Welcome to a new term, concept, and definition. Welcome to the “cognitosphere”.
Our world is comprised of four major, highly integrated environmental systems: the atmosphere includes the gases that surround the Earth; the hydrosphere includes all of the water on the planet; the lithosphere represents all of the rock and hard material of the Earth’s crust, mantle, and core; and the biosphere includes all living entities on our world. This is not an opinion; it is science. There are only these four global systems. Our learning pond, the ecosystem model for schools, is part of a global, integrated, and interconnected system of knowledge that includes both the process and products of learning (cognito is Latin for learning). The other major spheres have been in place for billions of years; the cognitosphere is being born and developed right now because for the first time in human history we are achieving a critical mass of real-time interconnectedness. The bits have always been out there but the processes to connect them have been slow and inefficient. We are all part of this development and have a unique chance to help get it right.
The cognitosphere includes both the body of knowledge as it exists and evolves, and the process of creating, teaching, transferring, managing, and learning that knowledge. Knowledge is based on the human experience and therefore includes both content and skills. It represents the total of all the answers to all the questions that have been asked in the past, as well as the process of asking questions that will create new knowledge in the future.
This system includes, and will increasingly optimize, an extraordinary, and currently untapped, neural network of educators, students, media, businesses, parents and grandparents. 1,000 years ago information was created in small, isolated villages or towns and transferred around the fires at night. Today and in the future, this village fire is world-wide, fluid, permeable, dynamic, creative, collaborative, instantaneous, democratic, and constantly in a state of rapid evolution. K-12 education is one critical part of the cognitasphere, a system that will increasingly connect each of our learning ponds to all of the other learning ponds on the planet, including those ponds that no longer exist (knowledge that pre-dates us), and those that will exist in the future (knowledge centers that have not yet come into being), that will be impacted by what our ponds do in the present.