LECTURE theatres could be a thing of the past, as students watch lectures at home, on the bus and anywhere else they can get internet access. And their disappearance could take the theatre out of universities, an Adelaide forum heard this week.
“A lot of my colleagues don’t like it, but we have to think about it,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology chancellor Eric Grimson told the forum. “What’s our job? Am I an orator or am I an educator? Is it about broadcast, or is it about shared learning?”
What is clear is that major changes in the way we teach post-secondary students are being triggered by online learning and the new technologies that increase flexibility in, and access to, post-secondary education.
In looking at what these pedagogical changes are and their implications for students, faculty, staff, and institutions, we consider:
Some key developments in online learning and how they impact our understanding of pedagogy;Applications of these developments through highlighting innovations in Ontario colleges and universities from the Pockets of Innovations Series on the Ontario Online Learning Portal for Faculty & Instructors; andSome questions about changes in pedagogy and in student learning.
"The NMC and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) jointly released the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition at a special session at the ELI Annual Meeting 2014. This eleventh edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report is new this year, providing these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership and practice."
In summary, we’ll have another contentious year. We’ll see big growth in higher education services from outside of the university sector, a continued gnashing of teeth from established providers. Some new services and platforms will emerge to cater for different forms of learning, MOOCs will evolve and improve and open badges will be hot. Look out for rhizomatic learning.
I once sat on an interview committee in which the candidate proudly proclaimed that to integrate technology her students would use word processors and publish their work in a monthly book. My toes instantly curled. It wasn’t so much that she had used the words “word processor” but rather that she thought tech integration meant to have students type on a computer and then publish their work, that that would make them ready for this century of jobs. So a couple of things come to mind whenever we discuss tech integration in schools.
As status-seeking managers multiply, they pervert the university's core mission, Alan Ryan laments
The difficulty is not that resistance is futile, but that the real remedy is for universities and colleges to be self-governing communities where academics themselves do most of the administrative chores. And anyone who has had to twist his colleagues' arms to help with such things knows that our own unwillingness to take back the institutions that employ us is one of the major reasons for the deanlets' population explosion.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
One wonders if we are seeing a trend towards the same sort of transition in Australia. With the reliance on big data and a preference for automated personalisation it beomces more likely that adminstrators control the learning experiences of students. Myopic economic view may be satisfied but long term outcomes are far from certain.
Education taking on the aspect of commodity means students at universities have become “customers”; the teachers and the institutions are the “providers”.
If the customers are not always right in this environment, they will often insist that that they are. They are paying fees, wracking up debt. They want value for money. Not necessarily to sit in lecture theatres. Education provision becomes more of an off-the-shelf environment. Just put the lecture notes on the internet please. On if they have to listen to lectures, the lecturer must be a good performer. A lecturer I once had on Soviet politics, a dour communist who nevertheless tried to be scrupulously objective, with his expositions full of the most tedious detail, wouldn’t cut the mustard.
"A new era of personalized professional development is sweeping into schools. We've created this guide to capture the extraordinary changes in PD tools and in the cycle of learning. We look here at tools that support how teachers engage with colleagues; that help teachers learn or find support for implementing fresh strategies and approaches; and that measure how that learning impacts practice in the classroom."
We are pleased to announce the Learning Revolution Conference, online and free, April 21 - 24, 2014. Our goal is to bring together people who are thinking about learning from our important learning places: the school, library, museum, work, adult, online, non-traditional, and home learning worlds.
We want to explore and bridge the conversations about learning that are common to these worlds, including: learning theory, learning practice, learning science, learning space design, and technology for learning. What are we "learning about learning?" The Internet is shifting the boundaries of these worlds and we believe that they will increasingly overlap and integrate. We also believe that conversations across these boundaries are critical to framing and preparing for the learning revolution starting to take place.
Most of us agree, change is inevitable. Yet the change we are experiencing today, due to the digital revolution, is accelerating as never before. As a result, today’s students need to know how to anticipate and influence their rapidly approaching future in a systematic and useful way.
Teach the Future, a collaborative of educators and community partners, has been created for exactly that purpose.
To achieve deeper engagement, different approaches are required. Engagement is often ambiguous, tough to define and therefore problematic to measure/quantify.
Engagement is not a synonym for motivation or conformity. It also involves self-discovery, collaborative intent, it is attuned to emotional investment and personalised to embrace passion and interest – a lot of things PISA find difficult to measure. It is also rigorous, but not excessive to the detriment of wellbeing. Engagement in learning connects to real-world contexts, bringing relevance and horizontal connection to learning in other areas.
“People are almost in this Matrix-like existence,” says education thought-leader Steve Hargadon. “They don’t question schooling. How do you tell a story that opens the door to rethinking what people have believed for decades?
Hargadon thinks one way change agents get tripped up is by promoting a particular model, rather than a process by which people can develop (or adopt) models that best fit their needs. He considers deep, meaningful conversations a useful starting point for people to use to shape the future, and to that end, he’s planning to host a series of national conversations in 2014 that probe the deeper questions around education and can serve as models for conversations people initiative in their own communities.
Success in today’s world of intense global competition and rapid technological change demand mastery of problem-solving, communication and language skills, which are not treated as a priority in most schools within the region.
If the majority of content taught in classrooms does not comply with the needs of the employment market, as the report said quoting a recent poll conducted among students in GCC countries, then it is an issue to be pondered over and taken seriously by the MENA countries. Saudi Arabia can take the lead in the venture as it is considered a role model in the region.
Many educators agree: our education system needs an update. Too many youth see no clear connection between school and life beyond the classroom. Moreover, the skills most needed to succeed in the modern age - such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication - are not easily measured on a standardized test.
Connected Learning revitalizes the educational process by forging links between students' academic studies, their personal passions, and opportunities to engage with peers who support and share their interests. As a result, Connected Learning can create new pathways to college, career and civic pursuits.
A hands-on approach to teaching and learning in AP 50 helps Harvard undergraduates learn the foundational concepts in physics by applying them to real-world ...
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Mazur, a Harvard professor and a thirty-year veteran of teaching university Physics discovers the efficacy and simple joy of student-centred learning.
Ho-hum to the many who've already chosen this path and shocking to the most conservative university educators. Even those of us who "ho-hum" still feel some joy in witnessing others finding this simple shift in thinking and practice.