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The New Disorder of Knowledge

The New Disorder of Knowledge

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Published by Emilio Quintana
Free Knowledge, Free Technology 2008 Conference, Barcelona, July 2008
Free Knowledge, Free Technology 2008 Conference, Barcelona, July 2008

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Published by: Emilio Quintana on May 27, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The New Disorder of Knowledge. Freedom, Chaos andLearning
Abstract |=**FKFT 2008**=- Stream 3. Educating in Freedom
Emilio Quintana
| Instituto Cervantes de Utrecht, The Netherlands
Lola Torres
| Barcelona, Spain
Grupo Nodos ELE :
“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer” Richard Stallman"A very large part of what we know, and how we know it is fluid, evolutionary and context dependent"  Dave Snowden
The new Network is representing a change in the way we conceive Learning. We aremoving from an old hierarchy to a distributed disorder in which identity is reformulatedand chaos becomes a new form of organization. Education needs to change dramaticallyand adapt to the new reality, or even 2.0 won't have enough time to launch lifeboats towater.What we call
 Relatively Organized Chaos
has to do with Freedom and Responsibility of individuals and, therefore, with cultural aspects rather than technological ones. Aslanguage teachers (ELE / SFL, Spanish as a Foreign Language), we are in a privileged position to implement these changes. That is because, in part, we have dealt with thesetopics for a long time, through documents and research as important as the CommonEuropean Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or the new Spanish InstitutoCervantes Curriculum (IPPC), that advocates an action-oriented approach focused onthe learner and it has put into fair value strategies and processes. From there, we mustincrease the "resilience" capacity of the existing frameworks in order to make themmore flexible (“chaotic”) and focused on long-term learning ("learning for life"), allwithin what
George Siemens
called“Connective Intelligence", a concept that tries to go beyond the "Collective Intelligence".Contributions as important as the “Connective Theory” (
), “Informal Learning”(
Jay Cross
) or “Serendipitous Learning” (
Teemu Arina
) go along these lines. Theseare ideas that were born from the Network itself, unlike other educational theories suchas Constructivism, originated in pre-teaching environments, and that therefore canhardly be adapted to the new reality. We will also draw attention to other emergingconcepts, such as“Accidental Learning”:
"Every day I make an effort to go toward what I do not understand. This wandering leads to the accidental learning thacontinually shapes my life." 
(cellist Yo-Yo Ma )What should be the position of education towards this new situation and values, whenfacing with this new order that is disorder at once? Undoubtedly, we must begin to beopen-minded and be more receptive to the new physical and virtual reality, because incase these realities don't coexist and feed each other, they are condemned to falsehood.
Stephen Downes has explained us that the way to learn is different depending on thetime and the context in which we live. Therefore, the concept of Learning is notsomething fixed and needs to be constantly redefined. Our role as educators, as well asthe role of learners and institutions, is to overcome fear – it was called”Fear 2.0” in the last Educause- and become aware of this. There is no doubt that this is a complicatedtask because it requires rethinking concepts and basic values, many of whom do not fitwith the existing educational structure, based on closed/narrow ideas, courses, finalevaluations, contents, low value of the process, collide in a violent way with this newreality of constant change, chaotic and distributed. However, it becomes a need for Education to pact with the referred ideas of the new disorder: informal learning, life-long learning, action-oriented learning and focused on the learner and his or her learning processes, with freedom and individual responsibility.The paradigms and educational values we will speak about go in parallel with theconcepts of 
Free Knowledge
Free Software
. These "educational values" are, infact, an important theoretical and conceptual support for these concepts. In general, e-learning models are still based on a course-structure very similar to the one found in thetraditional classroom: closed contents that are evaluated and certified. We believe that itis very important that the community of e-learning and Free Software were aware andtook into account new open educational approaches: Connected, informal anddistributed learning, since they fit better and are closely related to the concept of Freedom that supports the Free Software and Educating in Freedom, and because we believe that Education should promote tools that allow more open approaches that areconnected with reality. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that the learningenvironment determines the way in which content is built, so the teacher must payattention to this context and learn to handle it.In this presentation we will also speak about the role of the School, which maybe it´s inthe way of being transformed to the point of disappearing. This will refer to the"ThreeStages" on the relationship between knowledge and individual, explained by
(1980), and the need to came back to Stage 1 -which was interrupted by thelimitations of schooling- in order to install "life-long learning" in our lives. Thetechnology helps us to re-locate the individual in the Zone of Proximal Development asdefined by
. In this way, we discuss a program of maximum where the border is the “abolition” of school and that learning must become part of a vital ecology to dothis so as absent, invisible and ubiquitous.Some References and Further Reading:
Cross, Jay: Informal Learning. Rediscovering the natural pathways that inspireinnovation and performance. And Learning Blog:http://infrml.com
Downes, Stephen: Education 2.0. National Research Council of Canada. En Elearning Magazine.

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