I just got a Hava-Poo puppy. Neither a Havanese. Nor a poodle. A collaborative mix of the best of both breeds that gives me all the characteristics I want in a dog- and few that I don’t. Every time I take him out, people stop me to ask what kind of breed he is. Combining disciplines, (or in this case, dogs), is not the way many of us learned to learn.
When I went to school, math was math; English was English. You watched a movie; you played a game. However, 21st century education and play are no longer so segmented. In classes like “The History of Caribbean Literature” or “Racism in Film,” kids learn history from the perspective of media. Or English from books (revolutionary!). Video games are now used to teach ethics or promote healthy living. For example, Avant’s SuperBetter, currently in beta, was developed to help people feel better, faster after an injury or illness.
Avenues, a private school opening next fall in NYC, calls itself “The World School,” and has embraced the collaborative concept to create global citizens “prepared, academically as well as ethically, to seize the opportunities offered by an ever more integrated world.” Avenues students will become fluent in at least two languages; take courses in sustainability, religion, demographics, and trade, and be able to study on multiple continents.
Bottom line: our way of thinking is being reshaped. Education today is as much about media literacy as it is about literacy. Multi-sensory and multi-platform integration and collaboration are as essential as ABC and uno, dos, tres. Technology has erased borders (as well as classes). By the time my kids take over the world, transmedia thinking— and dogs— will be the norm.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the benefits of collaborative thinking. (Or just send me compliments on my puppy.) Email firstname.lastname@example.org.