Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Open Source World

I wanted to recommend viewing Ted Talks delivered by Don Tapscott and Massimo Banzi. In Four Principles for the Open World, Don Tapscott shares how the world in becoming more open and transparent.  In the talk, Tapscott claims that this is a turning point in history where many of the institutions built during the Industrial Age could be enhanced by leveraging the powers of technology to be more open, transparent and to connect with a wider global audience.  Examples such as the Gold Corp Challenge are issued to demonstrate the benefits of promoting an open culture.  Tapscott also highlights the Tunisian Revolution and how protesters relied on handheld devices to triangulate the position of government snipers.

"You think that social media is about hooking up online? For these kids [in the Tunisian Revolution], it was a military tool to defend unarmed people from murderers.”

 Tapscott makes a compelling case for how we are living in an age of networked intelligence where the boundaries separating individuals are shrinking.  For institutions to grow empowerment through networked collaboration and cooperation is paramount.

Massimo Banzi's talk mirrors the theme of an open-source culture promoted in Tapscott's presentation.  Massimo Banzi is the co-founded of Arduino, which makes affordable open-source microcontrollers for interactive projects.  In How Andruino is Open Sorucing Imagination, Banzi shares several stories out of the thousands of people throughout the world who have used the open-source microcontroller to conceive, design and build a finished product.  The stories presented in the Ted Talk point towards the imaginative ways in which people have attempted to solve challenging problems.  During the talk the audience and or viewer is subtly reminded how these inventions are the result of open-sourcing technology and the willingness of individuals to be transparent during the design process.  

Both talks share interesting accounts of creative and innovative steps individuals took to either solve a problem or develop a useful tool for consumers.  Again, the linking element between the two Ted Talks is in the potential benefits of embracing and open and transparent culture.  Both talks should compel educators to think about the classroom, instruction, and the experiences we occasion for students.  Something to consider is how we move students to embrace openness and come to realize that learning is a transparent process.  As Tapscott states in his presentation, we are living in an age of networked intelligence. Students need to understand what this means and have the capacity to forward an open-source market of ideas.