Monday, February 18, 2013

Northern Gray Whale: An email to incoming Reed College President Kroger on the Conference Method Online, WUaS, 'How can we Reedies extend the great benefits of the Conference Method online to WUaS?' Added Harvard, English, Professor Louis Menand's 2011 New Yorker piece, which you've encouraged us to read for the upcoming Reed gathering, "LIVE AND LEARN: Why we have college," - to 3 of WUaS's wiki, subject pages: 1) The College at WUaS, 2) Theories of Learning, and to 3) The Bookstore / Computer Store (New and Used) at WUaS

Dear President Kroger,

Here are some questions I just posed to - - for your upcoming, Reed gathering on 27 February 2013 in San Francisco.

How can we Reedies extend the great benefits of the Conference Method, having engaged it over 4 years of study, via the web and internet, particularly the learning and teaching which occurs with people-to-people interaction as conversation, including the conversations each of us develop with texts, in the Reed experience?

Here's a wiki (editable web page) at World University and School for open teaching and learning about the Conference Method - - and especially online.

I ask this question in developing World University and School (WUaS), which is like Wikipedia with MIT OpenCourseWare, and which builds directly on Reed College's approach to undergraduate education. WUaS is MIT-centric, Creative Commons' licensed, and plans to free, offer, online, accredited, bachelor, Ph.D., law, and M.D. degrees, (as well as MIT OCW High School-centric, International Baccalaureate diplomas), beginning with a matriculating, undergraduate class in 2014 (so students will apply this autumn 2013). WUaS would like to become the MIT / Harvard of the internet and in many languages and countries, as well as is planning wiki-schools in all 7, 413 + languages and 204 + countries for people-to-people teaching and learning; Wikipedia is in 285 languages by way of comparison. MIT OCW's 2,142 courses are a great opportunity on which to accredit, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

As examples of how WUaS works, and perhaps of a kind of extended conference method as learning conversation, 

I've added Harvard English Professor Louis Menand 2011 piece, which you've encouraged us to read for the upcoming Reed gathering, 

"LIVE AND LEARN: Why we have college," -

to three of WUaS's wiki, subject pages: 

1) The College at World University and School -

2) Theories of Learning -, and to 

3) The Bookstore / Computer Store (New and Used) at WUaS -

since Menand touches on all these themes, and for the piece's relevance for learning to these pages. 

An aspect of the creative potential of WUaS, as an expression of conference method itself, is that anyone can create a wiki, subject page at WUaS, in a field they like. And, of course, people can develop communities around these wiki pages that are eventually face-to-face (e.g. G+ Hangouts +), both for degrees and in an open way.

Further, in what ways might Reed College's conference method help us to answer some of the questions posed - - for our 27 February 2013 Reed Alumni gathering in S.F., about a) what we valued most at Reed, b) about careers after Reed, and c) about new, intellectual / academic directions for Reed (perhaps with career-potential in mind), vis-a-vis Menand's theories, and might the internet/web/information technology help extend our arguments about edifying responses to these questions in new ways? World University and School may be an aid in response to all of these questions -

World University and School's hopes that its eventual, MIT OCW-centric, Ph.D., law and M.D. degrees will benefit Reedies.

I look forward to meeting you and to this conversation.

Best wishes,
- Scott


WUaS plans also to build on Reed College's approach to academics with its own Honor Code, emerging from this wiki, subject page - - as well as a required, online, Freshman Humanities' course, emerging here - - and perhaps in collaboration with Reed itself, if at all possible, (as well as a required, online, Freshman, biology class with a programming component, junior qualifying  exams, and Senior Thesis).


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