Thirty years ago I coined the term cognocracy to mean ‘a society of individuals who think for themselves’. I did this to anticipate the coming social revolution empowered by technology and individual thinking.

In an interview for Reason Magazine (October 1982) with Patrick Cox I explained what I meant by cognocracy:

“as communications technology improves and people acquire the tools to think for themselves, systems such as democracy, socialism, and communism–where a few do the thinking for the many, who are, if anything, asked simply to vote on other people’s ideas–will be replaced by ‘cognocracies’, connected societies of individuals who think for themselves.”

The advent of the www has made it possible to directly link technology to global brainpower. This is accelerating a move away from the slow and traditional ‘follow-the-leader’ democracies towards fast opt-in/opt-out cognocracies. These cognocracies are open to anyone, anywhere, anytime … 24/7. Early examples of cognocracies in evolution can be seen at Wikipedia, Facebook, Google, eBay, YouTube, WordPress and SOT.

In January 2007 TIME Magazine awarded it’s Man of the Year to YOU. Watch this space!

Aristotle is acknowledged as being one of the greatest thinkers in Western history. The questions is: could YOU teach Aristotle a thing or two? 

And the answer is, of course, yes you could!
Emeritus Oxford Fellow Richard Dawkins makes the point that because you have "the privilege of living after Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Watson, Crick and their colleagues that you could give Aristotle a tutorial and you could thrill him to the core of his being".

So, here’s a thought experiment and post your reply below:

In less than 100 words, if you could go back in time and give the great Aristotle a tutorial from your current perspective of 2014, what would you reveal to him that would be a real knockout for old Ari?

School of Thinking is a wikischool.

3[1]In a wikischool the students are the teachers. The pedagogical model of the wikischool is bottom-up where: the students are the teachers and the teachers are the students.

THE STUDENTS are the most important reason for the School of Thinking. The SOT Experience is their training and the value of these skills used in real life.

That’s the quintessential benefit of being an SOT student. Every day the school receives comments and detailed feedback from thousands of SOT students around the world in many different locations, enterprises, cultures and mindsets.

••• Click for members’ recent comments about their personal SOT experience •••

 Since 1995, a unique innovation of the online School of Thinking is that the students–as individuals and as a campus body–are also part of the faculty.

In response to the SOT daily feedback questions (DFQs) students around the world voluntarily contribute many thousands of comments on the SOT lessons and articles. Many insights, edits, suggestions, corrections and improvements result from this ongoing interactive and daily collaborative effort. This SOT strategy is based on NewSell not oldsell.

SOT students range widely from employees, farmers, salespeople and retirees to young school students, teachers, parents, scholars and Nobel scientists to knowledge-workers in media, business, sport, politics and the arts, and from more than 50 countries worldwide.

As a result of all this collaborative work over the past 18 years, the SOT instruction model has evolved to become a very robust and effective training method for transferring metacognitive skills online, and at a distance.

Later, in 2001, Wikipedia launched a similar bottom-up model of an online encyclopedia where the readers also become the writers. This is also an example of a voluntary and collaborative online model which has proven to be very effective.

School of Thinking invented the very first MOOCs. MOOCs are the medium for teaching in SOT.

Today everyone is talking about MOOCs. New York Times even declared 2012 – The Year of the Mooc!

Today a MOOC is a Massive Online Open Course. In fact, the first MOOC was an Australian invention and was officially launched in Melbourne in 1995. School of Thinking is 100% online and has been offering and teaching its original version of daily moocs–training thousands of students in dozens of countries and every single day–since its online establishment in 1995.

SOT daily mooc courses were massive. They were open access (to anyone with an email address). They were online. They were daily. Our training motto was and still is: We teach thinking as a skill. Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime.

If any traditional higher-learning institution had wanted to create a MOOC site to match the School of Thinking they would have first needed to publish 251 educational articles and then posted 1,191 authentic questions that had stimulated 47,591 thoughts and comments returned from their students … as of today! (16 October, 2013).

Where does learning take place?

Since Plato, Aristotle and Socrates 2500 years ago, the traditional view of education is that learning takes place in the classroom. The traditional model for most universities and centres of higher learning has been campus classes and tutorials with qualified professors for groups of around 100 students at a time.

SOT takes a different view. A digital view. We say learning takes place in the student’s brain. Every day! That brain can be anywhere, anytime, anyplace.

SOT is not a university. We are established to focus on only one faculty: metacognition. So SOT changed the traditional model.

The problem with the ancient campus model is that it is not scalable. Campus classes are often groups of around 100 students with a professor at most universities. SOT employed our x10 strategy and started online classes (in those days we called them virtual classes) of ten times the offline number. 100 x10 = 1000. And more!

Previously we even issued a printed MOOC. We collaborated with Readers Digest magazine presenting a broadcast of 7 SOT lessons which went to a massive audience of 68 million. As that was in 1983 this audience was not yet socially wired. There was no charge for the lessons. The lessons were free (except for the cost of the magazine). Thought experiment: Imagine what might have happened if this massive RD class could have been online.

Day by day by day

It’s the dailiness of SOT lessons that gets the results. Since 1995, SOT has been sending out daily moocmails to students in business and government enterprises around the world. There is a BIG difference between MOOCs and Daily MOOCs!

The Benefits of Daily MOOCs in Business

The-MOOCs-what-changes-for-teaching-tomorrowDaily MOOCs cost much less. Daily MOOCs save time and money. Daily MOOCs are digital not analogue. Daily MOOCs are much more scaleable. Daily MOOCs offer a much better ROI. Daily MOOCs are much faster. Daily MOOCs can transfer business skills like innovation, cost-cutting and selling. Daily MOOCs can be personalised or bespoke. Daily MOOCs can be enterprise-wide. Daily MOOCs can raise enterprise intelligence. Daily MOOCs can raise employee engagement. Daily MOOCs are measureable. Daily MOOCs can raise employability. Daily MOOCs can create more profit. Daily MOOCs can be bottom-up instead of top-down. Daily MOOCs can be global not just parochial. Daily MOOCs can be offered to customers not just employees. Daily MOOCs can create jobs. Daily MOOCs can be free!

Daily moocmails: “Give us this day our daily moocmail!” At SOT we developed the first daily moocmail–daily massive open online class driven by email–and each daily moocmail has a DFQ. A DFQ is the basic training unit of SOT. It’s a Daily Feedback Question. A DFQ is an authentic question to which the daily mooc seeks an authentic reply from the SOT student. SOT uses the DFQ as our primary pedagogical KPI. DFQs are like an innovation enzyme. Those brains that are on DFQs are thinking much faster (up to ten times faster) than those brains who do not have daily access.

DFQs are one of the pedagogical strengths of SOT. They are self-organising educational lessons where the students become the teachers.

EXAMPLE: click and see an example of a daily mooc and note the massive number of student feedback COMMENTS at the end of the online class.




half a billion lessons since 1979 …