Ahhhhh….the Mentor Cloud

The entire reason for the birth of Fashionnation1on1 is articulated in a post at CloudHacks, a blog on WordPress, called Can The Cloud Replace the Teachers?

CloudHacks says of their blog, “Cloud Hacks is a collection of articles about strategic web technologies, ideas, current projects and news as it relates to technology, education, and the cloud.”

In the post about clouds, it reports that “Sugata Mitra, an educational scientist, uses internet technology to prove that children without exposure to formalized education can use the internet to learn on their own without prompting.  In Mr. Mitra’s research, natural human curiosity emerged in children exposed to a computer with broadband internet access and kids who had never seen a computer before taught themselves basic computer literacy in a day.”

Of course it is wonderful to have access to people with years of experience, however, the lack of that opportunity should no longer keep you from advancing in your field.  In other words, use the internet to learn as much as you can while networking as much as possible with others who have industry experience (or anything else you want to learn for that matter.)

Learning alone is not so difficult when you have teachers all over the internet and social networking groups that allow you to converse with industry leaders.

Fashionnation1on1 was originally intended as a place where El Paso Community College Fashion Technology students could blog about their current projects and learning in order to share that information with those who may not be able to attend a fashion program at this time.

After one year with that option and only one student blogging, (Remember Honey’s posts?  Well, she graduated in Fashion Technology, had a precious baby girl, and has a fabulous job in her field of merchandising) Fashionnation1on1 is now written by faculty.

EPCC fashion students now create their own individual blogs and you can find them in the LinksList.

Using websites like Fashionnation1on1 and hundreds of others, anyone who reads English, has a computer with internet access, and time can learn an incredible amount of information and connect to those social networking, fashion industry related sites.

The CloudHack post further reported that, “Mr. Mitra also uses the ‘Granny Cloud’, a network of volunteers who facilitate learning via Skype.”

The post goes on to say, “Just imagine if the ‘Granny Cloud’ could be the ‘Mentor Cloud’ where volunteers with specialized knowledge facilitate learning of advanced subjects to anyone in the world.”

Not everything you find on the internet is accurate, but time and concentration on your topic will lead you to so much that will advance your career.  It will become clear what content is worthy of your time and study.

Check out the Learning Cloud.  “The Learning Cloud Team and Working Group members are volunteer developers, designers, administrators and teachers who have worked together to take online learning to new heights. The Learning Cloud has some wonderfully talented people taking Open Source concepts to the forefront of industry standards.”

Also remember that the internet changes every second of every day.  In the early days of sites such as Wolfram/Alpha, there was no content that pertained to our study of the fashion industry.  Today, however, there is a beginning of content there…and it will continue to grow.  A quick search of “apparel manufacturing” brought up content and suggested that we “Use clothing and apparel manufacturers instead”.  Both pages bring you to some quick and interesting information about publicly traded apparel companies.  Wolfram/Alpha is, of course, more suited to statistics, equations, and demographics.

Head over to Wikiversity and see the offerings there… and more, the focus.  Today knowledge is shared.  This is a good thing.

Let’s celebrate the democratization of knowledge and see where it leads.  And if you should wish to share your knowledge on the web, get started and see where it may lead.

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