Global Learning Community
There is a need, beyond words, for a global learning community movement committed to action. Since the beginning, communities have been in a position to foster learning. Individuals in a community can only do so much, if anything at all, without the help, backing, and new ideas of others. It used to be, and still is in many places, the obligation of the greater community to encourage, and amplify learning throughout the community. Learning is important to the success of the global community.
I was reminded of the importance of the community in learning, recently, and found it interesting that many think this is a new conversation. It’s not. There’s plenty of research out there, and more than a book or two, but the bottom line is that the larger community has been ultimately responsible for teaching learners within for a very long time. The incredibly wonderful thing is that there are no boundaries to this concept, and that it actually works very well in a smaller, more localized way most everywhere. You would expect that this idea of community in learning could be easily amplified using technology, but it is amazing that even the most educationally advanced attempts have fallen short. Is it possible that saying it takes a community isn’t enough without knowing what that means, as well as knowing the actions that need to be taken to get there?
So far, most of the attempts of creating a larger community with the purpose of promoting learning for all haven’t succeeded. Many have splintered the community into smaller parts that have a specific as well as parallel agenda to the community’s creators, and backers. And while this community effort has worked in smaller pockets, it has failed when tried in a larger way. The reason this has failed is that there hasn’t been a strategically planned attempt at doing this in a large-scale effort—understanding language, locations, and socio-economic barriers. But what would happen if money wasn’t an obstacle, and a true global community could be created with the sole purpose of bringing learning to all under a universal community umbrella?
While it may be impossible to create a true learning community, everywhere at once, it is possible to strategically have an actionable beginning. Beyond taking great vision, it would require enlisting the brightest and most creatively resourceful education thinkers to get beyond agenda, and just plain talk—to true action. It would also require all the technological and educational resources necessary to power this movement. It would also require the gift of global bandwidth as well. Yes, it would require monetary backing beyond words, too.
We are not looking global enough for support to do this. We are still concentrating on small pockets of society, even though we talk about all and everyone. The reason we get bogged down in debate to nowhere, and one-liners about who’s at fault, is because no one has really taken the bull by the horns to say knock off the whinging and complaining and let’s get this done. Truly, community learning leaders, and followers, in this effort will do more to save the world than any armed force. Imagine the number of different factions that must be enlisted: children, educators, politicians, religious and government officials, corporate and marketplace leaders, and others willing roll up sleeves and unselfishly pitch in. Linking up and aligning supporters whom have already begun attempting learning communities could help the global movement, immediately, through sharing experiences, paths traveled, and influential leaders gained.
In the universal learning goal, no one can be left out of the larger learning community. It can’t be done in a blink, and it may take years, but it has to be attempted. If we continue to hunker down in our local silos of learning, global education change has no chance. I know that this thinking may go no further than my own small network, or community, but what if it could? Again, I’m back to dreaming, but what if? A true world learning community committed to action rather than words would be something special of which to be a productive and positive part. Saving the world is a total community learning effort.
Editor’s Note: Connect Learning Today has asked some of its global friends for a positive paragraph, or two, to discover more ideas for getting to this global learning community, and learning for all. If you’d like to participate, please contact the author (below) to share interest. We’d enjoy the participation, with the best thoughts published in a follow-up post.
About the Author
Ken Royal is a former educator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology teaching experience. He has written at many of the major education publications, including District Administration, TechLearning, and Scholastic Administrator. Presently, Ken is a blogger on all things education and education technology. Teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. He is a Promethean storyteller. Follow @KenRoyal on Twitter.