As the What Should Obama Do Next? map began to address the unfolding events in Gaza last week, it was soon apparent that the immediate crisis and the wider Arab-Israeli conflict merited detailed consideration on a new map.
To this end, Independent readers and the Debategraph community have begun to seed a map on the crisis; including arguments raised by Robert Fisk and Johann Hari, and some of the questions and answers from the Twitter press conference organised last week by the Consulate General of Israel in New York.
The Gaza map (above)—which will require significant iteration and community input from a wide range of voices to reach maturity—is motivated by two medium-term objectives:
(1) to present the different worldviews that underpin the conflict fairly and succinctly on a common map.
(2) to map creatively and constructively the options open to the participants in the conflict and the international community, and the arguments for and against the different options.
This is an emotive subject, and the map is at an early stage of development; so if you see statements with which you disagree strongly or spot gaps in the arguments, please help us to address these on the map.
After logging-in, anyone can add new issues, positions and arguments, edit and restructure the map, and evaluate the different arguments; so the whole structure evolves as new perspectives are added to the map.
Hence, every aspect of the map at this stage should be regarded as mutable and provisional—with the aim being to enrich the structure iteratively and collaboratively until the map reflects a maximum of community intelligence.
Cross posted at: Independent Minds
Obviously Tom’s closing observations about the importance of teaching of students how to think and engage in rational discourse strike a chord here. And our belief in the potential multiplier gains to society from helping children to develop their thinking skills explicitly rather than implicitly, has been one of our primary motivations in making Debategraph freely available to schools and colleges as an open education resource.
Viewed as a whole, though, what do you think of points Tom’s making? What are the other issues and voices in the debate?
I have embedded a rough starting point for the debate map below, using the arguments presented on Tom’s Not On the Test site, and would welcome input from teachers, students and educational policy specialists to help develop the map into a comprehensive overview of this vital debate.
The full text of the Declaration begins:
“We are on the cusp of a global revolution in teaching and learning. Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. They are also planting the seeds of a new pedagogy where educators and learners create, shape and evolve knowledge together, deepening their skills and understanding as they go.
This emerging open education movement combines the established tradition of sharing good ideas with fellow educators and the collaborative, interactive culture of the Internet. It is built on the belief that everyone should have the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources without constraint. Educators, learners and others who share this belief are gathering together as part of a worldwide effort to make education both more accessible and more effective.”
With historic forms of education in kaleidoscopic flux, it’s a remarkable and inspiring time to be alive. And, as the range and depth of the Creative Commons licensed debate maps mature, Debategraph is committed to making a novel and substantive contribution to this revolutionary movement.
An exciting time for us, with long-planned changes now live on the site—and the culmination of our first developmental phase, which began last summer with the pilot projects for the UK Prime Minister’s Office and the Royal Society for Arts.
The changes highlight both our social purpose—of building a global repository of public debate that’s freely available for all to see and for all to improve—and our vision of mapping not just individual debates but the cumulative graph of semantically interrelated debates.
There’s much for future discussion, but for now the main points are:
(1) A new name and URL to embody our public ethos and intent: www.debategraph.org.
(2) The adoption of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license—the Creative Commons license closest in spirit to the Wikipedia GFDL license—for all material posted to the site henceforth. The license is the emerging standard for mass collaboration projects of this kind; as signalled by the recent announcements from Creative Commons, Wikipedia and Citizendium.
(3) The capability to interrelate and navigate through a cloud of semantically related debates—to see more clearly how debates shape, and are shaped by, each other—is now fully enabled within Debategraph.
Lots accomplished: and, as ever, lots still to do; with all feedback welcomed wholeheartedly.
…and come and join us at the start of a great adventure.