2.11 Rhizr (formerly mSCHOOL)
EdLab is making a major commitment to the mSchooling agenda. mSchooling refers to those activities related to the ongoing transition of the educational sector from the industrial era to the information era.
In this transformation, schooling will move from being an industrial era institution with all of the concrete operations that characterize organizations that grew up when the dominant organizational form was the factory (or the factory-emulating bureaucracy) to being a concept for a new generation of educational and learning facilities. The “m” designation represents “metaphor” suggesting the increasing use of schooling as a metaphor for various learning environments in the information age. There are an increasing number of examples of the early stage transformation of schooling (and related terms such as "university" or "academy") from a concrete entity to a conceptual category. Among these are home "schooling," for-profit "universities," and online "academies."
The mSchooling agenda will incorporate and further focus the five original EdLab foundational projects as follows.
- re-imagining schooling will be re-framed to allow a broader set of products, applications, and environments to be represented under the conceptual lens of mSchooling
- innovations in online learning represents one category of mSchooling projects that make use of networked communications
- new directions for online publishing, will be focused further on those publishing efforts that specifically take advantage of new digital tools and communication networks to present a more robust set of learning options as another category of mSchooling
- charting the future of libraries will be directed to those projects that activate libraries, both on the ground and online, as learning environments in the mSchooling pattern
- new efficiencies in educational research will be limited to approaches that embed education research tools within new mSchooling efforts
EdLab will engage in mSchooling design, development, and research in an effort both to create new educational environments and to contribute to our understanding of such environments and their impact on learning opportunities. Initiatives will follow the design, development, implementation, and research sequence with some terminating at the end of the research phase and others moving forward to commercialization. mSchooling projects will lead to the creation of new educational environments (e.g., schools, libraries, online learning, online publishing) and new approaches to inquiry (embedded research) all supported by new ways of providing service.