Book: Peeragogy Handbook, a Resource for Self-organizing Self-learners. Howard Rheingold and Peeragogy Team.
‘With YouTube, Wikipedia, search engines, free chatrooms, blogs, wikis, and video communication, today’s self-learners have power never dreamed-of before. What does any group of self-learners need to know in order to self-organize learning about any topic? The Peeragogy Handbook is a volunteer-created and maintained resource for bootstrapping peer learning.
– Self-learners: largely self-directed learners who take it upon themselves to find useful ways to learn.
This project seeks to empower the worldwide population of self-motivated learners who use digital media to connect with each other, to co-construct knowledge, to co-learn. Co-learning is ancient; the capacity for learning by imitation and more, to teach others what we know, is the essence of human culture. We are human because we learn together. Today, however, the advent of digital production media and distribution/communication networks has raised the power of co-learning to a new level.
If you want to learn how to fix a pipe, solve a partial differential equation, write software, you are seconds away from know-how via YouTube, Wikipedia and search engines. Access to technology and access to knowledge, however, isn’t enough. Learning is a social, active, and ongoing process. What would a motivated group of self-learners need to know to agree on a subject or skill, find and qualify the best learning resources about that topic, select and use appropriate communication media to co-learn it? Beyond technology, what do they need to know about learning and putting learning programs together? What does a group of people need to know to use today’s digital resources to co-learn a subject? This handbook is intended to answer that last question and provide a toolbox for co-learners.
Although “paragogy” is a more rationally derived word that extends “pedagogy” (teaching children) and “androgogy” (teaching adults), we’re using the word peeragogy because many people get the point as soon as we use the word. (In some places, we style the word “pæragogy” to remind the reader of the fusion of “peer” and “para-” modalities: we will say more about this later on.)
Our experience within this project has been that flattened hierarchies do not necessarily mean decisions go by consensus. The handbook is in part a “collaboration” and in part a collection of single-author works. Often the lines and voices are blurred. One constant throughout the book is our interest in making something useful. To this end, the book comes with numerous activities, and is available under non-restrictive legal terms (you can reuse portions of it however you see fit). For those who seek more evidence-based, scholarly scaffolding for learning practices, we also maintain a literature review of learning theories that pertain to self-organized peer learning. We also include instructions on how to join us in further developing the resource.”