I tracked down Hillis’ talk at OSCON 2012 – The Learning Map – and remember why it had so deeply influenced me.
Hillis says, “We ought to be able to learn anything that we want, and have something that helps guide us through that.” He goes on to recount a story about his Grade 4 (Year 5) Librarian, Mrs Wilmer, who, because she knew her students and her collection [and how to connect them], was able to guide them on their information-to-knowledge journeys, often along pathways that they had not yet come to recognise the importance of.
Now, Hillis goes on to imagine how technology might be used to scale this experience to include all students and all resources, but that is not our concern here. Rather, our concern lies with (1) his idea that we ought to be able to learn anything that we want, and (2) have someone [like Mrs Wilmer] who helps guide us through that.
This idea enables us to begin to unpacking this complex topic.