The internet is a network platform in which humankind is embedding everything it knows. Educators who are building the future of learning are using the networked, embedded knowledge that the internet contains. It is important for educators to no longer hold the internet off judgmentally. Educators should be hands-on optimizing and connecting knowledge online. The image above shows the reason why: it is how networks connect.
The column going up the right side of the illustration with this post visualizes how knowledge grows in a network. A student’s mind is a network. The internet is a network. Knowledge is a network. It all meshes, and that is a beautiful thing about the new education.
Click this line to watch the video from which the right column is taken. Imagine as you watch that what is spreading is in a student’s mind. Connecting as a richer and richer network as the student learns is his understanding of biology, of the topics to the left of the column in the image above. (Actually the video depicts the spreading pattern of a Bluetooth mobile phone virus — but networks follow their own laws regardless of what is embedded in them.)
I made this illustration with boy and the K-12 ruler several years ago to show how school grades and standards chop apart ideas that need to connect to be understood. I added the right column today because I think it is a powerful visualization how open online content does the opposite of the traditional grades/standards chop chop. Networks connect ideas and deepen context causing learning.
A National Science Foundation press release explains more about the video.