When I first got interested in Art as a kid, knowledge basically flowed one way. It did not come from my parents or visits to galleries or museums. It came from my Art teacher and any books I could get my hands on. Despite my huge interest in Art, the information I could get and the knowledge I learned was really limited to the once or twice a week when I had Art class. Things really did not change for me until I went to Art school. There the pathways were much more numerous. Exploration and self-discovery were highly encouraged, but in the end the pathways were still controlled by instructors and the limitations of the programs that the students were enrolled in.
In Living and Learning with the New Media it is stated “ the youth… discovered their own pathways to relevant information by looking around with the aid of search engines and other forms of online exploration.” The pathways to knowledge and learning have become limitless. There aren’t really any boundaries anymore. The learning-taking place now is very social, self-directed, interest driven, and independent. Things have really changed.
The amount of knowledge learned also seems infinitely larger. George Siemens in his article Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age says that amount of knowledge in the world doubles every 18 months. This article was written in 2004. How fast is the knowledge in the world doubling now? The digital generation seems to be ready to handle all of this information and know what to do with it. What steps will I have to take to keep up as well? What changes will I have to make?
I was reading a weblog by Wesley Fryer who attended the Learning 2.011 Conference in Shanghai a few days ago. He wrote a posting titled New iPhoneography App Recommendations in Shanghai http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2011/09/09/new-iphoneography-app-recommendations-in-shanghai-learning2/. In it he talks about 4 new photography apps for the iPhone and iPad. It made me wonder about what kind of knowledge and learning went into creating these apps? How can 4 different groups or individuals come out with 4 different ideas based on photography at about the same time and be so different? What kind of networks was used to bring them from conception to reality? How long before these apps are obsolete and are replaced by something else? Change is happening at a break neck pace. The way I am thinking is also starting to change. It will be very interesting to see where it leads me.