Shifted Learning is designed for the next generation of learners. Learners as digital craftspeople. We are dedicated to exploring the concept of guild as something between personal learning network and professional learning community, along with the element of an online third place for individuals to congregate.

We are currently building on the foundation of a “guild”. To do this, we want to provide an online place for real-time discussions, professional networking, reading, sharing, and events.

Shifted Learning is not about collecting friends and followers. It’s about providing connections to anyone interested in learning: pre-service teachers, K20 teachers & administrators, professional development specialists, leaders, parents, and those who aren’t a part of traditional schooling but still have the will and drive to explore learning online.

We are committed to organizing individuals, inspiring them to be the best in the world, challenging them to work more effectively than any other group in the world, providing them with the benefits of collective effort and, together, changing the meaning of what it means to be a learner. While many will struggle in a changing world, our members will drive the change rather than wait for it to come to them.

Centuries ago, craftspeople rarely worked for a company. They were contracted for a period of time and then moved on to their next gig. To remain competitive in such an atmosphere, people formed guilds, or organizations designed to provide networking, ongoing training, standards, certification, and even social connections among their members.

As the industrial age emerged, many guilds faded as machines replaced much of their work. Workers contracted for much longer periods of time (we called this employment), often their entire career, to one employer who took care of everything from tools to health care. These days are quickly going away.

Today, many have returned to forms of contract labor. Successful workers are much more akin to craftspeople than to employees. Many work as subcontractors on projects and move on. Our ability to continue this cycle depends on our ability to network with others in our field and to continually learn, unlearn, and relearn in a world that is quickly shifting.

In addition to the nature of work shifting, we have a bunch of free time on our hands. Take a look Shirky’s work around Cognitive Surplus. Of course we can, and will, debate this, but the idea still remains. Collectively, we throw a load of time and attention at Twitter, Google Reader, Facebook, etc.  We want to begin collecting spare cycles and turn them into something.