This is cool:
Instead of designing instruction (which we assume will lead to learning), we should be focusing on designing ecologies in which learners can forage for knowledge, information, and derive meaning. What’s the difference between a course and an ecology? A course, as mentioned is static – a frozen representation of knowledge at a certain time. An ecology is dynamic, rich, and continually evolving. The entire system reacts to changes – internal or external. An ecology gives the learner control – allowing her to acquire and explore areas based on self-selected objectives. The designer of the ecology may still include learning objectives, but they will be implicit rather than explicit.
Perhaps this is where we’re trying to go with our mobile sef-access, perhaps one day to be a real self-access room. Or rather than trying to build an actual room, perhaps we should be striving to let our little chicks fly the coop (sounds more appropriate than “nest”) and let them out to explore and find stuff on their own, rather than trying to bring materials into a room, then try and get our students to spend time in it. Do we really need more cells?