The First Thread.

Education — December 3, 2006

I honestly don’t have this planned out…I just have a simple idea to get started. Think of this place as a somewhat controlled environment. A comment starts a single thread. The topic of another thread will then be started from a comment within an existing thread. It’s the idea of collecting a group consciousness on a given topic. An attempt to create an endless well of inspiration — based on ideas, principles, philosophies, and even anomalies.

Here’s the first comment. From one of my heros, Peter Drucker:

Technology, however important and however visible, will not be the most important feature of the transformation in education. Most important will be rethinking the role and function of schooling. It’s focus, its purpose, its values. The technology will still be significant, but primarily because it should force us to do new things rather than because it will enable us to do old things better.

I’ve started a project called Openmoko. I like to describe Openmoko as a movement to create a open platform that empowers people to personalize their phone, much like a computer, in any way they see fit.

One of my long term dreams is to help provide tools that will transform the way people learn. I am a self-proclaimed technologist. Since the mobile phone is the single piece of technology that I will carry whenever I go, naturally, this seemed to be the best place for me to start.

We chose to make the entire software stack open. From a control standpoint — the things corporations love — this borders on insanity. But I think by pushing these borders, we will let loose the possibility for immense innovation.

Innovation, in my opinion, is seldom found within the endless cubicles of a large corporation. Most commonly it manifests itself within the intense focus and concentration, that all individuals seem to have access to, when they stare at a single problem long enough.

Staying with a problem long after most would quit, is a luxury few companies can afford. Instead, I want to focus on the fundamentals — the framework — to use a more specific term. The include the following parts:

  • UI — Common look & feel for end users
  • Data — Common storage model for applications
  • Libraries — Common platform for developers

We believe that these are some of the key areas to solidify for innovation to form. And that this will benefit not just my company (FIC), but everyone who uses a mobile phone.

So here’s my question for you all. What can do we do — as a corporation and as a community — to help build better tools for learning? Or to use Drucker’s words again, how will an open source mobile phone, “force us to do new things”?. How can it help us all rethink “the role and function of schooling”?

© 2017 moskovich