Social platforms for education

I’m in the midst of a public sense-making expedition that I hope (fingers crossed on both hands) will lead to finding more people who believe that higher education and business enterprises as more alike than different when it comes to learning and knowledge sharing and technology.

Let me just share a few stops from my expedition:

Earlier this week I wrote a short thought-piece in Google+ commenting on Luis Suarez’s blog post: Google Plus and the enterprise – what’s the deal?. Luis’ post captured a number of themes that I’ve been sharing and thinking about as we experiment with social platforms within high education.

I also ran into Cathy N. Davidson’s excellent case story of her experimenting with standard social collaboration tools (Wikipedia, blogs, etc). in an undergraduate course she created called “This is your brain on the internet.” Davidson is a professor of interdisciplinary studies at Duke, author and clearly an educational innovator. Harold Jarche riffs off of Davidson’s piece in his blog. Both Jarche and Davidson pull on common themes related to learning in networks — and how socially unsettling this can be in top-down environments like educational institutions and businesses. Both also advocate for pushing into new ways of thinking about learners and learning.

And finally, from Marsha Connor (co-author of The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media and Fellow at The Altimeter Group) a tweet responding to a higher education blogger. The blogger wrote a post calling for less attention to generalized social platforms like Twitter and Facebook and more attention to companies that build education-specific software platforms. Connor’s tweet: My POV: We embrace social platforms, not ed-only, b/c life is NEVER ed-only.

Bingo.