9's favourite resources .. 9 applauds A B
  • Tim Berners Lee Q&A's the www

  • Weinberger's worldwideweb = small pieces loosely interconnecting - 12th graders see also timbl and co-mentor through life
  • What's the greatest vision of why we learn or network that you've read
  • Have you ever seen Gombrich's 1 genre for 9 year olds applied beyond his chosen context : cultural developments through the history of man
  • TeachGlobalEd looks cool at first sight - but more reports needed
  • What did Shakespeare mean?
  • Also, I am a great fan of the democs approach 1 2 - if you follow up these 2 links and then want to ask me questions, I am eager to share what I know of how these learning games work

    Notes for The Margin

    Some of these jottings may help us to double check all the ways learning could be enjoyed and experienced

    Antidotes that it would be fun if one of the 250 topics could connect

    I believe in the adult measure: how much of your lifetime did you spend experiencing a competence at the edge of the ability you had already achieved- see csikszentmihalyi

    Through life, I have increasingly made notes on stuff that seems to have wasted people's time. Have you too? Let's list them in this space and then work out which diary topic they could flow into

    1 Could we rate the texts schools use to teach with on a big yawn index? I mean why do books for our kids have to be wriiten in such dull ways as if they have captive minds. To illustrate this, we may need to start from the other side. If you went into a library, have you ever asked what's the history (or name another subject) book for kids that's best written for them to use their exploring minds with. Here's an extract from what I believe to be a most extraordinary history book that anyone from 9 up could feel wanted them to be free and alive in learning not captive and a comotose sponge for turgid facts.

    EH Gombrich: A Little History of the World
    Gombrich travels through the history of the world in 40 episodes each about 6 pages long

    Here is an extract from episode 11 China in the time before Christ

    Exercise: How 3 people break ice in 3 minutes:
    Best use: imagine its the start of a day where a large group of people have come toghether who do not know each other - eg many conferences. Why not ask them to huddle in three's with each person spending one minute telling the other 2 about the moment that most changed their life, and what she or he has done differently since

    Meg Wheatley's "change your world of learning exercise" - commit to ask yourself the same question 14 days in a row. Fuller briefing: if you have had a few hours of conversation with a circle of people where really new ideas have emerged - before you metally leave, write down the question that most sumarises what you now want to learn to practice that you had not realised before today. Ask that question 14 days in a row- eg the first time you look at yourself in the bathroom mirror each morning! eg 1 -from a much missed friend whose last day was London 7/7/05

    treasure your multicultural origins I am currently reading Amartya Sen's Argumentative Indian. And cannot resist quoting this pearl. Tagore was proud that his family background reflected a confluence of 3 cultures : Hindhu, Mohammedan, and British. He emphasised the need to be vigilant in favour of open-minded tradition,and the role of deliberation as the founding of good society:

    -where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

    -where knowledge is free

    -where the world has not been broken into fragments by narrow domestic walls

    -where the stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desrt sand of dead habit

    Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake

  • What should every 9 year old and up know about Tim Berners Lee? Vote whether you feel he is one of the 100 most trusted people all children should be taught about at school, as well as any other nominations you'd like us to rank

    timbl invented the www

    Without his crusading to keep the www an open space accessible by and for everyone, we who collaborate at mapmaking the world's most life critical social projects forecast the cross-cultural chances of sustaining future generations as far as century 22 to be very low.

    We have no idea if timbl would rate the compound risks of global abuse (eg lost transparency) of power so highly but other mathematicians and engineers from Einstein to Buckminster Fuller have warned how transforming to a much more connected system (in which every vilage is interlinked with every other around the globe) is a chnage challenge without precedence. Humanity has made messes of much smaller challengers. The inconvenient truth of globlisation system is that if nature or other climactic events compound vicious spins, there comes a stage where the loss of sustainability is irreversible. My father, a leading economics journalist, wrote about this in 1984 (partly as an updated tribute to George Orwell) so it may be that I am biassed but I hate to see people under-estimate compound risks just because they only see the precipice of compound arithmetic after falling over it.

