School & Society, Conversations & Learning Networks


  • All societies and all organizations are founded on conversations—but neither the processes of conversation, nor means to improve them, are generally understood
  • Fortunately, conversation can be modeled as a cybernetic system (goal-oriented interactions with feedback and higher-order perspectives)
  • Such a prescriptive model of conversation applies equally to learning, schools, networks of collaboration, and technology for learning
  • While technology is the transport medium of today's learning networks, it is the processes inside those networks and not the technology that is key—and the foundation of those processes is conversation
  • Applying models of conversation to the creation of software for learning networks will allow a major advance in the near future
  • For example, the primary need of today's students is not access to the internet, but access to the skills that are demanded by 21st-century work and society—and these skills can most effectively be imparted to students through the process of “instrumented” conversation
  • Thoughtshuffler is a form of instrumented conversation that may be summarized as “the new way of reading and the next way of writing”
  • Finding and understanding content on the Internet is important but is only a small fragment of the whole picture
  • We also need tools to help apply, analyze, evaluate and create new insights—and “thoughtshuffler” is the first of these tools.


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© Copyright Paul Pangaro, 2013.