I first wrote about the core of Rifkin's talk months ago after having watched an abbreviated, illustrated version. But after watching his entire talk today, it's changed my life in a few ways:
- I'm going to redesign all my courses to enable students to share in the teaching to help them learn better. This is part of Rifkin's urging, that teachers join the "distributed and collaborative communication and energy/mind revolution" that's happening right now. I already do a lot of this in my literature and advanced courses, but I'm also going to use this framework in my 300-level technical-writing course.
- I'm going to re-roof the house with solar collectors to transform my habitation from energy-consumer to energy-producer. Heck, I expect to sell power back to the utility most days!
- I want to create a course centered around the concepts in Rifkin's talks and book, The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis, or at least find a way to include the book in my spring "Science, Technology, and Society" course.
- On a larger scale, I would LOVE to create a school - could be for young people, could simply be part of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction's mission - centered around this approach, that's cross-curricular, one that empowers students to be active participants in their education and the education of their fellow students. This is an idea I've been kicking around for years, outlining details, but Rifkin's talk finally crystallized the structures in my mind. SO EXCITED and motivated!
Anyhow, go listen to the talk. It's about 1-1/2 hours long, so it might take a while. I'd love to hear what you think.