    Here's some more from the values most

    Q Why do you keep saying everything is so simple?
    A Well, because it is basically.

    No, honestly...

    I want you to know that you too can make new programs which create new fun ways of using computers and using the Internet.

    I want you to realize that, if you can imagine a computer doing something, you can program a computer to do that.

    Unbounded opportunity... limited only by your imagination.

    And a couple of laws of physics.

    Of course, what happens with computers is that you have a basic simple idea and then you have to add things on to it for practical reasons. So real-world computer programs can end up with a lot of stuff in them. If they are good, they are still simple inside.

    So do you think the Web is basically been a good idea or a bad one?
    Some people point out that the Web can be used for all the wrong things. For downloading pictures of horrible, gruesome, violent or obscene things, or ways of making bombs which terrorists could use.

    Other people say how their lives have been saved because they found out about the disease they had on the Web, and figured out how to cure it.

    I think the main thing to remember is that any really powerful thing can be used for good or evil. Dynamite can be used to build tunnels or to make missiles. Engines can be put in ambulances or tanks. Nuclear power can be used for bombs or for electrical power.

    So the what is made of the Web is up to us. You, me, and everyone else.

    Here is my hope.

    The Web is a tool for communicating.

    With the Web, you can find out what other people mean. You can find out where they are coming from.

    The Web can help people understand each other.

    Think about most of the bad things that have happened between people in your life. Maybe most of them come down to one person not understanding another. Even wars.

    Let's use the web to create neat new exciting things.

    Let's use the Web to help people understand each other.

    Q What did you do when you were a child?

    A I grew up in south-west London. I wasn't very good at sports. When I was 11 I went to a school which was between two railway tracks, so I saw lots of trains and started train-spotting. I also had a model railway in my bedroom. It was a long thin layout with a 4-track station in the middle, and on each side pairs of tracks going off into tunnels to actually loop back to each other.

    I made some electronic gadgets to control the trains. The I ended up getting more interested in electronics than trains. Later on, when I was in college I made computer out of an old television set. I bought the television from a repair shop down the road for £5 (about $7).

    My mother and father were both working with the very early computers when they met. Later on, my mother taught maths in school. They taught me that maths is a lot of fun. (In England, mathematics is "maths", in the USA, "math").

    When I went to Oxford University, I studied physics. I thought that science might be more practical than maths, halfway between math and electronics. In fact it turned out to be very special subject all of itself, and fascinating for all that.

    Q Can you tell me more about your personal life?
    A No, I don't want to - sorry. I like to keep work and personal life separate. What is on the web on this page and my home page is all there is. Please do not email me asking for more information for school projects, etc. Look -- if you had written a program like WorldWideWeb -- which you well might --- would you want everyone to know what you had for breakfast? No, you see? Ok. Thank you for your understanding.

    Q But I am doing a project where we have to get "primary" sources, which means I have to A interview the subject. And I'm doing it on you. So I have to interview you.
    I'm sorry, I don't have time to talk to everyone individually. Please use these web pages.

    Q I'm interested in Math -- what exciting stuff is there we don't do at school?

    A Some kids find solving math problems is fun, and like the power of having new techniques, and imaging new math concepts. If you are one of those, and you are wondering what bits of math might be fun to follow up on your own or with friends or friendly adults, here is an attempt to explain some paths which connect together. Some of it is easy, some hard, but honestly which is which for you depends on what your mind happens to grasp, and how well it is explained! These are some of the bits I found interesting. This is NOT an explanation - you will need books and people for that . It is just a sort of list of places you might want to go.

    Vectors are fun. Vectors are quantities with direction, like not just how fast something goes but which direction it is going in. They can be written as three numbers instead of one. (The examples in this FAQ will only work is your browser supports MathML, which is rare. If your browser supports MathML, the following will be vertical, not horizonal.)

    ( 10 2 4 )

    Vectors are fun partly because they are very visual. When you write equations using vectors, you define shapes in 3D, and how things move, and so on.

