I like this metaphor from today's Sydney Morning Herald..
For most of us, school was a sheltered educational pond largely removed from the wider world.
.... Now new technologies and attitudes are helping to create learning communities that encourage students to work collaboratively.
The article goes on to give examples of teachers and students working collaboratively with other schools and organisations like the Taronga Park Zoo, and universities.
The aim of such collectives is to promote public education, but the benefits go beyond publicity. Teachers say they improve camaraderie, revitalise learning and improve student attendance.