Us Now

“Us Now”

This video, freely avaiable at:

has ideas from Tapscott, Leadbeater, Shirky (and more) and it really hits the heart of why I have hope for the future.

I hope that all educators will watch this!

A bit like Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody”, “Us Now” explores technology’s role in citizen participation — allowing for collaborative concepts to be implemented in ways impossible before.  Zopa is one example –  a social network for finding lenders. And the lenders are just everyday people willing to lend small amounts (really small) for projects they believe in. Rates are negotiated and you might require several lenders but, (sort of like an online dating service) if the match is made, you’ll be able to fund your project. Any project! — it’s borrowing money from people not banks 🙂

“Us Now” has many other examples, from couch surfing to government.

Here’s a quote from the video’s web page

“we have become the authors of our own information and knowledge, sharing what we care about with others rather than merely being swayed by the latest marketing of a product or lifestyle.

Most powerfully, we’ve begun to trust each other again.”

It’s a full-length production (59 min) and it  inspires me to want to do everything possible to educate the next generation to be ready and able to use the potential of citizen participation to its fullest!

Can we model this in K-12 education? in colleges and universities? Can our learning environments be dynamically constructed with our learners and include the greater public to become engaging and collaborative places of ongoing formal and informal personalized learning, preparing citizens for their larger participatory roles in the future?

A challenge, yes — but what amazing rewards if we meet this challenge!


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