    When you've done a bit of algebra, then simultaneous equations are good thing to play with. You don't have to do complicated ones, just look at "linear" equations where you have say 3 equations and 3 variables, say x, y and z.

    x + y = 3 x - y = 1 3 y - z = 0

    Because you've done vectors, you can visualize each equation as a plane in 3d, and the equations together define a point with a given x, y and z.

    Once's you've got the hang of that, look at transformations where a set of linear equations define a new (x', y', z') in terms of any original point (x, y, z).

    x + y = x ' x - y = y ' 3 y - z = z '

    Two neat things. One is these transformations actually correspond to 3-d transformations such as squashing space or rotating it, or squishing it sideways. This is quite visual, and thinking of the 3-d transformation is sometimes a quick way of doing things with the equations.

    Second neat thing: because you've used stacks of 3 numbers as vectors to represent points, you'll be happy representing the numbers in the equations in a 3x3 block called a matrix. This way you can write the transformation as a thing called matrix multiplication. You learn how to multiply matrices.

    ( x ' y ' z ' ) = ( 1 1 0 1 -1 0 0 3 -1 ) ( x y z )

    or just

    x' = M x

    where the bold letters stand for vectors and matrices. Suddenly all kinds of things fall into place. To make a combined transformation, you just multiply two matrices together. You naturally start wondering about how to undo a transformation, which is finding the inverse transformation, which is finding the inverse of a matrix. And then you realize that this is just the same problem as solving the linear equations you had earlier. So any time you can see how to solve the equations, you can find the inverse matrix. Also, there is a way of working out the inverse of a 3x3 matrix, so you can always solve 3x3 equations (when a solution exists). It is this way everything fits together which makes math fun and powerful.

    Another branch you might be interested in is calculus. This is about things changing and moving, to its very connected to physics, skiing, driving cars, flying planes, and so on. So it can also be fun to visualize. When you study calculus, you start off by thinking about how (say) the speed of a ball changes in a particular millisecond, and how its position changes. There is a lot of calculus where you know, say, how something's speed changes with time, and you want to figure out where it gets to. How fast a function changes is another function. Finding it is called differentiating the first function. The inverse is called integrating. Some people find learning and puzzling out how to differentiate and integrate all kinds of functions interesting.

    But if you have done vectors and matrices then you can connect that to the ideas of calculus, and you have new powerful mental tools. You can now write equations about the force on something and its acceleration as vectors.

    f = m a

    says the force (a vector) on something is equal to the acceleration (how much its velocity is changing, another vector) times the mass of the thing. You can figure out how things like spaceships move in 3d space with time.

    From there, you can think about values (like density, or pressure, or temperature) which have a single (non vector) value, but a different value in each place. You can think about how those values change with place. How does the pressure in a swimming pool change with depth? Why? Things which have values all over the place are called fields. Think of the pool being filled with little numbers showing the pressure at that place.

    Then you can just put what you know about vectors together with what you know about fields, and think of values which are different in different places and times, and also have direction. They are vectors. Imagine a swimming pool full of little arrows, each arrow showing (by size and direction) how fast and which way the water is moving there. Imagine what happens when someone dives in. These are called vector fields. It turns out that when you do calculus with vector fields, you have really neat little results about how stuff swirls around, about how it squashes (or doesn't), and so on. When you connect how things change with position with how they change with time, then you can show waves happen. And just as it seems that the equations are getting complicated again, then suddenly get simple. It turns out that the differentiation in space can be written as a single "vector operator", called dell and written ? .

    This makes all the equations writable in much less space (without even any x's and y's and z's).

    One of the significant equations which you get from look the physics of all this is the wave equation, which tell you about sound waves in a swimming pool and even Maxwell's Equations which show that light waves follow from the properties of electricity and magnetism.

