Below is a tentative writing of a short introduction of the Knowledge Engine and the learning platform supported by it. It is difficult to put many things into short paragraphs. So I will keep working on it in the following two days.
The goal of this project is to experiment and explore whether using twitter-like snippets as the foundation of learning process and building blocks of knowledge will cause a fundamental change in people’s learning. Actually it is not to change people’s learning per say, but to bring out the true face of learning. Indeed, when we look at how internet has changed our society, it is more in the way of bringing out what people have been doing rightly all along and spreading that to other people.
So in what ways can this twitter-like snippets change people’s learning?
What’s in the center of learning is the ability to feel of oneself and feel space (society, for example) around oneself, e.g. the self-reflection habits and skills. What compulsory schooling has done the most to damage people’s natural learning capacity is to destroy people’s ability to feel the space. With our early users, this twitter-like learning platform has proven to be able to restore or strengthen people’s ability to reflect and to feel of themselves, which has changed their learning completely in a very fundamental way.
Learning happens everywhere. People’s learning needs in real life are very rich. Only by satisfying people’s need to learn in real life, can people learn how to learn. Skills and knowledge needed in the industry cannot be well grasped and understood without a strong capacity of real life learning, not to mention to apply and explore knowledge creatively, which is highly demanded by future economy. Knowledge built on top of twitter-like snippets and constructed from people’s daily learning experiences can really foster the real life learning and can truly make learning mobile and happening in-time just as how it is naturally in real life.
How about the learning-teaching relation? We think that self-learning should be the basis, and the final goal of teaching is to let go so the learners can learn by themselves. When presented with good knowledge structure and rich learning resources, learners know how to learn best by themselves. Knowledge Area (a term in the platform) built on top of twitter-like snippets and constructed from people’s daily learning experiences provides such knowledge structure and learning resources. And they are from teachers who really have rich learning experiences in this area. By giving those teachers the flexibility and convenience to open courses on the platform and to become teachers, we empower everyone to become a teacher and thus change the profession of teaching fundamentally. This is the market force we rely on in this new system of education, and where we build out business model.
With our experimental work, we have proven or partially proven above hypotheses. We are sharing our work with the public. The envisioned future may happen in one platform. Or it probably will manifest itself in more forms. We hope people who deeply care about education can also see this future and join us together to bring this future to us sooner.