ISKME's "Intertwingled" Approach

I’m always reaching to see the ‘intertwingled’ -- a term coined by computer scientist Theodor Nelson to describe knowledge that is related and is often connected by cause and effect. The intertwingled nature of human knowledge represents a primary frontier of scientific inquiry in the 21st century, as scientists increasingly examine the nature of interdependent social and natural systems.

In a similar fashion, K-12 education is taking a more intertwingled approach to knowledge and learning, still providing students with opportunities to build strong disciplinary knowledge, while also placing their knowledge within an intertwingled social and scientific global context.

Common Core State Standards

Although K-12 classrooms are still primarily organized within the four bounded walls of disciplinary-focused classrooms, the Common Core State Standards focus on skills and knowledge that advance literacy, critical thinking, and perspective building across the disciplines. Likewise, the Next Generation Science Standards call for inculcating scientific practices based on deep core disciplinary knowledge, while also recognizing the crosscutting nature of science. These standards hold potential for building intertwingled learning environments, engaged pedagogy, shared knowledge, and opportunities for connected and deeper learning.

Intertwingled Resources

To meet the potential offered by Common Core, teachers and learners need access to a diverse array of quality instructional resources, including primary sources and documents with high-text complexity and that support inquiry-based learning across the disciplines. At OER Commons, we are working with education leaders across the states to meet these objectives.

Working at the intersection of standards-based and open education, we are involved with states, consortia, lead educational agencies, professional organizations, and open resource developers that want to build open practice, provide opportunities for deeper learning, and optimize resource building and sharing around their common work. OER Commons supports the connected and intertwingled environment educators need to build curriculum and practices for Common Core collaboratively.

In OER Commons:

  • All resources carry licenses that allow for free and open educational use, in varying degrees;
  • Educational agencies may author and disseminate OER with the Open Author tool;
  • The Groups feature allows curriculum leaders to gather sets of evaluated OER to share with teachers;
  • All resources are described with common educational metadata to ensure maximum discoverability, interoperability and resource sharing;
  • Web pages are LRMI encoded for optimized discovery;
  • Community-generated resource evaluations and alignments are provided to the federal Learning Registry project.

OER Commons resources and internal architectures support intertwingularity among states, professional organizations, school districts, and open resource developers. As such, we continue to support the building of connected learning environments and the sharing of knowledge and resources to meet the promise of the Common Core.


February 21, 2013