Some months back I read Cass R. Sustein’s ideas on what he refers to as Infotopia. I have the feeling that some of his ideas render visible things that are happening in the field of digital education.
Especially in the field of education it becomes visible that those who are deemed to be professionals have been caught in rotating movements. It is not about the formats in which new ways of education are approached – the educamp series is a great concept in that context – it is rather that the same institutions and their people tend to develop closed shop attitudes. Educators (may they be teachers or free lancers) who have some sort of expertise in the field of digital education seem to (unintendedly) grow comfortable and loose imagination. What’s even worse: Pride is taken in exclusiveness and and those who „think and re:consider“ education are starting to move just in their own circles, while horizons are deliberatley narrowed down for the sake of self-adulation. This not only sad, but there is a danger to that as well:
„Every day, like-minded people can and do sort themeselves into echo chambers of their own design, leading to wild errors, undue confidence and unjustified satisfaction.“ These Echo chambers turn into spheres in which people start to hear only what they choose and what comforts and pleases them. Within the fields of digital education I have started to note just that (and I am not excluding myself from that accusation). What happens is this: Group members impose their narrow horizons on one another, leading to a consensus on limited imagination rather than innovation. The problem is that these deliberating groups often do fail to obtain the knowledge that their members or experts outside their circle actually have. Self-adulation will eventually lead to a tendency to reject information that contradicts formerly embraced presumptions. „A confident, cohesive, error-prone group – a company, a labor union, a school, a nation – is nothing to celebrate. On the contrary, it might form a stumbling block both to itself and to others.“
Quotes are taken from Cass R. Sunstein’s Infotopia