Tinkering with John Seely Brown

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A short video of John Seely Brown discussing new learners of the 21st century.  I captured some of the main points below and found the video well worth watching (8 minutes).

Embrace Change

  • The most important thing for kids today is the love of embracing change
  • Questing disposition also called gaming disposition
  • A questing disposition embraces change rather than running from change.
  • Gamers:
    • are bottom line oriented
    • want to be measured because they want to see how much they’re improving
    • think, If I’m not learning then it’s not fun
    • keep learning because they embrace change
    • live for trying something new

Learning to Join

  • Any interest that any kids has…there is already a community of practice to join.
  • JSB refers to situated learning theorylearning has to do with learning how to join and once you join you marinate in that and learning is not something you do consciously …it is something you absorb.  So, maybe learning has to do with learning to join?
  • Most serious learning happens through an osmosis process that once I dwell in the experiences things are getting integrated in my head (not necessarily consciously) because of the tacit knowledge I am being exposed to within my community.
  • In a world of rapid change any skills you learn are apt to have a moderately short shelf life so you need to create context for yourself that you keep scaffolding and learning and accelerating what you know to increase your own performance.
  • So, what you’ve learned becomes a platform for learning something even better.

Power of Play

  • The construct most overlooked by the 21st century is the power and importance of play. How do I take an idea and play with it, tinker with it, own it?
  • You need to learn that not everything works, most things don’t.  If the first thing that happens to you when something doesn’t work is that it frightens you, then you’re not going to be very willing to embrace change BUT
  • if you realize that things don’t work (which is almost always) you can figure out how to tinker with things and absorb what happens.  Often when you are tinkering it doesn’t make perfect logic sense, it’s something you begin to feel in your hands as much as your mind.
  • Tinkering brings thoughts and action together in very powerful, magic ways.