Cultural Evolution

The sophistication of the modern world is a collective enterprise, according to Matt Ridley Humans:  Why They Triumphed – WSJ Saturday May 22. This notion validates the collaboration those in virtual worlds often make reference to.  I know that my learning has been positively impacted through the collaboration I have had with “friends” I have never met, friends who live in another time zone and in a different culture than mine.  My “experience”  is richer through my interaction with others who share my interests but not my geography.  Trade, in ancient times, caused ideas to spread and cultures to evolve – today we can trade ideas and move the evolution of culture through online  activities in virtual worlds.  What are the implications for our students?  The 21st century Pen-pal can be an avatar who works with someone from a different culture and solves problems in real-time.  Am I being overly hopeful that this would bring greater understanding between people?

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