Dealing with boxes

To start this blog, I thought I’d address the blog’s title.  The phase “think outside the box” is meant to encourage the tasks of redefining boundaries, disrupting paradigms, and spurring unhindered new thinking.  What strikes me as ironic is that by making that comment, we have defined boundaries, reinforced paradigms, and hindered thinking by creating this “box.”  We’ve self-sabotaged ourselves before we’ve even started.

As humans, we have a need to categorize things i.e. “put things into boxes.”  And in thinking about education, about learning, and about the digital world, we have created boxes.  We view the Internet in a box.  We view education in a box, and to its detriment, we view learning in a box.  In reading authors like  Vannevar Bush, J.C.R. Licklider, and Douglas Engelbart, I realize that they had to ask the question “What box?”  because they saw no boxes.

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