A proposition for jump starting a “teaching/Learning” Economy with a formalized Telecenter Certification

Here is a project I am working on, and it came up with an interesting take on creating a knowledge economy. What is the value Proposition in a Knowledge Economy? You could call it a “Teacher/Learner Economy.” Simply stated the drive to gain good employment as a Teacher/Facilitator of 21st Literacy’s will help pay for the Teachers/facilitators that will be needed. This is scaled up through virtual eLearning and ubiquitous free wireless broadband and low cost, low wattage wireless computers. The creation of a Certificate of 21st C. Skill Ready at the Telecenter level acts as a work around of the stale mate with most educational hierarchies. Once a basic competency is established the student is free to pursue the traditional avenues of certification. But the engine of the knowledge economy is knowing how to use it, a huge workforce will be needed to facilitate this readiness. Additionally all content created can be created at the local level for entry level competencies. With guidance from some alliance.

Open Architecture Classroom Redesign for Creating a 21st Century Classroom:
Vision Statement

–Thinking about ICT4 education it is clear that an entirely new paradigm must emerge
–160–300 million students cannot be crammed into 19th Century Factory methods of pedagogy: the traditional school, classroom and its instructional hierarchy.
–Telecenters offer a trim tab (point of leverage) to create a new pedagogy based on 21st Century Literacy’s
–One element of scalability is the peer to peer network of teacher/facilitator’s that will be needed–the other is technology
–In expensive wireless computers and free wireless broadband must become ubiquitous so that education can go on 24/7/365
–The Telecenter is the wireless hub and “University/Library” of the 21st Century, it is where the certification process begins to be a teacher of basic 21st Century Literacy’s.
–Individualized Plans of Study can be created for each facilitator, who then may move on to further credentials or employment. Telecenter Certification is localized, and IPS are Course Modules being created in a local, hyper individualized way.
–When access to facilities are needed, use is staggered for different populations to ease crowding and maximize resources. –Students of all ages can study 24/7/365 in the comfort of their homes, immersed in learning activities, and a curriculum that provides the foundations for sustainability, and the MDG’s.
–The physically challenged and otherwise disabled are one of our greatest assets–because they may be equally adept to the computer–leading fulfilled and prosperous lives as managers and data processors, and many other IT dedicated virtual occupations: designers, artists, developers, teachers, etc.
–Active, mobile and engaged students are immersed in real Life learning activities that contribute to sustainability–not locked away for their most productive times. Meeting at
the new school perhaps once a day for clarifications, instructions and reflections–there is no overcrowding. Small working teams meet intimately and share their projects and developments.
–The New School is a Community Biome Sustainability Laboratory, where renewable, ecological and sustainable systems are demonstrated and examined to be replicated community wide. A variety of data feeds give living numbers for measurement, evaluation and monitoring.
–A Common Area for presentations, demonstrations, celebrations and performances can occur for the wider community, and to give a sense of the whole systems involved
and necessary for sustainability.
–the value proposition in a knowledge economy is learning, learning how to aggregate, co create and collaborate: to gain more knowledge, as it were
–There is a teacher in all of us, and this teacher should be honored and paid as a facilitator in a ‘peer to peer’ or ‘reciprocal apprenticeship’ relationship.
–Job Creation–that the drive to be paid as a teacher/facilitator, will help power the economy of content creation, through the willingness to pay something for being certified and able to work as a teacher/facilitator. (Somewhat of a tautology)

What does this New School look like? The School or Telecenter is the Generation Station in many ways. And it is managed more as a resort or conference center.
It has many income strategies built into its very nature.

Some of its features are:
Solar Array or wind powered battery charging stations for laptops and other electronics
(Income generator)
Living Machines processing waste into food and other experiments
A Teaching Kitchen with Green Walls, Aquaculture and gardens, a source of nutrition and education about food and health.
Recipe books, local dinners and competitions raise funds
LAN Servers and Computers for instruction, general use and data monitoring
Wireless Broadband Hub–free to students/community
Instead of classrooms–meeting rooms where teams and work groups gather daily for instruction, collaboration and reflection: comfy, cool, practical, resource rich
These are scheduled on extended hours and to maximize the facility
Data feeds and monitoring from all of the systems, Real time accurate diverse data feeds from a variety of systems, including media
Constant content creation through wiki’s and aggregation of community knowledge projects and sustainability initiatives that the students are undertaking.
A place to crash if you need to sleep, a sanctuary, some place safe.
Media of all types: Radio, TV, Visualization Labs, Design Labs
A stage or Open Space for performances, presentations, celebrations, demonstrations, etc.
A shop repairing, learning installations and other maintenance tasks essential to the local systems.


Creating a Knowledge Economy with Wikipedia

Reflecting on the power of wiki’s, I wonder about the correlation between number of entries in a given language and GNP in Wikipedia? When we think of a knowledge economy and how to transition to one, what are the steps necessary? How can we measure and assess the transition? Most of all how can we facilitate this transition?

The lesson of environmental economics is that the cost of resource extraction to the biome is not accounted for in the price of the item. Buckminster Fuller suggested that the ‘cost’ to the planet to produce one gallon of gasoline was a million dollars. Was that in the 50’s? I can’t fine the quote at the moment. But clearly this insight suggests that we are dearly in debt to our planet and that cost will be felt in the up coming years. The idea of a knowledge economy compares to this debt ridden extraction economy along the lines of extracting ideas instead. Of course, we will always be extracting resources in some way, but hopefully in a more sustainable manner. But the resource of human capital–as it is sometimes called– is limitless. I am not comfortable with the characterization of human capacity as ‘capital.’ The process of acquiring the ‘goods’ is also not one of ‘extraction.’ This is entirely a new beast, like the transition from agrarian to industrial. “Fossil fuel’ thinking, as I like to characterize the extraction model, is consumptive and imperialistic because it can be monopolized and hoarded. But creativity and self knowledge, this is different.

The creative economy, or the creative industries are aspects of the emergent knowledge economy, but not its end sate. There are embedded techniques in the creative economy process that can help raise a community into an awareness of itself, its resources and potential. This step in self knowledge is a process where the medium is the message.

I’ll keep working on this, what do you think?