Thanks to Artichoke and Rose for the heads up to what is for me absolutely hands down, one of the best presentations about connected knowledge I have seen in a long time.
Serendipity 2.0: Missing Third Places of Learning – Teemu Arina

[Someday Sunshine and I will find our way to Finland and everything will be ok…]

I thoroughly recommend watching the 30 minute screenrecording of the presentation. Not only is it a fascinating and refreshing perspective on the ideas of connected knowledge, the images and even the accent will make it fascinating.

Thanks to Teemu for putting so much work into it, for communicating to me in the only language I can understand, and for giving me more access to the kind of thinking going on in Finland.

This is high order stuff for me.. and while I enjoy being in that space – I watched this in work time, research. All the way through I was trying to relate the observations and ideas into my own context. Adult education and training, mostly with vocational goals. Teemu showed at least 2 very thought provoking examples of projects applying his line of thinking. One of which was Network Oasis.

netWork Oasis is a collaborative working, learning and development environment. It is a space designed to inspire spontaneous and guided encounters of different individuals. Versatile environment welcomes actors, specialists and groups from various companies, research and development organizations and communities. Billing is based on the actual logged usage of the facilities. The price includes all 1200 m2 of space and services. Laptop and a cell phone are the only necessary tools for working – Internet, printers etc. are provided by the services.

That is something I can look at more closely and see how solid I can get the concepts before testing them out here, in lil old Dunedin…

Teemu finished his presentation with these questions:

  • What does it extend?
  • What does it make obsolete?
  • What is retrieved?
  • What does it reverse into, if over-extended?

My attempt to answer them in my own vocational education and training context before I’ve had any time to reflect on them:

What does connected knowledge technology extend in vocational education and training?

The ability of a business, company or organisation to service the education and training needs of itself, through informal learning models, but facilitated through technologies. In saying that however, some sectors will be a long time coming compared to others. Office work and organisational work and the like could be the first – already having the sorts of technology available to them, and being the closest to being conceptually ready to adopt these methods. Trades and industry maybe some of the last cabs off the rank, if at all as many have very little access to the types of technology available now to connect knowledge, or the media literacy levels available to make the most of it. I could (and hope I am) be wrong about this though. The hospitality and service sectors are an interesting possibility… but I’m aware that Teemu is pushing me to think for more informally and less compartmentalised with knowledge and skills development… I am, its just hard.. community building within and across sectors maybe a way to establish fertile ground for connected learning.

What does connected knowledge make obsolete in vocational training and education?

Well, if informal and networked learning models became popular and successful for workbased learning initiatives, vocational education and training services could become a lot more unnecessary. Within the voc ed service sector itself, traditional curriculum will slowly dissolve into more integrated and relevant micro learning, with holistic learning principles and ethics being left to … dunno what…

What is retrieved in connected knowledge models for vocational education and training.

I think the apprenticeship model will become the familiar vehicle to promote connected learning. Only the master will be a distributed role over a network, or local community of learners or trades association.

What will be lost or what will be the negative if we go too far with connected learning practices?

We disrupt local knowledge workers at a pace, rate and philosophy that alienates them even though they are or would be valuable to this new practice. We risk adverse affects of assessing and awarding approval to practice when skills or experience are not as good as thought (but the social and open learning should counter this). We get caught up in techno futurism and loose site of many current and historical issues that need to be delt with. And we think in terms of data or ethics that are foreign to our number 1 learning space – family and local community…