Teaching, learning, and fishing

In DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, Anya Kamenetz discusses the economics, sociology, and history of higher ed in the US (“how we got here”) and outlines a variety of promising new trends, techniques, and initiatives (“how we get there”, e.g. OER/CoP/PLN). My favorite passage appears towards the end of the book:

…forget about giving the guy a fish, or teaching him how to fish, either. Teach him how to teach himself, and he’ll always be able to acquire the skills he needs to find food, skills you haven’t even thought of yet for things you didn’t know you could eat. … Today, 90 percent of fish species are over-exploited… The world needs people who can figure out new ways to repair the oceans and to find or grow renewable sources of food.

But if his learning is self-initiated, how does he convince others that he is capable of acquiring these new skills? Portfolios can be a powerful way to supplement (or replace) credentials. For software developers, open-source projects are ideal fodder for portfolios: a GitHub profile can actually be more informative than a traditional resume.

More DIY on Anya’s DIY U blog.