Culminating Essay: The Nature of Knowledge

We will discuss this next class. Please read the doc. carefully to see all the requirements. Due dates will be posted on ManageBac.


Accurate? Or not?




So…what happens when money doesn’t “Drive” us to create/ do higher level cognitive tasks?

Think about this in terms of grades…has there ever been a time you made something amazing, but nit necessarily for a grade? When given a chance to be truly creative (not just some basic cognitive task), do you tend to work harder and achieve more, even if you will not be rewarded with a grade (but rather, with satisfaction, recognition, etc.)?

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Rethinking Education Project

PROJECT: video blog (vlog) or movie (4-6 minutes for either) demonstrating your understanding of the changes in education, media and books, and the acquisition, transmission, collection, curation, and archiving of “knowledge” and information in the 21st century due to rapid technological change AND your vision for the future.  What will/should school, libraries, and work look like and be like? What will happen to our traditional means of gaining, sharing, and saving humanity’s knowledge? What are the implications?

SOURCES: “Knowing Knowledge” book (pdf); socratic Twitter archive; previous blog posts on libraries, harnessing world knowledge, etc.; this blog post; other resources you might find. You need to CITE SOURCES (at least 5)

***handy Diigo Lists:

“tech and society:

“Gutenberg parenthesis”:


Article: “My Teacher is an APP”

Article w/pics: “Defining the Designer Workspace” – may provide inspiration!

What do yout think of Miami’s iPrep Academy?

A Great site for Quotes and TOOLS to use to make video mashups

Here are 2 pdf files to check out: 21st century Schools and 21st century Libraries:

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Father Guido’s 5 Minute University

Changing Education Paradigms (Sir Ken Robinson and RSA Animate)



Michael Wesch (Kansas State University Digital Enthnography)



Information Revolution (Wesch)


The Machine is US/ING Us (Wesch)


Watch Wesch discuss “THE MACHINE IS CHANGING US” (33 min)- YouTube and the Politics of Authenticity

We THINK (Charles Leadbeater’s book)


“Goodbye Knowledge Workers- Hello Insight Workers” (article)

Demanding Google 20% time at school? (article)

iClasse – How one MOntreal company envisions Schools of the Future

Secret Powers of Time (scroll to about 5 minutes for the school part)



Why do 60% of students find their lectures BORING? (article)

Where have all the Geniuses Gone? (Wired Magazine article)

Where do Good Ideas Come From? What kinds of patterns and environments are needed?


Libraries, Encyclopedias, and Gutenberg 2.0

Why does man seek to collect and organize knowledge and information? 

Is the “superabundance of information devaluing knowledge“, as this article suggests? Are we, in fact, addicted to “Info Lite”? 

****Please read the linked article, as we will be discussing in a Socratic circle/Fishbowl Twitter extravaganza.

What is the “DEEPER WEB?” The article above mentions this, but what exactly is it? The Deep Web/Net or “Invisible Web” accesses places where generic search engines such as Google do not. For example, library databases that require passwords.

The phrase was coined by Mike Bergman, founder of BrightPlanet, and you can read about it HERE

Here are 10 Search Engines to Explore the Deeper Web

If you want to “search like a god” in Google, this post could help with tips

To decipher all those domain extensions, and/or seek out different perspectives (very important in TOK!), check out his post: Read about advanced searching in Google using country domains HERE


Perhaps the most famous attempt at cataloguing the world’s knowledge was the doomed Library of Alexandria (in Egypt).






The HISTORY of Libraries in general


The Library in Crisis: What is the future of libraries, librarians, and books in the digital age?

Read about Disruptive Change at Harvard’s Library


In our digital age, what is the changing role of librarians? Of libraries? Of research? How is technology a catalyst for change?

Rethinking Libraries in a Digital Age

What do you think of the WORLD DIGITAL LIBRARY?


What a future library might be…


Some cool Library Designs (seeing that we need to rethink the physical space and purpose)


Digital Preservation: An Unsolved Problem

What is Project Gutenberg?

The Death of Print?


What about Diderot’s Encylopedie (during the 18th century Enlightenment?)