    Another branch of this which connects to matrices is the eigenvector concept. For any transformation, it turns out there are some vectors which end up being stretched or shrunk but not changed in direction. These are called eigenvectors. It turns out that for lots of interesting problems, the eigenvectors are at right angles to each other, just like the x y and z axes. In fact, if you turn the problem around in your mind, and use the eigenvectors as the axes, then suddenly the problem becomes really simple. The complicated equations untangle and turn into a set of unconnected simple equations. Eigenvectors are finding out how complicated things (like a car suspension) behave. It also turns out that quantum mechanics says that the same equations are used to find out how atoms behave. Also, it turns out that when search engines like Google look at a mass of web links around a topic, the eigenvectors of the link matrix correspond to things the web pages are about, and finding them allows one to find the most relevant page for that topic. So eigenvectors are a really useful concept.

    I guess I've used physics as the hook for most of this math, and that is one reason why it is interesting personally for me. If that doesn't interest you so much, then maybe the math of prime numbers will. Check out modulo arithmentic, Euler's theorem, and work your way to the RSA algorithm for public key cryptography. There are lots of other areas of math of course. And lots of books on each. And web sites, I'm sure. But there are some of my suggestions if you are looking for a map of things to look for. The main thing is, to have fun.
    Having co-authored one of the books that started the genre of learning networks back in 1984, I would say tghis book and web are an interesting current resource that need to influence how we see the future of oiur children's education and development

    LEARNING Networks & Open Mentors: History's newest revolution:1974-1984-2004-2024Sample Eight main beliefs of one of most inspiring books around in 2004:

    • 1. The world is hurtling through a fundamental turning point in history.
    • 2. We are living through a revolution that is changing the way we live, communicate, think and prosper.
    • 3. This revolution will determine how, and if, we and our children work, earn a living and enjoy life to the fullest.
    • 4. For the first time in history, almost anything is now possible.
    • 5. Probably not more than one person in five knows how to benefit fully from the hurricane of change - even in developed countries.
    • 6. Unless we find answers, an elite 20 percent could end up with 60 percent of each nation's income, the poorest fifth with only 2 percent.1 That is a formula for guaranteed poverty, school failure, crime, drugs, despair, violence and social eruption.
    • 7. We need a parallel revolution in lifelong learning to match the information revolution, and for all to share the fruits of an age of potential plenty.
    • 8. Fortunately, that revolution - a revolution that can help each of us learn anything much faster and better - is also gathering speed.

    some benchmark methods I would love to have time to find the deepest links to - please tell me if you already have them

    Montessori, esepcilaly Lucknow World's largest montessori school

    the James Lancaster peer mentoring system - ref 1

    open space meetings circles in schools or in extended activities such as girl guides
    stuff we need to map back from 6th grade materials

    there's little point having these 6th grade materials if you find that the definition of eg entrepreneur US catholic schools require 3rd graders of social studies to commit to the mind parrot fashion is exactly conflicting

    ethics: http://www.thecorporation.com/index.php?page_id=16


    This is the children's version of David Weinberger's "loose pieces loosely joined" -the story of what the web is for. Reproducable not for profit as long as you mention his web site and don't re-edit it

    What Is the Web For?
    Chapter 1: What Things Are For
    When you want to know what an invention is, you ask what it is used for. For example, if you didn't know that telephones are used for calling people, you might think that they are just funny shaped plastic things that make beeps when you press their buttons. And if you didn't know that highways are for going places, you might think that they are just way-too-long basketball courts or good places to rollerblade.
    So, what is the Web for?
    You probably use it to do research for school papers. So that is one thing that it's for. In fact, the Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee to make it easier for scientists to use the Internet to find research papers written by other scientists. So you're using the Web just the way its creator intended.
    But you probably use the Web in ways Berners-Lee didn't have in mind. Do you use the Web to send email? Email is what the Web is for.
    Do you use the Web to talk through Instant Messaging with friends? Instant Messaging is what the Web is for.
    Have you or your parents bought anything over the Web? Shopping is what the Web is for.
    Have you ever played a game like checkers or chess over the Web? Playing games is what the Web is for.
    Have you ever listened to music over the Web? Listening to music is what the Web is for.

