Do You Ever Wonder Whatever Happened to Wonder?

September 15, 2014 • University of Texas Arlington LINK Research Lab

In another era a book called "Enquire Within Upon Everything" embodied the best technology to organize, via a crude hypertext system, a collection of knowledge. In the hands of a young boy growing up in the 1960s, the book inspired a spirit of magic, wonder, and the vision of an open portal to the world of information. When that boy grew up, he invented the World Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee's original vision for the web was it "being so generally used that it became a realistic mirror of the ways in which we work and play and socialize. That was that once the state of our interactions was on line, we could then use computers to help us analyse it, make sense of what we are doing, where we individually fit in, and how we can better work together."

As a space of both discovered and undiscovered potential, the web at this moment beckons as a seemingly infinite place where we ought to revel with that same sense of wonder. Our educational careers begin in kindergarten, where we instinctually know the value of sharing and fear not what we don't know. Somewhere between there and graduate school, we lose track of wonder, worrying more about about theft of intellectual property or questioning the value of what we do. The ecology of an Enquire Within Upon Everything open web undermines this attitude and rekindle that sense of wonder. It's all about creating more potential serendipity. Let's celebrate stories of what happens when educators share something openly on the web.

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