I read a post about the (non) future of newspapers from Clay Shirky (via O’Reilly Radar)  I think Shirky’s money quote is:

It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves — the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public — has stopped being a problem.

Replace publishing with education in that sentence and realize that newspapers may not be the only industry under threat.  Most of what educators do is predicated on the idea (now false) that information is scarce (see Michael Wesch’s recent  stuff) I remember when I took a graduate level Bib and Methods class in the mid 90’s.  The professor distributed probably a dozen annotated bibliographies listing key sources in various sub-fields of our discipline.  I still do that sort of thing, but now I use delicious and Google Reader.

That said, I think education is in fact in better shape than the newspaper since the core problem education solves, or ought to solve, is about more than information distribution.  I like Alec Couros’s “network sherpa” concept as an early effort to describe what education might look like – if we realize it in time.

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