    Links to Explore
    Tim Berners- Lee
    History of the Internet

    Instant Messaging (AOL)
    History of Email
    Play checkers on the Web
    Play chess on the Web*
    Listen to the radio on the Web

    *You have to register in order to play

    Have you ever been tricked by a Web site? You thought you were entering an easy contest - for example, trying to click on a moving cartoon of a monkey - but it turned out to be just a way to get you to come to a page selling junk? Or maybe you clicked on a link that said it would take you to a page about your favorite singer or TV star and it took you to a page about trying to sell you phony "weight loss" pills instead. You were tricked. So, yes, tricking people is what the Web is for.
    Every day it seems, someone thinks up something new you can do with the Web. Two doctors in different cities can look at a patient's X-rays together and talk about what they think the X-rays show. Families can share their photographs and even have them displayed in a special electronic frame that sits on a bookshelf. There are already some refrigerators that can send you an email if they notice that you are running out of milk! There is no predicting what will be invented tomorrow and the day after that. All those future predictions are also what the Web is for.

    Links to Explore
    TV Stars' scheduled programs
    Music Magazine
    Brain Atlas
    The human skull
    Family photos from the Civil War
    A refrigerator on the Web
    Info about refrigerators on the Web

    That makes the Web into a strange sort of thing. It's for email, for instant messaging, for shopping, for playing, for listening to music, for tricking people, and for doing things not yet invented.
    Yes, the Web is a strange sort of thing. In fact, it is in some ways more like a place than like a thing. Just like you can do things in a place, you can do things on the Web. What you can do in a place depends on the type of place it is. If it's a schoolroom, you can learn. If it's a schoolyard, you can play. If it's a space station, you can tumble around in zero gravity and play a very odd game of pick-up-sticks.
    So, if we want to understand the Web, we should ask what type of place it is. And that's a very good question.

    Links to Explore
    International Space Station

    Chapter 2: The Web and the Real World
    There are billions of pages on the World Wide Web. They would just be a big pile of pages if they weren't connected.
    What connects them? In the real world, a page is next to another page because the pages are held together by the cover of a book. But on the Web, two pages are only "next" to each other if they are linked. As you know, a link is some text or picture on a Web page that you can click that takes you from that page to another. Links turn the billions of separates pages of the Web into a web.
    These links are called "hyperlinks" to show that they're not like links in the real world. In the real world, if I want to link together two dogs by connecting their leashes, the two dogs have to be very close to each other. It won't work if one dog is in Cleveland and the other in Rome. On the Web, though, you can link a page in Cleveland to one in Rome as easily as you can link a page you've created with a page your next door neighbor created. That's what puts the "hyper" into "hyperlink."

    Links to Explore
    Search 3 billion pages
    History of Rome
    How to make a cat leash

    Links turn loose pages into a web. Links also make the Web the type of place that it is. Since we started this chapter by asking what type of place the Web is, we now know to look at the way hyperlinks hold the Web together.
    Hyperlinks are weird.
    Take a fact so obvious that we don't even think about it: In the real world, if your friend's house is 3 blocks from your house, your house is 3 blocks from his. Of course!
    But that's not how it works on the Web. Let's say my hobby is collecting sea shells. I build a Web site about the sea shells I've found. On my page I put links to other pages I think readers might be interested in. One of those links is to the site built by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. I don't need the Museum's permission to do this. All I need to know is the Museum's web address, which happens to be www.amnh.org. So, now anyone who comes to my site about shells is only one click away from the Museum's site. But, if you go to the Museum's site are you only one click away from my site? No, because the Museum site doesn't have a link to my site.
    So, my site can be right "next door" to the Museum's site but the Museum's site is not right next door to mine.

