Networks, Peer Progressives, School 3.0, and Future Perfect #IDreamASchool #School3pt0

Imagine a web of collaboration.

A growing number of us have started to think that the core principles that govern the design of the Net could be applied to solve different kinds of problems.

The world is full of problems that can be solved with peer networks.

– from Steven Johnson’s video on Future Perfect


School 3.0 is likely to look more like the peer networks that Steven Johnson describes in his video summary of his book Future Perfect. By even using the word “school,” however, I imagine that I have unintentionally conjured up old movies in certain readers’ minds. But when I say “school,” I actually mean something newly designed and significantly different.

  • School 3.0 has “students” working on a curriculum composed of, or at least more balanced toward, real-world challenges and problem-finding-problem-solving.
  • School 3.0 creates partnerships among 1) student-learners and faculty-facilitators, 2) businesses, and 3) non-profit, social-innovation organizations and NGOs, and potentially 4) governments. In fact, this could be the “peer network” of the future…the future that I believe Johnson is describing. By linking, yoking, and amassing such networks, we could achieve the social equivalent of Newton’s F=ma.
  • School 3.0 utilizes peer networking to amplify the group-smart of the “school,” newly defined with a broader understanding, and it flattens the industrial-age hierarchies and silos that tend to separate context and power.


Many thanks to Jonathan Martin for reviewing Steven Johnson’s book Future Perfect. I have not yet read the book, but thanks to my network of co-learners and co-leaders, I have been linked to the possibilities exposed by my peer progressives.

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PROCESS POST: Starting to put the pieces together…

How might a school (and education, at large) become more agile, more adaptable on a larger scale and shorter time frame?

What if we explored recipes that combined ingredients of Collins’ Good to Great (the flywheel effect, “who” before “what,” and the hedgehog concept), Design Thinking and the Japanese concept of “kaizen” (continuous improvement through…Discovery, Interpretation, Ideation, Experimentation, Evolution), and Manuel Lima’s power of networks, which is closely related to Friedman’s flattened world?

Could we re-imagine and re-purpose so that school becomes more of a quickly evolving ecosystem that better integrates learners with real-time, real-life, contextual learning and a developing citizen skill-content set that readies learners for the present and future more than for a past that is rapidly fading?

To move from the industrial age to the information age to the creativity age, must we synergize processes that can better develop creational momentum?

[“A piece of ‘why,'” A piece of ‘what,'” and A piece of ‘how'” are strands of a series on why school needs to change, what about school needs to change, and how schools might navigate the change.]