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Pathfinding education network

Socio-cultural network for learning; pathfinding a lifetime of higher education

Photo of cecil mariani
15 13

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Education is a pathfinding life project. It should be as unique for individuals as our own life path. Higher education for the future should accommodate different path and tracks of each learners. Conventional education were cookie cutters that stops at 4 years, 2 years programs to meet some "business model". Limiting education to cost and the tyranny of traditional "market economy". Real education and self-development should keep evolving with the crowd intelligence and it can also be economically feasible. 

The idea is creating a pathfinding network platform for students to customized their unique education path and plan based on their interest, ambitions, passion and curiosity.

Pathfinding education network combine real physical classes, lectures and workshops globally with tools that enable us to visualize and take control of how we shape our individual education. 

The platform also helps traditional universities’ courses, public classes or physical classes, corporations, non-profit, community initiatives for practice to reach the public in an openly intelligent ways. Both students and Education institutions, industry and all education stakeholders may  creates better market and a more accessible quality education culture with some engine that works like an air bnb model for finding classes. Public can recommend classes and recommends students (as a new ways of having recommendation letters) 

students and practically anyone can create and follow their own and others individual education paths. 

With the help of match making algorithm within the platform, students should be able to learn in a group of intellectually compatible people who have the same agenda and interest, 

This way it is more accessible to learn from other people’s educational path, to find classes globally, To make our practice projects real. To connect directly with organizations, corporations and institutions, to focus on issues and agenda that is relevant and important to us, to be broad and to be specific and still learn as much, and also to still be able to learn conventionally by the book if one choose to. and to make milestones of knowledge during our individual lifetime visible, re-learnable, shareable, accessible and global. With technology we can match-make individual uniqueness with the most effective education they need.

Upon sign up there will be:

Enrollment Test: Personality test, aptitude and learning style test to match users with like minded peers with same interest/curiosity, research Groups

People have different ways of learning effectively. Some follows structure, some follow their curiosity, some focus on their goals and vision and work towards it, some like it hands on, some like to observe quietly. The best higher education of the future should caters these.

Everyone is a student and an educator in some ways. And life experience is the best institution, access, freedom, transparency and quantified experience is the value we create

the platform also then may give access for finding and suggesting workshops and classes both institutional related, and informal locally and internationally all can be followed and added to one’s education path timeline

Socio-Cultural platform engine

The Platform will facilitates the following interactions:

1. Network of  Students creates and start their own unique path/timeline of education shares their previous interest and inspiration for other student to follow:

discourse credit, skill credit, books, workshops, discussion group, news feed, mentors, classes, real work with certain organizations, online lectures.

Achievements are based on work published that went through public peer reviews, done not only by academicians but also for professional.

Whatever homeworks, projects and works that student published will serve as their portfolios and education repertoire.

Curiosity and work ethics will be the value that make anyone strive in education of the future.

Every students eventually can be mentors

2. Educators  create their creative syllabus paths option, create research group for students to participate, shares their previous interest, work and source of inspirations that lead them to what whoever they are now: books, discussion group, workshops, mentors, classes, real work with certain organizations, online lectures etc.

3. Inspiring figures/ Professionals share their path of how they became who they are and do what they do now. add the books that opens their mind, mentor that inspire them, workshop in certain universe

platform recommends access to books/ library, research papers, available Lectures, physical courses, online courses globally.

4. Self organized group of like minded students May decide their path for a semester, a 6 week program or other agreed timeline to study, finished and discuss a book, take a class/workshop may form a cooperative/ collective fund to fund the classes they decide to take, collaborate of projects, eventually create their own research group and classes and leave a trail of path for other group/individuals to follow, review and study.

5. Network Organizations and Education related Institutions May use the platform to find better suited students, create better programs, offer paid classes and workshop, research, syllabus to be add to someone’s path and contribute free materials to be accessible to wider audience of students while also may offering premium materials, They are also should be open to public review and criticism about their programs. They can also review students who have taken their classes for reference to other institutions or mentor's reference for better education culture.

6. Network of Industry organizations and corporations in general May offer paid positions that can be accredited as part of educational path and peer reviews the candidates educational paths and peer review in place of letters of recommendations


Knowledge and humanity towards the future will progress faster, getting more diverse and broader in spectrum and should be accesible globally to be sustainable. Institutionalized education can be such an enclosure of resources, they are rather exclusive, heavy in logistic, relatively slower to adapt and evolve to address real world issues and urgencies. Running a big institutions also can be very costly. The business model should follow human spectrum of education not human for some educational business model.

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

Everyone who loves to learn, share and produce knowlegde. Students, Educators, Professionals, Artists, Communities. Education is indeed expensive but should not be if we can tailor education based on the need of a broader human spectrum and Individual capacities and the cost also can be broken down into bite size needs, students pay for lessons based on paths that they think they really curious of, need and want, and education overall can be more accessible and real-time contested.

