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The Chief of Confusion

There’s nothing new under the sun.

Knowing this doesn’t keep me from being humbled when I discover how many of my ideas I thought were original are things I took from others.

A few days ago a friend sent me a link to a 1999 presentation by John Seely Brown on Learning, Working, and Playing in a Digital Era.

A dozen years ago, JSB described explicit knowledge (know-what, resides in books) and tacit knowledge (know-how, lives in people and their practices). The explicit stuff is the tip of an iceberg of knowledge that is primarily tacit. Hence, the importance of communities of practice.

He described self-organizing learning ecologies (what I have called learnscapes and workscapes) in which communities of practice collide and overlap, continuously creating and consuming knowledge.

These concepts are at the heart of my book on Informal Learning.

If you are looking for the big picture on how people learn, visit JSB’s site. He claims to be “The Chief of Confusion,” but I don’t buy it for a moment.

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