    Links to Explore
    Sea Shells
    American Museum of Natural History
    The Museum's exhibit of pearls
    The Museum and sea shells

    That's just the first way the Web is different from the real world. Here are some more:
    There are limits in the real world to how many next-door neighbors you can have. On the Web, your can have as many "next-door neighbors" as you want: your page could have hundreds of links and no one will complain that the neighborhood is getting too crowded, or that the house in front of them is blocking their view.
    Here's another difference. On this planet, there's just so much land. Every time someone builds a new building, she or he has used up some of the land. But when someone builds a new site on the Web, not only doesn't it use up anything, it actually makes the Web bigger: if the Web had 20 billion pages, now it has 20 billion and one pages. There's no limit to how big the Web can get, but there is a limit to how big your town can get.
    Another difference is that in the real world, when you move to a new neighborhood, it already has people living there. You have to take the good neighbors with the bad. On the Web, you make your own neighborhood by linking your site to the sites that you like. If there's a site about shells that says that turtles and pasta shells are shellfish, you just won't link to it because you know it's wrong. You get to pick all your own neighbors on the Web.

    Links to Explore
    The Visible Earth
    Satellite photos of "urban sprawl"
    Types of pasta

    But the most important way the Web differs from the real world has to do with why sites use hyperlinks. In our example, I put in a link on my page to the Museum because I thought the people coming to my site would find the Museum site interesting. Every link on the Web was created by someone on purpose. Usually it's because the person thinks visitors will find the other site worth their time - perhaps because it's informative, or entertaining, or funny.
    This is a most peculiar thing. The Web is a web because of hyperlinks that connect the pages. But every hyperlink expresses someone's interests and recommendations. If you were to make a map of the Web, showing all the sites and all the links, you would be making a map of things the 500 million people on the Web find interesting.
    That's a lot different than a map of the real world that shows where the mountains are and where the oceans end and land begins. The real world map shows what we humans have been given to work with. The Web shows what we have chosen to care about.
    And that's exactly what's so special about the Web place. It is made not out of mountains, oceans, deserts and forests. It is made out of humans caring about things together.

    Links to Explore
    The Science of Maps
    Maps of the Web
    A Map of the Web

    Chapter 3: Being Together
    The Web place is made of humans caring about things together. That last word is important: "together." The Web is in fact a new place for us to be humans together. On the Web, we can be together in new ways.
    In a sense that's obvious. The Web gave us email, which is a new way for us to connect with one another. And it gave us chat rooms, and instant messaging. You and a friend could even set up web video cameras and wave to each other online. These are all new ways of connecting.
    But that's not what's so exciting and important about the Web.

    Links to Explore
    Find a "webcam" for kids

    Let's make up an example. Say you're in the school Sea Shell Collectors Club that meets every Tuesday after class. Every Tuesday, 30 kids show up. At the beginning of every meeting, someone stands up and shows a shell that she or he has found. Then everyone gets to ask questions, point out interesting things about the shell or tell how that shell is like shells in their own collection.
    Now let's say you join a Sea Shell Collectors club on the Web. Let's say this club "meets" by having a mailing list. A mailing list is a simple idea, which is why there are millions of them. If you want to say something to the club members, you send an email not to a particular person but to the list itself. Its email address might be something like SeaShells@mail_lists.org (I made this example up so don't try it!). Your email gets sent to everyone on the list. If someone wants to reply, she can send it to the list also, and everyone on the list gets that email, too. It's like a meeting of your school's Sea Shell Collectors Club carried on through email.
    But look at the differences between the real world club and the mailing list version of it.