This idea emerged from:

  • An individual

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I am aware that right now there's rather complex of interactions and functionality need to be addressed: I can use alot of help in terms of technological development. I am open to any help to facilitates and connects this idea with people and institutions that are interested in trying out the ideas and any possible resources to actually realized it.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I can interview people in my community, educators, leaders, enterpreneur, artists for getting initial data of their educational path, books that inspire them, projects and experience that change their view of the world. This also can be done by anyone who are interested in collaborating with me.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a designer, also an educator. I experienced how hard it is to fund education I really wanted. While there's no guarantee that the institution will serve my expectations. I also have so many curiosities that is often not accessible from the education focus I took and from the industry I work for. As an educator I met many students going through education simply because they have to not because they want to.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Dinero Manero

Not everything is very clearly described as for me. How are you going to design this? Are you a developer? These are the most popular questions from investors who asked our team. After that, we realized one thing that the main thing is to give the development to a more experienced EDtech team I advise you the same.

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Photo of LaurenEbsary

I'm aspiring for a database administration career course and need to start out as well as i probably can, in terms of training, wouldn't it be well worth it for me to take an hnd in computing observed by means of an 18 month top-up route in database management by , or must i go straight for a bsc in computing and an oracle certificates of a few type?

Photo of Murphy

This is the best platform I have ever worked. Great job!

Photo of Max Noble

I second that Murphy 

Photo of Teo John

Dear Cecil,

You may want to consider Connected Learning in your pathfinder approach to education.
The principles of connected learning are as follow:
(1) Interest-Powered
(2) Production Centered
(3) Peer Supported
(4) Shared Purpose
(5) Academically Oriented
(6) Openly Networked

Please read the details from the provided URL.

Photo of cecil mariani

Hi Teo
Thank you so much for your input, your points on connected learning is definitely the principles approach I was thinking and dreaming of for the platform, we are in the same page. I felt that I have addressed these points in a simpler way but perhaps it is not enough. I guess the challenge is how to get this into action from the point of view of users, to use their language so they will get engage and find this actually useful and actionable, perhaps you have some ideas.

Photo of Teo John

Hi Cecil,

Perhaps you could read the many case study mentioned in the attached connected learning report from my posted idea .

Photo of Max Noble

Teo John , cecil mariani , Connected learning is a big part of the input for FS. The Ai will sort it. I was calling it the Global Advantage (The Plugin), it's a level each student reaches and they begin productively engaging online. and as with most parameters, it grows with the student.

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Cecil!

Great idea! It is well thought out and clear.

There are a few posts I am going to highlight that might help you get a few ideas on how to develop the platform:

(Professional) Life stories inspire for professional career paths - The Austrian company 'Whatchado' shares videos of interviews with diverse people asking the same 7 questions on their professional path
Degreed - a platform to find, track and measure informal & formal learning experiences e.g. TED talks, MOOCs, articles & discover your gaps for lifelong learningInsights of "Self-Learning" across the lifespan - One trick to this task of designing for lifelong learning is acknowledging the broad spectrum of learners at any stage in the lifespan: "all learning is self learning", teaching the skill of self-learning is critical, and the end user in this challenge really is everyone

Photo of Kate Rushton

Lucy Chen and Andrea Zelenak I would love to know your thoughts!

Photo of Andrea Zelenak

Hi Cecil! I really like this idea.

I was trying to imagine this for my own personal career path and I think it could work out.

Maybe there's a way of taking classes, ranking/rating them and that could help you determine your next step. For example, I loved woodworking, then it could suggest more furniture making classes. If I hated typography, maybe it could suggest some video or photo classes.

I think the idea of ranking skill is great as well. A lot of my friends started to do this on their resumes for different programs they're a part of. One thing I'd keep thinking of is the idea of self-taught vs. college lead. It looks like you're a graphic designer ( I love the graphics) and one discussion we had in our typography class was about online classes vs. our typography class at school. Maybe experts could rank how on-point or what expert level the classes are on? Does that make sense? A way to make sure the content is relevant.

Lastly, I love personality tests. Strength finders lead me on a path to my creative career.

Photo of cecil mariani

Hi Kate

Thank you so much for these references, the platform should definitely work together to integrate the already available research and platforms as well to make it work. At some experience points the available education platforms can be part of the network. Connected learning alliance suggested by @JohnTeo also have similarity to my idea. How do you suggest we progress from here?


Photo of cecil mariani

Dear Andrea
Thank you for your inputs and references. It really encourages me. I really appreciate it. I also thought of ranking or way to review skills and work achievements by peers. Maybe a combinations of several peer students review, several mentors review and or organizational reviews. These I imagined will be the future of certification/diplomas, something that is more organic, real, accreditations that is more human oriented not institutionally dictate. We definitely can work towards the detail if the platform is going to be realized.


Photo of cecil mariani

Dear Andrea
Thank you for your inputs and references. It really encourages me. I really appreciate it. I also thought of ranking or way to review skills and work achievements by peers. Maybe a combinations of several peer students review, several mentors review and or organizational reviews. These I imagined will be the future of certification/diplomas, something that is more organic, real, accreditations that is more human oriented not institutionally dictate. We definitely can work towards the detail if the platform is going to be realized.