Read about the Collaborative Digitization Project at the University of Michigan




What about an Encyclopedia of Life? E.O Wilson won the TED Prize in 2008 and through his efforts EOLv2 was created: see the article HERE


The goal? Simply “Global access to knowledge about life on Earth” in order to “increase awareness and understanding of living nature”

Explore HERE



It is said that when an elder dies, a library is burned“. Hawaiian anthropologist Elizabeth Lindsey shares her TED talk about curating humanity’s knowledge through oral stories and lore.

Check out UNESCO’s Database for Indigenous Knowledge

WHO OWNS INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE? Should it be protected by copyright as intellectual property? See the VIDEO HERE


Harnessing the World’s Knowledge?

We’ve already taken a look at Wolfram Alpha, but there are other entities trying to democratize knowledge, or at least make a great deal of knowledge/ information available to a great deal of people. After watching these videos and playing around with the tools, compose a short essay on your blog discussing the implications and limitations (i.e. “knowledge issues”) of these endeavors. Use specifics you discovered after playing with them, and pose pertinent questions. What are your own personal thought sabout where knowledge is headed?

“TRUE KNOWLEDGE” – the A.I. Answering Platform

“Our goal is to power a new kind of search experience where users can access the world’s knowledge simply by asking for the information they need in a way that is completely natural to them; just as if they were talking to another human being”

What powers “True Knowledge”? The company claims to offer a “unified representation of the world’s knowledge containing factual, common sense, and lexical knowledge” …and then build on that base as it gets contributions from users.

Who is behind it? (read about the developer who created the famous anagrams featured in the Da Vinci Code book)

How does it work? (or…”Is Pink single?”)



Read about the Architecture that supports this platform

***What makes True Knowledge different from Google, Wikipedia, and even Wolfram Alpha?

FIND AN ARTICLE in the PRESS SECTION, read it, and commet on it on your blog. What are some “knowledge issues” related to this service?


TWEET @trueknowledge

QUORA- “A continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it”..

…”When knowledge is put into Quora, it is there forever to be shared with anyone in the future who is interested”…

…”People who read the question pages rate the different answers so that the best ones can rise to the top of the page and make it better”…

…”Inverse blogging (follow topics and questions)”…

…”author’s perspective” is taken into account, as revision logs are transparent and people use their own names/photos.

WHO is behind it (hint- Facebook connections!)? (fun fact: employees get free team yoga)

MOST VIEWED QUESTIONS – have some fun and explore these (I loved the “Coolest looking animal” query and the “Most epic iconic photo” since I am working on that in History class.)

Check out ANSWERS WITH 40+ UPVOTES – why do you think that is?

And of course you can always check out what some famous person, like Ashton Kutcher, has to say in Quora.


TWEET @Quora

RECAPTCHA – Professor Luis von Ahn (brilliant!) explains how CAPTCHA became RECAPTCHA, and how he can harness the world’s brainpower for archiving all the world’s literature.

WE ARE ALL WORKING FOR HIM, and most of us don’t realize it!


TWEET @LuisvonAhn , @reCAPTCHA , @duolingo


Below: More about Luis and how he came up with the ReCaptcha idea (endearing!) – His learning and thinking style is definitely unique. Luis is also Chair of the “COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE” conference 2012. Read more about the topics and speakers HERE.


THE FILTER BUBBLE – Eli Pariser explains how the web companies we use tailor their services (including web searches) to our personal tastes. Great, right? Well, actually this “filtering” prevents us from being exposed to ideas that challenge or broaden our world view.


WIKIPEDIA – Giving free access to the sum of all “Knowledge” – the democratization of Knowledge

How did it start and how does it work? Founder Jimmy Wales explains all..


TWEET @jimmy_wales


PEOPLE ARE KNOWLEDGE – Video exploring how ORAL CITATION should be allowed on Wikipedia.

People are Knowledge (subtitled) from Achal R. Prabhala on Vimeo.

Did you know there are various levels of editing “Protection” in Wikipedia? Here’s an image and the link describing them


Here’s HOW TO EDIT Wikipedia and how to START AN ARTICLE

WIKIPEDIA as important as the Pyramids? Wikipedia joins World Heritage List


Brewster Kahle Seeks to Build a Free Digital Library (books, movies, all web history,etc.) – “UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO ALL KNOWLEDGE IS POSSIBLE”



TWEET @brewster_kahle