Transforming the Classroom Experience Through Transhumanism: Education as the Learning Organization

Transforming the Classroom Experience Through Transhumanism: Education as the Learning Organization

Mary Beth Klinger (College of Southern Maryland, USA) and Teresa L. Coffman (University of Mary Washington, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8431-5.ch009

Abstract

This chapter examines the intersection of transhumanism and the use of technology as a cognitive tool in education. Transhumanism is explored as a pedagogical philosophy to transform the limits of self by using educational technology tools to expand global networked knowledge. These tools include technologies that stimulate learning to expand and extend cognitive and metacognitive capabilities. The role of pedagogy is to create educative experiences that provide meaningful opportunities for students to cultivate deeper conceptual understandings. Students learn necessary skills and develop knowledge to improve conceptual competencies and cognitive capabilities. When human thought and capabilities are used in conjunction with technology as a cognitive instructional tool, the learning experience is transformed. The potential exists to extend the conceptual competencies of the learner, thus realizing the transhumanists' goal of transforming learning experiences and improving student potential.
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Background

Transhumanism can support education and the learning organization by utilizing technology and allowing for slow, continuous, and incremental changes. Gradual changes rather than radical breakthroughs are the goal (LaForest, 2015). In addition, the current Internet supports a participatory culture. Users are able to curate and distribute knowledge. The World Wide Web network is not controlled by one user, but instead is shared among many users.

This has yielded a diverse flow of information and the opportunity for interpersonal connections to be made in meaningful ways. Additional advancements in technology have created opportunities for formal learning environments to connect to the Internet for the purpose of extending learning and cognition around learning goals. In addition, they also assist in developing authentic connections within the networked environment (Downes, 2007; Downes, 2014; Siemens, 2005).

Within this networked environment, no longer is learning considered an individual process. Instead, it is now interpersonal as well as dependent on outside influencers or participants within this network. Skill sets are needed to engage with the online network effectively and expertly, in order to challenge and extend one’s own personal beliefs and knowledge (AlDahdouh, Osório, & Caires, 2015; Barnett, McPherson, & Sandieson, 2013).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Networked Environment: Developing and then continuing diverse connections to both people and information through communication technologies.

Personalized Learning: Instructors no longer distribute knowledge; instead students take on more control of the learning process and use electronic devices in transparent ways within an online community of learners.

Complex Cognitive Processing: The conscious and mental capabilities that a person uses to think, reason, learn, understand, and remember.

Mobile Technologies: Electronic devices that provide portability and enable learning.

Communities of Practice: A self-organized social network that shares similar interests around sharing of knowledge and experiences as well as a movement toward crowd-sourcing new ideas and complex cognitive development.

Content Co-Creation: Ability to create and share content to transmit knowledge using social media in creative ways.

Transparent Tool: An ethical and seamless practice of facilitating learning and improving learner performance by implementing and managing technological tools and processes into instruction and learning.

Cognitive Capacity: The amount of information the human brain can retain.

Social media: A transformative way to communicate and manage relationships.

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