It’s interesting to know that some people learn because they truly have a natural love for learning new things without any external rewards. The interesting thing about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is that it’s still a very hot topic in educational research. I think Shirky has done an elegant job identifying the two types of intrinsic motivation-autonomous & competent. We as educators know how difficult it is to motivate students challenging concepts and ideas.
Although we are swimming in a world of information in this day and age, we have to always keep in mind that Albert Einstein’s point is wise “information is not knowledge.” This is a fact that is self evident in the physical and biological sciences. You can have all the information in the world; however, if you can’t synthesize knowledge, you are just fooling yourself. For example, I know many educators who send kids to find information on a topic and have the kids create a poster presentation based on the information they have collected. Quite frankly, the kids haven’t learn anything. If you ask them basic questions on the topic chances are they might not be able to explain what they have learned. I have observe this phenomenon with my own students. I am saying all this just to establish the point that information is not knowledge.
On the other hand, like I have stated earlier, I am glad that Google, and the Free information movement are making it possible for us to have “fingertip knowledge” or should I say fingertip information. We can use the information to construct knowledge but the information is not knowledge. Quite frankly, I think Bonk has done a phenomenal job on this E-book movement. Nevertheless, we as educators have a serious job to do. We have to find a away to help kids construct there knowledge schema using the overwhelming amount of data that’s out there.