gardner campbell

gardner campbell bw


yes. 2009.

personal cyberinfrastructure

on the lms shininess/obssession:

But that wasn’t progress. It was a mere “digital facelift” — Clay Shirky’s phrase for the strategies that newspapers pursued in the 1990s when they couldn’t “think the unthinkable” and see that their entire world was about to change. Higher education, which should be in the business of thinking the unthinkable, stood in line and bought its own version of the digital facelift. At the turn of the century, higher education looked in the mirror and, seeing its portals, its easy-to-use LMSs, and its “digital campuses,” admired itself as sleek, youthful, attractive. But the mirror lied.

Then the web changed again: Google, Blogger, Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. The medium is the message. Higher education almost completely ignored Marshall McLuhan’s central insight: new modes of communication change what can be imagined and expressed. “Any technology gradually creates a totally new human environment. Environments are not passive wrappings but active processes. . . . The ‘message’ of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs.” Print is not advanced calligraphy. The web is not a more sophisticated telegraph. Yet higher education largely failed to empower the strong and effective imaginations that students need for creative citizenship in this new medium. The “progress” that higher education achieved with massive turnkey online systems, especially with the LMS, actually moved in the opposite direction. The “digital facelift” helped higher education deny both the needs and the opportunities emerging with this new medium.

Just as the real computing revolution didn’t happen until the computer became truly personal, the real IT revolution in teaching and learning won’t happen until each student builds a personal cyberinfrastructure that is as thoughtfully, rigorously, and expressively composed as an excellent essay or an ingenious experiment. This vision goes beyond the “personal learning environment”5 in that it asks students to think about the web at the level of the server, with the tools and affordances that such an environment prompts and provides.

Pointing students to data buckets and conduits we’ve already made for them won’t do. 


begging for..

networked individuaism graphic


Wisdom as a learning outcome- TEDxUSagradoCorazon

Published on Nov 14, 2013

Gardner Campbell 

Wisdom as a Learning Outcome

Vice provost of Virginia Commonwealth University, Gardner Campbell shares his views on traditional education and the achievement of wisdom, searching for the roadmap between one and the other.

thinking fast and slow – Daniel Kahneman

two systems..

1.. i got it.. (thinking fast) – very handy

2.. hmmm .. (thinking slow) – waits – gathers info –  how we build civilization

they don’t necessary play well together..

ie: if asked a hard/complex question… system 1 answers immediately – by substituting an easier question for the harder question… hoodwinks system 2 (and sometimes all of us) into believing that the hard question has been answered..

ie: what is an education for.. system 1 changes to – how do we manage what happens in school. so instead we invent a technology called – learning outcomes… (completely ducking harder question of – what is an education)

learning outcomes (google it) – it’s a big industry…

learning outcomes – specifies what learners will know/do as a result of an activity

system 2 says much later – was that the question..?

charts, et al support system 1..

many say – that’s the 30000 ft question, let’s get practical

the internet – the most brain like invention we’ve made.. showing emergent phenomenon

the hard question never gets answered.. often never gets asked..

i’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe – moments lost in time – like tears in the rain

there is a constant hope/desire/need to assure ourselves that the moments we share will not be lost in time – a central concern of our species.. as we are busy doing all our activities..

wisdom – not something arrives at.. but something one continues toward


power of judgment that attempts to do justice with the complexity of life

what is it about wisdom that teaches us to love

dr phillips – i learned from her because she always shared what she was learning..

failing to find wisdom at one place.. look another.. i’ll stop somewhere someday.. waiting for you..


interview with Alan Kay june 2014:

10 min – getting us back to potential of humanity w/o compulsion

11 min – tokenism – pleases pop culture. can’t tell difference between the menu and the food.

spinach or rock

21 min – cc – math is really interesting – to me – then goes on to explain mult fractions.. 5th grade

key – is it vital – to everyone..

