Standards for "Learning Objects"  -  Internet  "virtual" Education

"Knowledge society," "new economy," "information age" and other jargon are explained in an article by Norm Friesen: Learning Objects, the Knowledge Age and the End of the World (as we know it). (See attachment)

Read Friesen's article to understand some of the different aspects of where the social engineers are attempting to take us (globally). He challenges their claims. Very interesting reading.


Learning Objects, the Knowledge Age and the End of the World (as we know it)
Special Edition of the International Society for Technology in Education. Pp. 165-170. Draft available at:  (pdf - local)

Excerpt from "Abstract":

. . . Object-oriented approaches to educational content are necessary, we are told, because they will "help organizations face the tremendous challenges of the knowledge society and the new economy."  However, terms such as "knowledge society" or the "new economy" often merit only the briefest consideration in these discussions --if they are indeed considered at all.  This paper hopes to counteract this by explicitly examining some of the theory and implications associated with terms such as "information age," "new economy" and "knowledge revolution."  . . .

Excerpt p2:

The phrase "knowledge theory of value" is a deliberate variation on Karl Marx's "labor theory of value."  Marx understands labor --specifically physical labor-- as being a unique force in capitalist economies, the only one which is capable of "adding value" to commodities and products which can then be sold at a profit (Bottomore, 1983; 265).  Daniel Bell, as well as those that follow after him, now see knowledge as playing this essential generative, profit-making function.

Excerpt p3:

This has substantial consequences for our understandings of "knowledge" itself, as well as for its acquisition and generation in learning, education, and research.  Since knowledge is conceptualized in this context as a "power," or "force," its primary characteristic, as Polsani perceptively observes, is not related to notions of morality, enlightenment, or emancipation.  Instead, the sole "criteria for judging knowledge is its performance" (2003; emphasis in original).  

Excerpt p4:

It is at this point, though, that this line of reasoning surely grinds to a crashing halt.  For it is not by chance that the same source defining the "new economy" just above also predicted that the Dow Jones Industrial Average would reach 100,000 in two decades.  It also predicted that the annual income of the average American household would exceed $150,000 in the same time-frame.  Of course, things have been turning out to be quite different than these predictions would indicate.  For example, instead of the income of the average American family moving towards $150,000, real pay for the average US worker is "lower today than it was in 1973," with incomes at either end of the scale becoming increasingly polarized (Henwood, 2003; 86).  Another example --perhaps more directly related to the arguments of learning object advocates-- is the prediction of the insatiable demand for "knowledge workers" in the knowledge society, and a correlative demand for advanced and flexible educational forms.  A quick look at the 10 occupations with the largest job growth for 2002-12 from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics quickly dispels any simple notion of an economy of those managing and exercising knowledge as a productive force.

1. Registered nurses
2. Postsecondary teachers
3. Retail salespersons
4. Customer service representatives
5. Combined food preparation and serving
6. Cashiers, except gaming
7. Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners
8. General and operations managers
9. Waiters and waitresses
10. Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants
(US Department of Labor, 2004)   

Excerpt p4:

In general, it would seem that the new type of worker produced through the "new economy" is not the bespeckled computer geek, but rather the struggling service-sector employees featured in the documentaries of Michael Moore, or in Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (2002).

Excerpt p5:

But perhaps of more direct importance for this paper is the need to reconsider the role of knowledge as performative --as a generator of profit and economic value, and as something to be managed, exchanged and metered.  Although this understanding of knowledge purports to account for many different kinds of knowing --fluid and fixed, abstract and concrete, tacit and explicit, to name just a few-- it is actually very narrow and exclusive.  To understand what it excludes, it is useful to go back to Bell's Coming of the Post-industrial Society (1999).  In this text, he describes the creation of knowledge as occurring paradigmatically in the "community of science."  Significantly, Bell describes this community as something that is appearing for the first time in history:  "The community of science is a unique institution in human civilization" (380).  This uniqueness arises, Bell further explains, as a result of the fact that this community "has no ideology, in that it has no postulated set of formal beliefsŠ" (380).  This "universal" and "disinterested" scientific knowledge enables what Bell refers to as "technical decision-making."  "Technical decision-making," as Bell explains further, "can be viewed as the diametric opposite of ideology: the one [is] calculating and instrumental, the other emotional and expressive" (34)

Excerpt p5:

In conclusion, it is not the importance of knowledge in our current situation that this paper ultimately wishes to contest.  It is rather a question of whose knowledge it is and what kind of knowledge is deemed important, and in whose interests this knowledge is constructed --and possibly even presented as objectively given.  . . .




What is a knowledge worker?