With so much knowledge being distributed through social media everyday what is it that helps us assimilate knowledge into meaningful use? Knowledge is not useful unless it has meaning to us and meaning comes from relevance.
Relevance means the ability to “connect” something or somebody to our interest at any given time. Our interest vary at any moment and the variables that influence our interest are primarily education (knowledge), relationships (people) and media (online and off). All three of these variables create our individual and collective learning ecosystems.
Social media impacts our education and our learning ecosystems. Education is the process of imparting knowledge, values, skills and attitudes, which can be beneficial to an individual. Learning is the process of adopting knowledge, values and skills. Read both these definitions again and then thunk about what people are doing using social media. They are imparting their knowledge, values and skills (educating) and adopting the knowledge, values and skills of others (learning), one to one to millions.
A good teacher is one who can synthesize knowledge and put it into context for the student to easily assimilate. The word “synthesize” means to combine as to form a new. When we learn something new we’ve expanded our understanding of who, what, when, where, why and how about anything and everything.
Social technology has accelerated learning through not one but a massive number of teachers, call them “synthesizers of intangibles”. Intangibles are things like knowledge, learning, education, relationships and a host of invisible assets we each an collectively possess. Like money, the rate of exchange and the rate of interest created from these intangible assets create more wealth. However these rates are accelerating because of the “synthesizers of intangibles”. Instead of teaching one to fifty we are teaching one to a million at the click of a mouse over a trillion times a day.