As usual, everything took longer than it was supposed to today, and I'm afraid I can hardly do justice to Bryan Alexander's talk last Thursday, but I'll write what I can now (before class starts) and write some more later.
Bryan Alexander works for NITLE, focusing on use of technology in education. This is completely interesting and awesome. He talked about some of the great collaborative tools in Web 2.0, including collaborative writing and collective research. He said that there is a shift in the model of learning from individual experts to learning through networks (connectivism). This reminded me of this article on categorization and tagging, which describes the limitations of structured, institutionalized categorization (as we have in libraries), and some of the ways that tagging can change this. I have more thoughts on this article, which I will talk about later, but it's the same concept of collective creation.
I think the use of these tools is really exciting, and the formats of collaboration could really transform our culture. If people begin to feel empowered in their education, it's a different dynamic than the "sit down and do as you're told" model.