Toward Personal Learning: Reclaiming a role for humanity in a world of commercialism and automation

Stephen Downes, Jul 17, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is my ninth eBook and the first in five years. The result is another 750 page book, for which I deeply apologize. But don’t worry, it goes so fast it only feels like 550. As before, it’s a collection of blog posts, published articles, transcripts from talks, some interviews (I’m saving most of those for a separate volume, one day), diagrams and images, and photos. Why personal learning? Each age sets its own priorities, and personal learning I think captures what is important today. The first is the idea of autonomy in a connected world. We are reaching the end-game in the century-long struggle between individualism and collectivism. I reject both, and essentially for the same reason: they reject the humanity of individuals. A second is the idea that we need to reorganize knowledge in such a way as to better prepare people for a complex and changing world. And the third is the tension between commercial good and social good, especially with respect to open learning and open content, but also with respect to society and values generally.

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