23 min – formula no one complains about – is also hardest math – no one complains because it looks reasonable.. but justifying it is the harder derivation

35 min – so it is more – are we educating for understanding of ideas – or for genetics.. ie: it’s been much per rote

26 min – can’t imagine politician/marketer – wanting people to be able to think things through

29 min – starts talking about human universals

32 min – once you see the cargo cults – you can see them in your own culture (not thinking things through) – so trying to cope with things as humans always have, ie: changing verbiage to sound more modern

33 min – ultimate  cargo cult tokenism – getting something in to fix a problem they think we have – ie: text books cost to much, when the problem is more – are text books we are using any good  (la school system and ipad – and apple rules don’t allow downloading scratch project) – solving a lot of their problems with a symbolic gesture… which is not so good – ipad is set up for consumption rather than creation

37 min – we said at xeros – let’s work hard here – maybe we can cut off 150 yrs printing press took

39 – last 30 yrs – marketing hasn’t gotten anywhere near to what a computer is about

40 min – this is a low period now –

1:02 – what if we’re not meant to teach people to read…?

1:05 – see it was more fear of competition than love of learning. ..confirmed anthropologists – in the end, the social consensus trumps almost all forms of actual thinking..


1:12  – substantiated opinion

1:13 – i learned to read accidentally – before i went to school – so it wasn’t a chore..

goes with 1:02 – no?

1:17 – first time in my life i felt to happy – i wasn’t the smartest person in the room. but i was in a community – that was the smartest on the planet for computing… and they were friendly

jim watson – smartest person in the room is the community

1:45 – on funding.. we haven’t had anything really since early 80’s.. gone to – not able to fund crazy ideas… and funding has gone to smaller size

1:49 – engineering since then has been good – but not much in invention – most is similar to the 80s

1:50 – what we need is not better program writers – but a better way to program.. nobody is funding that..

1:51 – virtually all learning is autodidactic – you go to school to find out about things

great questions are would reveal if a student has become self-directed.. if they can show they did well in school – they’re missing it

1:56 – 31% of college grads proficient in reading.. colleges have changed what their jobs are.. they are now providing diplomas for money

1:57 – so the question is – what are you there for – because it’s really up to them (to learn)

2:03 – crime of ed – humans acculturate – we’re not natural rebels.. and we aren’t respecting that

2:04 – i got thrown out of my first school because i spent all my time in the library reading. missing class was not good for the morale of the rest of the students.

2:05 – even as bad as ed is – it’s worse not to go…(?) – it’s still the place where the bell curve is going to grant you that 1%.. what you don’t want to do is get into the pop culture.. become popular in the pop culture.. because then basically you are basically conning cave people… you are doing things that are amusing


it’s huge – you can’t get engaged in the big game unless you get involved with hugeness. i tell everyone to learn everything and then forget it. get an idea of what you want.

2:13 – the teachers that like to teach usually like teaching better than their subjects

2:20 – his idea of solution – have students be like college students in hs. so the first 8 yrs should be prepping for running their own education. not all the choices – that’s completely wrong – don’t have perspective and background to make those choices..


2:30 –  macos

through these eyes

2:36 – Jerome Bruner – a quiet radical – he doesn’t lower himself to get pissed off

2:37 – if something needs to be fixed – there’s no use screaming at the ones who have it wrong. it’s when people know what they’re doing and do bad things. but the problem is.. the enormous number of things that create huge barriers are done by people that haven’t the faintest idea what they’re doing

2:39 – most people can’t assess the outside the “normal” – so most don’t question all that’s going on


why i teach – part of request of #ccourses, sept 2014:

But it felt like being alight with delight. Together. And while I catalyzed it, it didn’t belong to me–which meant I could have it, too.

to build a world of incautious love for the possible good we have not yet imagined


find/follow Gardner:

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Gardner’s site:

gardner's site__________

Thought Vectors in Concept Space #et4online keynote by @GardnerCampbell #viznotes

Original Tweet:


from Joe’s post on techquity – 2015

“We are living in the middle of the largest increase in expressive capability in the history of the human race…And yet, its as if, day after day, I say, “I have a bag of gold, would you like a bag of gold? and people say, “where do you find time for bags of gold?”

-Gardner Campbell, No Digital Facelifts: Thinking the Unthinkable About Open Educational Experiences

– –

exactly. so many are missing the – as the day ness – we need in order to see us dance the dance.


shared sept 2015 –

9/22/15 10:26 PM
@GardnerCampbell and hyperlinks, (3) involves work from someone I greatly admire.……

video from 2012

Open Ed 12 – Ecologies of Yearning

that is not it at all. that is not what i meant at all. – ts eliot

9 min – the point is that in the middle of figuring it out… what did you mean..