    Links to Explore
    Sea shells
    A mailing list for and by kids
    Mailing lists for kids
    Some of the differences are obvious. For example, the real world club meets once a week while the mailing list "meets" whenever someone has something to say. And to join the real world club, you have to live near your school while anyone anywhere can join the mailing list.
    But, you may find that you sound like one type of person in the Sea Shell Club and like a different type of person on the sea shell mailing list. When you talk to your real world club. you can see people nodding in agreement, or maybe they start doodling in their notebooks which would be a sign that they're bored. You can't see any of that when you send an email, so sometimes people on mailing lists say things just to get someone to react. While you might have said to your real world Club: "In some cultures, people blow into conch shells like this to make music," on the mailing list you might find yourself saying, "The sound of a conch is the most beautiful sound in the world and makes a violin sound like a cat with a stomach ache!"
    That happens a lot on the Web. Maybe in the sports chat room your enthusiasm for a team leads you write in all capital letters and to say things that you know aren't perfectly true, such as: "THE RED SOX ARE A GREAT GREAT GREAT TEAM THAT WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES NEXT YEAR AND ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE IS JUST A DUMB SACK OF POTATOES." Meanwhile, in a chat room talking about dance moves, perhaps you find yourself not shouting but trading puns as quickly as you can type. Someone reading your comments in the sports chat room might not even recognize you as the same person in the dance chat room. It's much easier to let yourself sound one way instead of another on the Web than in the real world because no one knows who you are on the Web.
    The Red Sox

    If you think about the differences we've looked at, they're actually differences in time, space, and who we are.
    Time. If it's Wednesday and you just found an exciting shell, you'll have to wait a week to tell the real world Shell Club about it. But, if you were on a mailing list, you'd send out an email on Wednesday afternoon. People would read it whenever they wanted. People would respond when they wanted. The conversation isn't confined just to Tuesday afternoon. It's always there, going on with you or without you. You can jump in when you want.
    Space. In the real world, you live here and I live ten miles away, so we don't see each other very much. And Paolo lives thousands of miles away in Italy and Indira lives another few thousand miles away in India. Real-world space separates us. On the Web, we are not separated by space. We are joined ... by email, chat, instant messaging and by hyperlinks.
    Who we are. Because space makes it hard to move around, we live in one place and are pretty much the same person day after day. But we can duck in and out of the Web, trying out being different types of people. The self we sometimes feel stuck with in the real world gets unstuck on the Web.
    If time, space and who we are is different on the Web, then it is a most remarkable place.

    Links to Explore
    A History of Time
    World history and maps

    Chapter 4: The Web Place
    The Web is a different sort of place. But why has it kicked up a fuss like nothing else in 50 years?
    Ask yourself: When are we humans at our best? When are you proudest of being who you are? If you wanted human beings to make a really great impression on Martian visitors, what would you take the Martians to see?

    Links to Explore
    Timeline of inventions
    The Search for Extra-terrestials

    I think I'd take the Martians to see us taking care of one another. I might show them parents walking with a new born baby on their shoulder late at night, trying to get the baby back to sleep. Or volunteers hammering together a house for someone whose life will be changed by it. Or the way we automatically stop for someone who has tripped and ask if they're ok. Or perhaps how an entire nation gives food and medicine to a country across the ocean. It's when we're caring for one another that we're at our best.
    When we're at our best we're also the most human. You wouldn't understand us if you never saw us at our best, any more than you could understand a basketball if you only saw it deflated and flat.
    We are only human because we're connected to other humans. If you were brought up on a desert island, you would grow up and hardly be human at all. You'd have no words and no ideas beyond which plants taste good and which bugs taste bad. You would be perhaps the worst example to show a Martian trying to understand us humans.
    We are human because we are connected to other humans. And why do we connect? Because as humans we care about each other and about our world. Statues don't care what happens to them. Robots don't care. Humans do. We care together.

    Links to Explore
    Legend of Kaspar Hauser
    Places to Volunteer

    It can be hard to connect in the real world because space keeps us apart. Until the invention of the telephone, the only people you could connect with were the people who lived near you. You could write letters, but usually you were writing to people you already knew. And the same is true for the telephone: we almost always call people we know. In the real world, our connections have usually been to the people who happen to live around us: our family, our neighbors, the people who go to our school or to where we worship.
    There's obviously something very important about living among the people who are near us. We get to know our family and our neighbors very well because their nearness means that we run into them every day or every week. And the fact that you can walk down a sidewalk and bump into someone you like can turn a chore into fun.
    Nevertheless, the real world makes it hard to connect and generally limits us to the people near us.

