From British political philosopher Michael Oakeshott:

Conversation is not . . . a contest where a winner gets a prize, . . . it is an endless, unrehearsed, intellectual adventure in which in imagination we enter a variety of modes of understanding the world and ourselves. And, we are not disconcerted by the differences, or dismayed by the inconclusiveness of it all.

I really like that. Good conversation is good for the soul.

Looking for Alpha Testers for Eduglu, a new Drupal Install Profile for Higher Education

I've been working on a social learning site based on Drupal for the past two years as a student at Brigham Young University and am now working towards readying it for its maiden release into the world as a full-fledged Drupal install profile.

My goal with Eduglu is to:
a) Provide a superb out-of-the-box social learning engine to help departments, clubs, classrooms, and other campus groups communicate, collaborate, and learn with one another.

Organizing University Learning: Moving Beyond the Course to Micro-labs

University learning is centered on the course. A pattern for learning familiar to any current or past student. Students and teacher meet 1-3 times per week for 8-12 weeks. There's lectures, readings, papers, projects, quizzes, and tests.

This, by and large, is an adequate pattern for many learning purposes. But no rational person would suggest this is the only workable solution or even what's best, or adequate, for all purposes.

Learning in the open

I've been thinking a lot lately about the power of transparent learning or learning in the open. With blogs, twitter, wikis, and other social media tools, our ability to share what we're learning with others has increased dramatically. The shift from learning in private to learning in public is dramatic and chaotic, much like swimming from the edge of a river into the fast flowing current. All of a sudden you're being pushed and tumbled along much faster than before.