17 min – this is a system we’re talking about… we don’t see things as they are… we see them as we are…

notes from Rob’s tumblr..

From the comments:

(This lecture)… serves as a warning that what we really want – our utopia – is not necessarily to be found in the structures we are putting in place (or finding ourselves within).

19 min – g bateson on double binds – on hospitals existing for benefit for personel

22 min – you feel committed to this thing… ie: getting an a for something you aren’t even sure of..

23 min – think differently

24 min – the children’s machine – seymour papert – 2 kinds of prevailing attitudes toward school 1\schoolers – we can tweak this 2\yearners – mega change is necessary/possible

what is the mega change our yearning could lead to…  yearning: to desire earnestly…

the people who desire.. have strong yearning.. all go in opposite directions

26 min – steps to an ecology of mind – g bateson

not even available for recommend on overdrive

30 min – bateson’s hierarchy of learning –

34 min – levels 0 (adaptation) 1 (habituation) 2 (learning to learn) and 3 (meta) 4(not yet accomplished – us thinking together)

39 min – bateson – something about the double bind can not only be a prison but also the way out

41 min – a story about people grokking what matters ness (transcontextualize ness)

51 min – but this is our experiment… linking.. building the web together..

www ness

55 min – video of alan kay –

57 min – chorost…   world wide mind… what’s in one’s head is world of orders of magnitude more complex than anything one sees in the sky…  ie: say, i feel so small.. galaxy has no response.. not complex enough to have thoughts..

not open ed.. but opening ed…

brian wilson – good vibrations – fire – did i cause it to happen

59 min – oliver sacks.. awakenings.. at home in the world – feeling of home – hospitality

ois ness – pico iyer

1:00 – schools  – have to provide feeling of home

or perhaps – beyond schools.. no? –

salisbury hill

1:01 – we shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. – ts eliot



Jon and Gardner and Howard – “Thinking Like the Web”: A Conversation with Jon Udell – 2014:

5 min – jon: a word .. made up.. (hashtag).. to draw us together.. how profoundly diff that is..

6 min – howard: also very web like that hashtag was invented by twitter user.. not by twitter.. ie: wasn’t in mind of people who created platform…

9 min – jon: danger of losing things.. as we pkg things up

gardner: our complaints about lack of agility in collaborating.. yet .. holding back on tools we have

10 min – jon: in the end.. this is not something you can explain to people.. although that wikipedia screen cast i made… until you give people an experience that directly involves them… embed them in that world…it doesn’t really sink in. .. so that’s been my overriding challenge.. how to put people into the driver seat..

perhaps because we are embedded now.. in the pkdg deal.. (ie: school, supposed to’s, ..)

let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake

a nother way

11 min – gardner – on community calendaring..

jon: i haven’t been able to scale out … putting people in the driver’s seat….. standards.. calendar structures..  those are sorts of literacies i would hope school would teach my kids.. that info can have structure..

could we be moving past this now..? standards.. not dumbing down… but allowing.. all the ways… d weinberger.. too big to know.. structure less ness.. so that we can now use ie: blockchain, deep address, .. let tech facilitate madness.. so that we can swim in ie: idiosyncratic jargon.. et al.. rather than ie: jumping through hoops to fit in somewhere..

15 min – howard: irony of people saying don’t have tech means.. is that what’s the web was originally offering..

17 min – jon: writing on web.. is colonizing own space on web…. on calendars… on how we keep adding same info in all spaces… rather than ie: coin in one space and we can all access.. web of small parts loosely connected – syndication…

21 min – gardner: infrastrucutre becomes a language

22 min – jon: still haven’t been able to convey the power of the tag

24 min – howard: stigmergy ness and ants… they are leaving little signals that reconfigure environment.. don’t need to look under hood

stigmergy ness

26 min – jon: on the natural language/human ness of the hood.. very organic

what if tech can free us from ie: the alphabet.. words.. et al

28 min – howard: writing on web.. distinction between audience, market, & public

33 min – gardner: what is happening when you use a social construct as language to communicate what you want … what is the experiential context of web literacy.. are there analogies to language (writing) we already know..

