Howard Rheingold’s New Course: Think-Know Tools
October 9th, 2012

Think-Know Tools is an extension for the Introduction to Mind-Amplifiers course. It covers subjects like intellect augmentation, personal knowledge management, mind-amplifying devices, self-evolving collective intelligence networks, knowledge technologies. It involves new unconventional teaching and learning methods like asynchronous forums, blogs, wikis, mindmaps, social bookmarks, concept maps, Personal Brain, and synchronous audio, video, chat, and Twitter. The duration of the course is 6 weeks between October 17 and November 30, along 6 weekly modules, as follows:

Module 1: Roots & Visions of Augmentation
Module 2: Social Bookmarking as Collective Intelligence
Module 3: Concept Mapping
Module 4: Personal Knowledge Management
Module 5: The Extended Mind
Module 6: Self-Organized Co-Learning

Important note about participation

If you’re interested in registering for this course, you should know that the course is collaborative and participative, not a passive enjoyment of online lectures. If you want this to be a successful learning experience, bear in mind that the same standards Howard expects from Cal and Stanford students also apply to you. Preparation in advance (around 1-2 hours of reading and personal reflection per week) and involvement during the module sessions are a must for all participants if they want this to be a co-learning experience from which everyone benefits. It’s more than the teacher delivering and the students memorizing a body of knowledge. There are new ways of learning: individual and group learning blended with cooperative and collaborative learning, process-guided inquiry learning, etc.

The interdisciplinary, collaborative inquiry that the course is built on requires individual commitment to active participation that will involve some “un-schooling”, where you need to forget about the institutionalized ways of teaching and learning, and create new skills of participatory learning. Co-exploration and co-experimentation of social media theory and practice are involved and the students ultimately bear the responsibility of assembling and making sense of the knowledge presented and discussed.

So, the price of the course doesn’t consist much of money, but of a serious commitment in terms of time and attention. It requires less turning in homework at deadline and more constant input along the course through a variety of media in the contexts of inquiries, conversations, collaborative writing, team teaching, and group projects. It’s not simply about passive absorption of concepts and knowledge, but more about creating much needed and evolving skills that are directly linked to social media usage with overall benefits for your professional and personal development.

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