Shared publicly  - 
I share Heffernan's enthusiasm for Cathy Davidson's book about "attention blindness," and for what it implies for education.
It's time to stop preparing students for a world that no longer exists.
Axel Kratel's profile photoRobert Campbell's profile photoSusan Davis Cushing's profile photoLaura Gibbs's profile photo
I was seriously thinking about the same thing today
tough to prepare kids at all... we don't know what the world will look like in ten years. we should try to help them prepare themselves...
EXCELLENT. I can definitely connect with this: Even academically reticent students publish work prolifically, subject it to critique and improve it on the Internet. ... so true, at least in my experience! I gave up the traditional term paper ten years ago, and have never looked back! :-)
We can teach young people to think critically, to at least try to weed out the crap and find accurate info, to learn, to enjoy and hunger for learning, to collaborate for mutual benefit...I'll have more to say when my own book, which ought to complement Davidson's, is out in Spring 2012
+Howard Rheingold - This is wonderful! Thanks again for sharing it. In my own teaching, both face-to-face in the classroom and online through the Tres Columnae Project (, I've been trying to move away from the factory model. It's a lot easier to do that online than in a school -- especially a school where many faculty (I won't say "most," but many) are still completely wedded to the industrial-age system.

I particularly liked Heffernan's points about how both "the agrarian method of problem-solving and the apprenticeship program of imitating a master" are superior to the factory model. I was reminded of Sir Ken Robinson's 2010 TED talk, and, even more so, of the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Backstage interview with Sir Ken that's currently on his website at
+Howard Rheingold are you on the Wikimedia advisory board? In any case, I hope you will weigh in on the proposal to assign article improvements, however slight, to students caught plagiarizing from Wikipedia. Many teachers face essentially constant attempts at plagiarism from Wikipedia, and the Foundation has not yet issued any guidance on the issue.
I am not on Wikimedia advisory board. Would love to see students taught how to and how not to use Wikipedia. A larger issues is that any student stupid enough to plagiarize Wikipedia probably doesn't know how to search -- because obviously they don't know how others can use search to expose their plagiarism.
I turned in my manuscript, expect to copy-edit in September, launch in Spring.
I am trying to teach my sons how to learn, and how to learn unlearning.
changes in OS or phones etc...
re: facts ....those too .....(grin)
+Steve Epstein - Learning how to unlearn is really important! I was a diehard WordPerfect user for a LONG time, and my hands still automatically reach for Shift-F7 rather than Control-P or Command-P when I want to print things....
+Justin Schwamm muscle memory can be such a good thing, but facility in unlearning those habits can be a challenge. +Steve Epstein Even kids are having to unlearn. Maybe we can give them some advantage. Who's going to write the unlearning book? Or +Howard Rheingold, does it already exist?
+Howard Rheingold amazingly, students of all ages and grade levels plagiarize from Wikipedia, although it does peak around the 8th grade. Some very famous adult tech authors, including some who are on G+, have been caught plagiarizing dozens of kilobytes from Wikipedia, so I'm not entirely sure that searching competence is correlated. I just hope that the Wikimedia Foundation puts out some kind of guidance to teachers. 30% of Wikipedia's productive editors started out vandalizing it.
interesting article that educators need to read ... as well as the comments. 
I was being polite by implying it was "search competence." Anyone who thinks they can get away with plagiarizing Wikipedia is either a dumbkopf or thinks their instructor is a dumkopf. The 30% statistic is interesting. Do you have a cite? A quick search brings me to Wikipedia's WikiProject Vandalism studies page, which doesn't talk about it -- althoug the list of members would be a place to start tracking it down.
"Anyone who thinks they can get away with plagiarizing Wikipedia is either a dumbkopf or thinks their instructor is a dumkopf." -- or is playing the odds that the instructor has been beaten down by the system and just might let it slide. How well those odds are figured probably varies, but I could (sadly) see some institutions or instructors letting a certain amount go through.
I fear you are correct, Michael. How did I get so old without getting cynical? Wait. I remember now. I was cynical when I was young.
There was an apologia from some instructor [ published not long ago ] that announced he was throwing in the towel re: reporting plagiarists. As I recollect, many accusations of it being fiction were thrown. Hard to say what it all meant or means.

And then, as if that weren't enough, there's this little gem:

PS: Curse G+ for its asinine mutation of double-hyphens.
i think it's more learned helplessness .. but what do i know
Article by Cathy Davidson today at Inside Higher Ed:
A quote: By funneling all the different ways we learn the world into a very few subjects that count and are tested – what I’ll call "pre-professorial training" – we make education hell for so many kids, we undermine their skills and their knowledge, we underscore their resentment, we emphasize class division and hierarchy, and we shortchange their future and ours, underestimating talents that should be nourished and thereby forcing them to fight for themselves against odds, giving them obstacles to their own integrity and self-worth and value to fight when we should be giving them inspiration to flourish.
Add a comment...