35 min – jon: on losing site of writing being major mode.. many don’t use that mode of expression.. for me..

37 min – howard: the word literacy a little misleading because it’s not just writing… all kinds of ways.. activities.. take your interest.. and use that the way the hashtag is ued to activate individuals and communities to help you…

39 min – jon: any body can share expertise.. so when you want to .. you should know how to..

so.. what if we make it simple enough.. for 7 bill people .. today..

42 min – jon: on awakening a grain of sand – such a powerful thing that it’s almost frightening….

43 min – howard: i don’t want to leave out the idea of curation.. if you’re interested in something.. if you share the results of your judgment.. you’re creating a public good useful to everyone else… if you want to establish yourself.. if you curate (the stuff you’re finding) – people interested in that will find their way to you… you are 1\ adding to commons 2\ drawing people to you…

44 min – jon: but only if you do that curation in public.. a lot of people are doing that privately..

so imagine 7 bill doing that.. everyday. as the day..

46 min – jon: i’m worried.. we’re back pedaling…

howard: critical uncertainty.. i think the cu today is whether sign portion of population will continue to understand what makers of web did.. that ie: we can do this… what’s dangerous is the threat of enclosure.. that you have to go to one of these org’s (nature of the enterprise) to share… rather than .. that you have agency.. you can create ie: hashtags… we need a greenspace.. to continue to invent… a generative web… has to be taken by people.. in own hands..

49 min – jon – on domain of one’s own… jim groom…  establish own web identities and colonize those spaces…

imagine we don’t wait till uni.. imagine we don’t spend our days in institutions… self talk as data.. as the day..

51 min – gardner – talking a cultural change

55 min – jon: cultural barriers – this question of assessment and eval.. why not just connect kids directly into wikipedia

indeed. that.

jon: we’ve got to eval way students are living in network… that’s hard.. id on’t pretend there’s an easy answer

perhaps… it’s not so hard.. perhaps the answer is to disengage from measuring/eval-ing.. why are these brilliant men… still assuming ie: uni, school, et al..

59 min – gardner: my fear is that if higher ed goes.. this space won’t exist anymore…

? unless higher ed dissolves into all of us.. as the day.. we’ll actually have more.. no? city as school/uni


jan 2016 – a candle in the window

She remembered that Taddesse had taught her that in his culture, people were never counted, for anything that can be counted can be taken away. In that remembering, she resolved she would not count her blessings in this intense moment, but rather think about the depth and expansiveness of her blessings as they spilled over any possibility of measure or containment.


Reading what I had written about Taddesse, though, reminded me of what my blog is, at the deep heart’s core. These moments of love, or pain, or wonder, or confusion, these are important moments. Not every moment, and not all equal, but more of them than we can well remark upon, and more that should be discoverable, and unpredictably so. More moments we can reach for, and bring close.

perhaps the global equity our souls are craving .. might come from simply rev in reverse.. rev of everyday life.. ie: hosting life bits.. as the day.


DML Research Hub (@DMLResearchHub) tweeted at 8:30 AM – 28 May 2017 :

Self-Directed Learning: Exploring the Digital Opportunity (Q&A w/ @GardnerCampbell) #SelfDirectedLearning #edchat (

So at some point, self-directed learning, which is now an absolutely vital concept in higher learning, has to be considered as part of a larger conceptual framework. The larger framework incorporates the institution, the curriculum, and the faculty that you asked about.

That larger framework should stress the role of expert-directed study and expert-facilitated encounters, especially in opportunities for self-directed learning.


The learner, upon entering what we have as our classic four-year undergraduate program, may have some sense of what he or she *needs, but that sense will probably be incomplete. It will usually be undeveloped, but if the environment fosters a sense of curiosity and intellectual excitement, there will be a kind of awakening for the student.

