Cappuccino U

I love those serendipitous moments on the Web. I happened across Helge Scherlund’s blog via Technorati and noticed a post recommending the e-book, Cappuccino U, available from Spotted Cow Press. This short, CC-licensed book is by Jerome Martin, of Edmonton, Alberta and it is a pleasant flow of a read that discusses formal education, personal learning and the role of third-spaces. It’s a great introduction to learning for the 21st century:

This e-book is about a new style of learning in which innovative people have combined new information technology with traditional ways of learning to develop a new, personally-driven approach to learning. It happens predominantly in “the third place”, a location that is neither home nor office. The third place is usually a coffee house, one which is designed to serve this particular audience.

People gather in their favourite third places to work, relax, visit and learn. They work independently and in groups. Some of them use computers which may or may not be linked to the web. Some are taking courses online; others are writing books like this one.

This is Cappuccino U.


8 Responses to “Cappuccino U”

  1. Jennifer Nicol

    Cappicuno U (FABULOUS name!) is indeed a pleasant read, and provides a lovely description of learning outside the traditional channels.

    I have copied down the sentence about how we “will continue to look for new knowledge, not just because it is useful to us but because we have an instatiable desire to learn and become better at what we do.” Nicely said, and a great learner model to base learning materials on! (Never occurred to me to check out Oprah’s book club, but now I intend to).

    But while this generation may have created the name “informal learning”, let us not pretend we invented the practice! Folks have been learning every which way since learning began. Cappucino and coffee-shops are simply the new venues and metaphors.

    I always wonder what the coffee-shop owners think about the legions of laptops occupying hours of table-space for the price of a coffee. I prefer to frequent the wifi-free coffee shops, because I find it a bit alienating to stare into the hardtops of someone else’s laptop.

    And who’s kidding who? How many people have the discpline to focus on their work in public? Pas moi! Although I went to university before the days of laptops (I did write my essays on my roomsate’s Osborne II!), I spent many a hour “studying” at Montreal’s many Van Houte coffee shops. I certainly overheard many interesting, sometimes odd, conversations, and probably learned a lot from them. But from my reading? Not much.

    Like golf ruins a nice walk, I think work can ruin a great coffee shop.

  2. Rollen

    London, ON, just witnessed the birth of a new coffee house downtown called “the Coffee Office,” with cubicles available and meeting rooms. I imagine it’ll be busy come exam time, though it was quiet last Friday, even with the World Junior Championships on.

    Oh, and it’s just up the block from a Starbucks and near the Market with its two coffee shops and a Tea Haus. Maybe downtown London will gain a critical mass of third spaces soon…


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