"From astronomy to activism, from surfing to saving lives, Pro-Ams - people pursuing amateur activities to professional standards - are an increasingly important part of our society and economy."The reason I say education and technology is that many of these people (and most of the edubloggers included) are learning this stuff on their own. Perhaps much of the information they're finding is online, and maybe they're connecting with experts and resources through the web as well. There's something so authentic about this kind of learning -- people following their passions to the point where their hobbies are giving them professional-level skills and knowledge in fields traditionally reserved for people with framed degrees and diplomas on their walls.
This brings up all kinds of potential issues and opportunities for educational institutions -- what about a new relationship with credentials, prior learning assessment (PLA) and e-portfolios that recognizes that people can learn as much (or more) out there in the real world?
Via Pat Kane.
Update: A great essay version apppeared in Fast Company, along with a contrary blog post I mostly disagreed with (read my cantankerous comment at the bottom). You can also download the entire report (315kb PDF). Oh, and one more article from the creator of Twinkler.