Holy Shift: Production Paradigm Shifts and Education Paradigm Shift.


The power of collaborative tools has been a recurring concept in MACT. In Shirky preaches to it in Here Comes Everyone, Bruns illustrates his concepts of “produsage”, and now Benkler provides further examples of peer collaboration in The Wealth of Nations.

Benkler introduces various examples of peer production, like open-source software development and Wikipedia,  but illuminates the scale of these ventures. Not only do these processes for peer production actually result in a deliverable, but they are deliverables that compete with business enterprise products.

Benkler creates a contrast between these two paradigms, a managed business approach versus an open peer collaboration approach. Like Shirky, Benkler points out that this collaboration is not because of the tool themselves (which reduce transactional costs), but also asocial drivers and differing motivations that result in collective and incremental production of a comparable-quality products.

Thus, Benkler and Shirky allude to a shift towards collaboration and the characteristics and attitudes that support it.

This made me reflect on a YouTube video I had with audio from Sir Ken Robinson about changing education paradigms. In it, he argues that our current educational system comes from a design intended to support an industrial age model that focuses on technical and practical skills, as opposed to creativity and innovation. While this presentation focused on shifting teaching paradigms, it echoes towards our situation will collaboration.

As the market is showing the success of these collaborations using network tools, has our curriculum also adapted to this new paradigm? It’s not only the technical skills required to use these tools, but the functional skills to work on collaborative projects. In what ways are preparing our future workforce for this?

Does education need to prepare us to use and understand these tools for peer production and sharing?

3 thoughts on “Holy Shift: Production Paradigm Shifts and Education Paradigm Shift.

  1. This really hit home for me Ian. I think the diffusion of innovation theory will ensure that eventually the education system becomes assimilated (think the Borg – ha ha) as the new millenials end up in teaching and leadership roles in “the system”. I’ll bet you’d be interested in what Thomas Friedman has to say too check him out “You won’t find your next job you will invent your next job” he also talks to changing the school system. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/opinion/13friedman.html he wrote the book “The World is Flat”.

  2. In the program area where I work, new courses are being developed which are using more collaborate (group) instructional designs for assignments. Students are being required to work together on a project, and submit it as one. For some of them, this is very different than what they are used to.

  3. Nice post Ian- I think there are all kinds of literacies, and social networking literacies parallel the science scene in education. Without a base in science literacy, we don’t possess the common understandings. Take the example of reading literacies. We are all taught about how to read a book, form a coherent essay. But when it comes to the sciences, it falls apart- students are given the preparatory foundations to digest reading a graph properly- for example. So a big YES to principle of creating common repositories of knowledge about how to use the tool!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s