Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thinking About Rethinking it all . . . but I really just want to be playing.

It’s that time of year . . . meaning the time of year I try to take a few weeks off before the chaos of we call summer on The Eighth Floor!  Unfortunately, it’s not looking like I will get to be entirely work free. I have a new class I am going to have to create during my time off, but hey, I don’t have to drive into work to do it, right. Someone suggested the other day that I just rely on the book this first time around . . . really? Show me a book on this stuff, please.
Whatever.  I have some things I want to talk about because I have to get them out of my head and into someone else’s so that I can concentrate on my task at hand and get this darn class finished so I can golf and enjoy my time away from work!  If I am nothing else, I am a sharerer.
So, here’s the stuff:  In my research, I have run across many interesting ideas about where online education and technology integration and digital literacy are going, but I don’t feel like I can afford the time to really investigate and think about it right now.  So, I thought I would take it to the tribe for conversation.  (Love that word – check out this Seth Godin video if you want to know how ideas move these days http://blog.ted.com/2009/05/11/why_tribes_not/ )
First topic – Online Education.  Recently, I commented that we are better at online education now because we know better.  We have learned things like self-paced and one-size-fits all computer based training blows.  (Let’s call a turkey a turkey, okay – I’m short on time.) We now subscribe to the idea that community in an asynchronous learning environment is a must.  So, now I am wondering what we will learn next about online learning.  Will we learn that putting content in a virtual environment and creating community around it isn’t really all that great?  Can we be using online space better? Will we ever get a handle on blended learning?  Will we ever quit calling it blended learning – maybe just . . . learning?
Second topic – Rethinking the definition of teacher, learning, classroom, education . . . you get the idea – just rethinking.  There is so much talk about rethinking our educational system.  Okay.  There are some seriously compelling arguments to be made. But, no one seems to have any answers that don’t, in the mean time, harm the “learner. “  Many argue that schools as we know them have reached their limits in terms of real student learning.  Are we producing “knowers” and nothing even close to actual “learners”?   Is that likely truth a result of our blind focus on standardization?
I’m trying to see into the future – crazy, I know. But I thought I’d see if there was any conversation.
Just thinkin’
Lee Anne
FYI – many of my questions come from Will Richardson’s blog, Weblogg-ed.