*needs for the 4 yr program.. ok.. diff than needs for life..

where else would I find a place where all of these areas of expertise would be gathered together for me to experience? It is something that is uniquely valuable and present in a college or a university.

juxta this with end of article – saying uni is not embracing web ness..[There is so little curiosity about the idea of the computer or the Web within faculty development efforts. This is what you’ll find on many campuses, nationally. ]

but to the learner it may simply look like some kind of requirement to get out of the way. We also know that students who come from disadvantaged circumstances have a harder time with self-directed learning in many cases.



jeremy ( and gardner

Starting to beta test the @hypothes_is LMS app in @Blackboard @moodle and @sakaiproject. Reach out to if you’re interested in playing around with it in your campus LMS.

Original Tweet:

Gardner Campbell (@GardnerCampbell) tweeted at 6:11 AM – 2 Mar 2018 :

@dr_jdean @hypothes_is @Blackboard @moodle @sakaiproject I understand the need for integration with the LMS. It does feel like a capitulation to one of the more damaging aspects of the status quo. Perhaps it will remind those in the LMS of a bigger world outside. I hope so. (

@dr_jdean: I see it as expanding a powerful functionality/experience to a lot of teachers and students who were unable to take advantage of it before. That’s real. And yes it allows one to take that experience as a first step toward something more open and expansive.

@GardnerCampbell: Unable? Why? I love @hypothes_is and I want it to be around for a long, long time. But when I read stuff like… I see the essential logic behind the most damaging parts of edtech, including & esp the LMS. And I worry.

@dr_jdean: I don’t think the “why” is a mystery if you really think about it. Teachers are pushed to the LMS by all kinds of forces at institutions. Convenience. Security/privacy. Copyright. To name just a few. Not saying that’s good. But it’s a reality.

@GardnerCampbell: No, the why is not a mystery. But “unable” isn’t accurate when pushing back is key and still possible. Higher ed should empower folks to build better realities, not just fit folks to the status quo.

seeing both sides.. but wondering if maybe he is part of the status quo as well.. let’s push back there too.. no?

not to be a contrarian.. but because we now have the means.. ie: as it could be



via Gardner Campbell and Alan Levine

Orientation week has begun! Engelbart Framework Project description here: Welcome from @cogdog & me: . New to @hypothes_is ? Start here: . Join us! #augmentintellect #frameworkproject

Original Tweet:

10 min video –

Welcome to the Engelbart Framework Project

we have this idea that there’s a way to take a doc that changed the world.. but isn’t very well known..  and putting that doc (augmenting human intellect) w/in an environ that encourages really close/thoughtful engagement.. most of all an convo around doug engelbart’s ideas regarding all this tech that he helped to invent/popularize.. but along the way kind of got detached form some of those ideas.. in ways that led all the tech to not always be for the *best possible uses..t

dougaugmenting human intellect

*ie: augmenting interconnectedness..

it (annotation) does bring us back to doug’s ideas.. about collective intelligence.. people able to work together collaboratively.. his vision to harness this *collective iq and make it a real force for change.. a way of addressing these complex problems.. t.. we might be able to invent solutions faster than we invent problems..

imagining we need diff connections first – focus not so much on *collective iq.. rather on daily curiosity

3 min – while we’re not solving a problem.. it’s more an experience.. of using tech (he was talking about) to reveal/harness the power of collective intelligence.. what we call thought vectors and concept space

4 min – a: the power of having a convo about these papers

a fruitful search together for a bigger understanding..t

5 min – a: it’s a hard paper.. we should use these tools to get to a better understanding to make society better.. t..  employing pieces of this paper to understand it better..

6 min – he clearly anticipated there would be more building to do..t

the ai humanity needs..augmenting interconnectedness

7 min – it was the structure of the idea.. t.. that led to all the developments..

begs 2 convers as infra.. to get to the energy of 7bn alive people.. everyday.. everyone

everyone in sync

the danger is the results run away from the idea.. and get detached.. nobody to think about why anymore.. engelbart was always about being thoughtful.. why we were doing what we were doing

8 min – first week.. practice using hypothesis.. get to know others.. then 3 additional weeks.. working on annotations.. to enrich this doc w those who were there.. those following him.. and those who are new..  no prior knowledge assumed/necessary

10 min – we’re really hoping for an annotation space..

keep posted here:

annotate with us