Thursday, August 27, 2009

The "New" Education

In this new age and economy of learning, we are all faced with choices. The first choice is to use technology or not to use technology. While the specific technologies may change from grade to grade, from subject to subject or from school to school, technology in general is finding itself in every aspect of education. Technology is mentioned as ubiquitous, pervasive and transparent - terms that by themselves have specific meaning, but in the context of the classroom, the context may differ. "Not all technologies foster engaging and cognitively rich information processing and networking. Technology by itself will not empower learners. Innovative pedagogy is required" (Bonk, 2009, p. 33) (EMPHASIS ADDED). We need to think differently. We need to teach differently. Technology is now an agent of change in the classroom.

Questions to think about:
  • How can a technologically rich pedagogy alter teaching and learning?
  • If pedagogy changes, does it change because of technology?
The new and emerging technologies are being used in ways never imagined. Technology becomes a living element. Technology changes as we use it. In the classroom, the varieties of technology introduce a greater range of learning possibilities. Digital resources (another technology) are created anywhere, anytime, and by anyone. Instructors and students are finding new and innovative methods to use this new curriculum. Now, it is conceivable for content to be created, and used as it is created. This new form of content is shifting our conception of teaching and learning. "The combination of free and widely distributed educational resources with tools that enable learners to add to or comment on such resources or build entirely new ones begins to redefine what learning is - it becomes production or participation, not consumption and absorption" (Bonk, 2009, p. 42) (EMPHASIS ADDED). The dynamic nature of content requires a dynamic and fluid pedagogy.

The traditional classroom is changing. The learning space becomes dynamic, and may include any space, whether physical or virtual, where learners gather and where learning occurs. Technology becomes a primary contributor to this shift. Through technology (whether email, chat, or any number of social network platforms) time and space become blurred. "Ideas of one learner or instructor may be shared with anyone anywhere on this planet and at any time. As this occurs, educational information and resources will no longer be local but global" (Bonk, 2009, p. 44) (EMPHASIS ADDED). Learning is NOT restricted to a physical classroom, curriculum is as current as any media that is created or being created.

"While learning is being opened up to masses of people that previously did not have access, it is also opening up in new forms to those who already did. Learners of all ages are increasingly engaged in formal as well as informal learning, which is highly mobile and often ubiquitous" (Bonk, 2009, p. 49).

Questions to think about:
  • How does mobile technology create mobile learners?
  • Can structured learning be mobile as well?
Through technology we find ourselves lifelong learners.Whether structured or unstructured, technology provides us a common means of connection and communication. We connect and communicate in this world as mobile, nomadic and dynamic learners. The time and place to learn is now limitless. Technology becomes our transportation to learning and through learning.

Questions to think about:
  • Can technology be an effective agent for change in education?
  • What does change in education require from technology?

Bonk, C. (2009). The world is open: How web technology is revolutionizing education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Follow the discussion on Twitter with #worldopen tag

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...