ACM 2012: John Seely Brown keynote
After the extraordinary pre-conference “reImagining children’s museums” workshop, keynote speaker John Seely Brown (aka “JSB”) confirmed what is becoming apparent: children’s museums are leading the way toward a new relationship with our visitors/participants — a way that integrates our capacities to know, to make, and to play. He loved this video of the Opal School, a school integrated into the Portland Children’s Museum as an example of this type of learning.
I think JSB’s quote was that “the sensibilities of children’s museums are core to lifelong learning in a constantly changing world.” What are these sensibilities? His main point was that as learners, we must constantly “regrind our lenses” for learning, and that we do this through a constant state of interaction with the world, changing our actions based on how the world responds. We do this through tinkering and play.
JSB also referred to another one of our emerging themes — learning in the near future will be based on “learning networks.” Not just schools or museums or homes, but the integration of these resources. (I’m realizing in my own work with technology, apps themselves aren’t going to make a difference — they must tie into the “learning system.” It’s bigger than anything any of us technology developers can create — we need to coordinate with museum program/outreach developers, who need to coordinate with community partners, who need to coordinate with….)
One other thought emerging: the future is already here. These things are already happening. Check out the maker programs at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Exploratorium, Portland Children’s Museum, New York Hall of Science, and others. “The future is already here — it’s just unevenly distributed.”