua New Guinea), and also the 50 poorest countries.

For the open World University and School, we would start by posting existing material from the web to this Wiki, as well as creating related material.

For the potential degree side of World University and School, however, I think the most sensible way to develop degree programs lies in networking with an existing University system, which already grants Ph.D.s, and which has a medical school, - on an experimental basis.

Video cameras in already existing courses and classrooms, and interactivity in virtual worlds like Second Life, are very appealing and sensible approaches, to start.

While working with an existing University system would offer infrastructure, resources, and administrative possibilities for this Wiki-based 'World University and School,' it might limit both the opennness and the free-to-students' aspects, that I think will go hand-in-hand with an ongoing (potentially millennia-long) flourishing of idea-exchanges and group-knowledge-productions in this digital 'space.' Nevertheless, financial compensation for people with Ph.D.s teaching in a credit- and degree-granting program also makes sense to me, which is why we'll develop a World University and School foundation.

I'm also interested in networking 'World University and School' with a group of great Universities in the world, so that students anywhere would have access, via video-cameras-in-classrooms-connected-with-virtual-worlds, to any of these faculty members, anywhere, as a start to innovating in digital learning and knowledge production. Since these classes are already ongoing, the potential costs to these Universities would be minimal, and, just as MIT has benefited from producing MIT OCW - - in terms of the quality of its courses, this network of great Universities, starting small, would benefit from being part of this loose, world, university and school organization, potentially attracting focused students from all over the world to these faculty, thus developing related social networks, as well as new kinds of knowledge production and idea exchange, wherever. Of course, the already matriculated graduate students taking the courses for credit, as well as faculty, in an existing University, and working through World University and School, could also post courses or lectures to the open Wiki, as could anyone.

And the open side of the University and School would generate ongoing, innovative possibilities, for everyone, in all languages and in all subject areas, innovatively. But MIT OCW is a model for academic course work on the degree-side of World University and School.

In a related vein, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra's recent classical music project could be the basis for a World University and School, digital, classical music school: "Getting to Carnegie via YouTube" (Dec. 1, 2008) -

Like Wikipedia with its 11 million entries in something like 70 languages, a remarkable example of group knowledge production, I'd love to let 'World University and School' unfold like generations-after-generations of species of flowering plants.

I think people will explore new ways to make learning fun in World University and School, as well, since they can post most anything to this Wiki.

And World University and School would be one further reason to make broadband, as well as video-capable, programmable iPhone-like devices Internet readily available to peoples in the developing world.

World University and School will potentially help a lot of people, by providing them with knowledge they create, shape, want and might benefit from, while complementing existing universities and schools, as MIT's Open Course Ware has.

~ Scott

The Harbin pools are inviting. Enjoy . . . soon...

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