Boston iPad Summit Thursday

This is an experiment in live blogging using Evernote and I’ll go back and edit the information below, but the aim of publishing this as I go is to engage others in discussion. Please excuse any mistakes, but don’t forget to call me on them! Thank you.

The iPad summit keynote by David Weinberger – “The Shape of Knowledge in a Networked World” is detailed below. I’ve included pictures to aid my recall, but may replace / remove these later.

The conference was introduced by Tom Daccord and Justin Reich.

Tom Daccord:

Fundamental question – how can students learn using technology?

Knowledge is sitting in the hands of the students.

** EdTechTeacher summer workshops? Any outside of the US? **

Justin Reich:

Most important question is who do we want our students to be?

David Weinberger – The Shape of Knowledge in a Networked World

(Cluetrain manifesto)

A lot of people think that the internet is awash with bad information. If this is true then filtering and control makes sense.

We have developed a strategy – reduce what we need to know – because our brains are too small to comprehend our world. This strategy is being applied to technology use.

the order of things

private / public (darwin vs wallace example) – only when knowledge is public does it belong to you.

stopping points – can find out knowledge without having to redo the research, trust system, credential system = do you believe it? value of information

characteristics of the medium of knowledge

knowledge is set when published – once it is on paper you can’t take it back

we have imposed this limitation on the world of ideas – tragic scenario

Example of Oliver Goldsmith information in Encyclopedia Brittanica – 6000 to 1500 words in 90 years. Thowing out knowledge because they didn’t have room for it! Wikipedia article is 1400 words (ignoring hyperlinks). At this point we need to decide which links to follow. Shape of knowledge has been changed via this medium. Knowledge is much more like a network rather than a chapter in a book.

Stackoverflow – public / private

you don’t get a definitive answer, you get a discussion between peers. Explanation in thread – you have learned in public!

What happens when you have millions of people contributing to a body of knowledge?

Stack overflow defaults to public form of communication – you have to struggle to find a way to discuss privately. Why shouldn’t other people learn with you?

Call to move learning to public space – students should be encouraged to share and publish and discuss in public.

*David then spoke about iPad being a closed ecosystem making it difficult to share knowledge publically*

** surely the fact that iPads are being used doesn’t matter? The web is the web – you can choose to contribute directly or not – but I agree to an extent that some iPad app developers need to recognise the opportunities of being able to create offline with the aim of sharing once online **

1919 example –

Einstein newspaper report – you couldn’t argue, discuss or find out more.

2011 example –

Information published quickly to engage community in discussion – stimulate growth of web of knowledge. Knowledge didn’t live in any one paper – it lived on the web in pieces that disagree with each other. This is now part of the value of knowledge – a complete flip on the original idea of knowledge.

Agreement doesn’t scale. Consequence is that we see value in filtering, curation whereas we should see the value in original post of information: youtube, github, reddit – carefully curated collection is predicting what other people will find useful – that doesn’t work.

Knowledge then



Work in private



Knowledge Now:




Filtered forward (filtering after the fact of publication)

Rich n messy

** Can teachers trust the body of knowledge on the internet to be filtered by students to enable them to succeed at examinations? **

“Mastery as a goal comes with a steep price”

Require domain with boundaries, requires canon, certification, testing and eventually accountabilism!!

It doesn’t scale.

Reddit at its best – scaled conversations between experts

But mastery is important – brain surgeon, pharmacists, chemists

*homer brain pic*

experts are on the web – engaged;; if they are not they need to be encouraged to build networks of knowledge

Knowledge Commons leads to Data Commons

Learning in collaborative networks in public = building the networked commons

Link to the next Evernote live blog post –


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