Don't share an idea - show a prototype

The benefit of a prototype is that people can see it and prod at it and give feedback of one kind and another. The feedback may not be helpful and it may not be kind (although it might be) and so it is tempting to keep the prototype hidden from public view until it is reasonably robust and well tested. `

Idea or prototype

It may seem preferable to simply share "the idea" of the prototype -  how it will work, what it will look like, how useful it will be. However when people give feedback on an idea there are so many possible areas of complete misunderstanding that the subseequent discussions may be fruitless.  Even if the prototype is on the rickety side it is something definite to point to and discuss - so it has advantages over an idea.

Emerging 21st century educational systems

I have some clear ideas of how educational systems could emerge during the 21st century (and how I would like them to).  My hunch is that any ideas I might put forward on developing educational systems would probably be 99% ignored and1% ridiculed - but I might have got the proportions wrong.  (I appreciate that friends might support me - but as they are biased that probably wouldn't count). Probably I need to show the prototype.

Emerging ideas

My ideas have grown out of the work John and I have been doing under the banner of Dadamac - and, there was work I did with Andrius Kulkauskas and other thinkers online, and, way back, there was other work when "microcomputers" first arrived on the educational scene. I have also been studying as a Dadamac learner for years  (I explained about 'Dadamac learners" in this post  - Are you a Dadamac Learner?) This all means that there has been time for serious thinking and plenty of practical work.


This is the way I see it. All our courses will be learner centred. Students will normally study in small online Special Interest Groups. They will agree areas for investigation and will work collaboratively. The resources that they collect and the original work they produce will be shared using whatever is Dadamac's current system (at present that is through our starndard spreadsheet structure - see Published Dadamac spreadsheets and docs - compiled 2011 for examples of the structure). For now students can register through the usual registration - - but will say that they are going to be students

Learner profiles

Students will be based "within the space". They will create a collection of work, things they have written, practical projects they have done, people they have learned from and so on. Over the years,as they study (and help others to study) they will develop evidence of work done, and a high trust network of fellow learners,  teachers and collaborators.

If they do related studies (for example with our friends at they will add that to their profile. There will be no formal accreditation from Dadamac, but there will be references, and evidence, and an increasing network of clients and other employers  ready to pay for the services of people with a good Dadamac profile.


Faculties will emerge according to the interests of people who study with us and the research that we do. Given our current areas of activity it seems likely that studies related to health, development, education, social-processes on the Internet, and ecology will come to the fore. Fortunately, because we are an online and emergent organisation we don't need a big budget or a big launch - just a vision and gradual growth.

Launching the prototype

So, here goes with my prototype 21st century education system. In recognition of its roots in Dadamac - and because I like the sound of the word - I name it "The Dadamacadamy" (to pronounce it say "acadamy", say "macadamy"  say "dada', then run those two together for "Dadamacadamy"). I'm already studying there, and teaching, and doing research. You are welcome to join me. I declare the Dadamacadamy open.