Another Boston Story

Yesterday afternoon David Weinberger reported from the Beyond Broadcast conference; though pretty much everything he ever writes pertains in some way to online education, his report of John Palfrey’s presentation strikes me as particularly pertinent, especially the lines, “semiotic democracy, e.g., control of cultural goods, with meaning created by many, not by the few. More YouTube and Second Life, less Disney. But ([Palfrey] asks), will people participate? Will we just create the old structures online? And won’t new intermediaries emerge to decide what we see?”

We’ll see — but someone’s going to forge that path first, without knowing in advance how it will turn out. Waiting for certainty that we can’t go wrong will paralyze us; venturing the chance of an instructive failure will set free our energies and imaginations to make possible the educational YouTube, the pedagogical Second Life.

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