    Links to Explore
    History of the Telephone
    Six Degrees of Separation

    The Web makes it insanely easy to connect. We can meet someone from the other side of the world literally as easily as a neighbor down the street. Of course, we probably won't get to know our Web friend as well as we know our real world friends. But the connections we make on the Web are valuable to us in a different way.
    In the real world, we meet people who happen to live nearby. On the Web, we meet people because they share an interest. For example, we may be searching the Web for information about a particular sea shell because that's something we care about. In our search we find a Web page that talks about how to make jewelry out of shells. At that site, there may be a place where you can write a question and other people around the world can respond. Everyone who writes in cares about shells. That's why they're at this site. You have instantly found a group of people who are interested in what you're interested in. You have connected based not on the fact that you happen to live in the same place but because you both care about the same thing.

    Links to Explore
    Wampanoag Shell Jewelry
    Make Your Own Shell Jewelry

    So, here we have two worlds. In the real world, people are kept apart by distance. Because of the vastness of the earth, different cultures have developed. People live in separate countries, divided by boundaries and sometimes by walls with soldiers and guns. On the Web, people come together - they connect - because they care about the same things.
    The real world is about distances keeping people apart. The Web is about shared interests bringing people together.
    Now, if connecting and caring are what make us into human people, then the Web - built out of hyperlinks and energized by people's interests and passions - is a place where we can be better at being people.
    And that is what the Web is for.
    The End

    Links to Explore
    Discuss this book with other kids and the author on a public discussion board
    I have a credo you haven't lived if you haven't experienced open space once. It would be interesting to know:
    what your haven't lived credo is

    and if we believe it, why we don't advocate that all etacgers experience it and enable children to experience it at the first appropriate time

    here's more on where open space can go to; originally the methoid focused on the world's biggest conflict issues, one space at a time; for that it needs the epople who come to give up 3 days uninterrupted time in celebrating listening poiwer of and with each other

    I believe (know from very rehersal so far ) that a 10 year old can be intoruduced to a 1-day open space and from that moment on lunch hours, after-school activities need never be the same again

    here's a bit more on where this evolution can go to; it needs editing as its part of a live conversation May 2006

    Lunch for learning.
    At a corporation like google or a school or children and family-caring community near you...

    I am convinced -from one hour collaboration cafe formats we have trialled - this is a huge opportunity but only if we move up a level from open space and across to other structures

    You (the 1500+ alumni of open space at OSlieste-serve) know more than me but 3 sub-system interfaces that fascinate me about open space are :
    the invitation phase- will the people who come be the most passionate people about one specific context resolution?

    the open space itself, which doesnt rush to answers nor to individual ownership since the innovation values are in the interaction web of flows

    the interface after the open phase back to projects in the ordinary world's environments
    hold those 3 interfaces and think of people in an organsiational structure:

    they have 2 more ways to space and network; that inside the organsiation , and that they care about as bumping into social or communal needs outside

    now suppose any person who wishes to is empowered by an organisation to nominate an issue they care passionately about exploring that is in some way related to work but potentially very laterally; will thye whole of the organisation network that person's inviation to a lunch circle in a way that the 10 people who mst passionately want to explore that issue turn uo at the same circle

    where I have used the word organisation, it could be any association or network you belong to (most exciting of all are yout hubs becasue these chnage schooling forever and essentially multiply a network of montesorri type learning and co-mentoring circles until a teacher is liberated from examination books)

    but the organisational structure is: do leaders or whomever's budget of resources and rulemaking open up the cultural roghts of the structure so that everyone is encouarged to buy into zeroising degrees of separation ar0und lunchtime invitation circles; there are for example half-way check points; the leader's pa could review topics before giving them the zero degree of separation approval to be an invitation post that goes to everyone
    chris macrae wcbn007@easynet.co.uk

    ps anyone around here know Bill Drayton of www.ashoka.org and www.youthventure.org - I have an odd feeling that the 2 most revolutionary people for humanity's common sense within 15 miles of the white house have been netowrking for 30 years without connecting with each other? Love to be wrong of course!

    More references to open space 1 2