Douglas Crets


Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

Economist Battle Royale: Social Learning Taken Up a Notch

Two producers put together a rap video. Okay. Good.

Two producers put together a rap video about two dead economists returning from the dead to defend their economic theories in light of the current recession. Okay. I will definitely watch this.

Click to see the video and to watch a PBS news report about the making of the video.

Social media trends in education have shown us over the past couple of years that three important steps must be taken in order to engage student learners:

1. Old content must be made new again. This is the Ezra Pound dictum: Make it new. You can’t just call knowledge the repetition of old facts. If that was knowledge, then we’d all be successful in work, business, and social relationships. Facts create knowledge when a teacher or a moderator instills those facts with relevancy and illuminated ideas.

2. Delivery must be efficient and “knowable.” It’s one thing to be able to say content is out there, but what makes learning on the social web happen is making sure that the platforms you put it on can deliver that content on time, on demand and quickly.

3. You must include teachers. It’s not learning if it’s just out there for a kid to find and for a kid to consume. People who say that the use of the web for learning means either

a. A demise of culture, or the advent of chaos because it’s by nature unruly


b. That web delivery of information and learning material eliminates the need for teachers…

Are just plain wrong. Having instructional material on the web is just like having it in a book. You still need someone to guide your thinking as you turn the pages. Or click on the pages.

This rap video portrays a perfect example of what learning is on the web:

1. Created by people who love what they study and love what they do
2. Created for people who can imagine themselves learning the material or being the people portrayed in history, economics, mathematics, or literature
3. Creative. Just plain creative.

Now, how are you going to take those ideas back to the classroom?


Filed under: Digital Learning, Gaming, Tech, Video, Work, , , , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. Angie Eilers says:

    This is exactly right. The issue that students, teachers and parents have is that the world wide web is wide, world-wide! It is expansive and unorganized and crowded with a lot of stuff unrelated to learning. At Sophia (Greek word for wisdom), we have tried to put a fence around good academic content on the web and we have created a social teaching and learning experience that provides connectivity among teachers and learners, provides a rating system to filter high quality work to the top, and a platform that hosts quality multi-media content where people can offer to teach what they know, and consumers can learn what they want. We hope to harness the teacher in all of us; to host quality learning experiences and to surround the learner with a world-wide teaching corps which provides great variety in instructional styles, and an exhaustive taxonomy of educational subjects. Check out

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