Culturally electrified to reciprocate

Every generation since the invention of the telegraph has become increasing electrified. We've adapted to the transition from breakdowns of the moving parts of mechanisms to the "no moving parts" of electronics. We've migrated from taking time to get informed like everybody else to receiving instantaneous and customized information resources. We've left behind the expectations that we function like a cog in a machine to now act like servers in a data center and generators in a smart power grid. We're now emulating hardware that gives electricity to others so they may be electrified like ourselves. We live inside circuits of ongoing reciprocities.

The production from printing presses can inform us, but not electrify us with links to follow, embedded videos to watch and ways to add tags or comments. People that sound like printed words when they speak seem boring and obsolete to us nowadays. Getting pictured by those propagandizers as their consumers or audience does not work for us like it did before. Getting nothing to share, serve to others or mash up into something new -- seems too authoritative to be really valuable. Coming across as a handout or a hands-free convenience is not nearly as convenient to us as giving us a hands-on experience of lending-a-hand or hand-crafting some personal handiwork.

We've come face to face with staggering abundance. Think of the answers you get when you ask:

  1. how many titles can I consider buying to then swap, share and lend out (of books, videos, games, songs, etc.)?
  2. how many versions, variations or customization alternatives can I choose between?
  3. how much space is there to explore (on these servers, in this sim, within this application)?
  4. how much help can I get (prior to the sale, during my decision process, while installing it, amidst my use of it)?

Each of these blows the lid off of culturally endorsed limitation, scarcity and insufficiency. The answers to questions like these say a lot about how we can share our surplus, give up the idea of sacrifice and enjoy the benefits of trusting others. There's a program we can get with that serves others like a blade in a rack of a server farm. We can come from a similar place as solar panels putting some electricity back into the power grid for others' use and load balancing. We can give back in lots of ways and get plenty in the process.

Higher ed has flirted with this cultural electrification. There's now an abundance of course offerings, college majors, library resources and campus activities at most schools. Facebook functions as social networking which reveals the abundance of common interests, dating prospects and worthwhile connections within the college enrollment. Lectures have been posted as slides on a website, distributed as podcasts to download, and captured as videos to watch online. Class time has been re-conceived as opportunities for problem solving and tutoring of misunderstandings. Some instructors have made use of email, wiki, blogs and RSS subscriptions within their instructional design. Courses have been offered online as universities invest in LMS software installations. There's even been some liberation of intellectual property via the open source movement.

Higher ed is not onboard with getting electrified to reciprocate. There's no way to profitably provide the service, customized options and support for self-exploration. There's no way to benefit from the students functioning like servers or power generators giving the course content away for free. There's no need for students to provide their peers with educational experiences, responses to queries and support for their personal explorations. All that will come in time as portions of the higher ed become contemporary with these changing times and more culturally electrified.

Note: This post addresses issue: 5. The revolution already happened
of the 15 Issues in the reform of higher ed.

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