I finally got around to the fifth chapter of Collins and Halverson, and their discussion of new-age learning centers was really interesting to me. I was thrilled by the idea of a learning environment without age boundaries, as I think the segregation of age as one of the main factors for determining student placement as one of the more arbitrary classification measures. Though initially students at a young age could be expected to have knowledge as a function of their age (and even this could be challenged?), over time students fall into a mindset that excelling is less possible. One of the most interesting stories from Heath and Heath’s work, Made to Stick, is the  teacher that motivates her third-grade students by telling them that in a year they could be fifth grade students. The revere we hold for older people through our years of schooling is a strong motivating factors that new learning centers could facilitate.

The collaborative nature of learning centers also reminded me of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_8skcWUUiM A coffee shop / collaborative working space in SF. The interesting element of this place is that the profit-model is based around engaging people of different specializations to come and exchange ideas and abilities, paying what they can. The space facilitates this interaction and garners value from these interactions in some way. The currency operates within the virtual space making the payment seamless. Like TechArb in Ann Arbor, these kinds of collaborative working spaces might have interesting parallels to the apprenticeship models of the past.

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