Let’s Formalize Informal Learning

As I reflect on the potential impact of web 3.0 I keep coming back to the idea of “decentralization.” Now, this term means something different to different people within the web 3.0 community, but here is my shot at a definition.Decentralization is the empowerment of individuals to show their excellence.Right now, decentralized finance is gaining traction in everyday life. The role of banks will significantly change over the next 10 years. Notice I did not claim that banks were going away…that would be foolish. However, how they do their jobs will change as a result of decentralized finance.(One note…when I talk about web 3.0, understand that web 3.0 will coexist with web 2.0…there will not be a complete change from one to the other. Like everything in life, what needs to change will change and what needs to stay will stay.)So, let’s see how there can be decentralized schooling. To start, let’s think about all of the informal ways in which people learn. As a matter of fact, most of what we learn in our lifetimes is informal. Imagine a world where what we learn informally can be made to help us formally in our careers and in our life. That would be awesome!Presently, our centralized schooling system looks like this.

High schools, CTC’s, colleges, and private certification programs operate under this system. A person is exposed to something, they are tested on what they were exposed to, and they receive some sort of certificate if they pass the test. Let’s imagine a world where anyone can learn something and “show their learning” on a web 3.0 app. Through competencies or the reputation of the trainer, people will be able to transfer their real learning… thus making informal learning, formal. In the future, schools will be able to embed these informal learning opportunities into their system, allowing learners to have learning opportunities that go beyond the walls of the traditional school. Schools will become more important than they are now!!I personally can’t wait for this to happen.

About Tom Butler, Ph.D.

I believe that public education is for the public good and that education should be uncompromisingly learner-centered. The New Learning Ecosystem points us away from the old model of education that does not serve kids well. All educators regardless of where they work can help lead and contribute to the New Learning Ecosystem.
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