Gen Z Should Network Its Education. Now. Here’s How.

Ken Gordon, Continuum | In Beta, Dec 25, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This article may become known for coining the term Wise and Influential People (WIP) (which as of now has exactly one and only one result in Google). These are "local business people they’d like to work for, subject-matter authors, academic experts". But it is otherwise pretty shallow. It suggests young people (a.k.a. Gen Z) should create personal learning networks by connecting with WIPs. OK so far (assuming you define WIP broadly enough). But the article suggests imitating WIPS through word use: "When students use the WIPs’ own language—ideally by citing parts of their books, articles, or blog posts back to them—they signal that they are serious." This is too superficial. To understand the meaning of the words, a person has to do the work - to write the software, bake the cake, repair the car, design the furniture, balance the books. Use the WIP as a model, not just as leverage.

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