Thursday, November 29, 2007

Week 14 - Musings on Musings of the Future of Education

Random inspiring thoughts that made me think:

Karen rightly says: "In OER, there are more discussions about licenses, standards, and metadata than there are about content, learners, and outcomes. I believe that this needs to change if the OER is to be successful in fulfilling its enormous potential" Agree fully....which leads to the points below:

Acidscorpio had a great point: "I feel the place [OER] will have the most impact is on the casual learner." Really, the casual learner is how the majority of us operate in our work following our formal education - meaning that it really impacts on society. It is funny how the casual learning experience is virtually ignored by the education field, except for some adult education fields looking at nonformal and informal learning. Should we be starting to track the casual learning experiences more? Does anyone know of work done in this area?

Antonio made me re-think about the role of the university - by comparing the "competency-based universities" with the "University-as-a-community". As I commented on his site: I mean, I look at my field/research, which is on how civil societies affect education policy in developing countries. How on earth could there be a "competency-based" test on this?? Knowledge growth is all about university-as-a-community!! His comments made me think deeper, and realize that competency-measures often are just replicating "banking knowledge" or "tabula rasa".

Elisa wrote about the cultural, legal and sustainability aspects required for the future of OERs. She mentions, in particular, that the Italians in this course have created a wiki to develop this further. It got me thinking: why the Italians? what is it about this community that has fostered this? what do other communities need to grow? Why is not a similar community forming in Germany or Bulgaria, or Korea...and what can we learn/borrow from the Italians to form these communities elsewhere??

Yu-chun spoke about accessing "free materials with high quality." I think it is important to remember that PUBLIC LIBRARIES have been around for a long time - offering similar services. It is not the access to free materials that makes OERs incredible, but the ability to borrow and mold materials easily into an alternate format. I loved her comments on the changes to teaching styles that OERs will entail.

Stian's beautiful point: "
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if universities didn’t have the role to sort people, but rather to make all students learn and improve their own skills and understanding, and the way you proved to a company that you were worth hiring as by the actual work that you had done." Agreed. Totally (except that young people with no experience would still be caught in the catch-22 - no experience = no work; no work = no experience). But wonder how it will be financed...I agree that it can be, with, as Stian argues, a shift of priorities. But how can we encourage that shift?

I really liked Thieme's musings (towards the end of his blog) about what the future would be like, staring with: "The shift from a teacher-centered university, with professors standing on a stage and transferring knowledge, towards a learner-centered university happened slowly but steadily, when experts are no longer able to transfer knowledge any better than high quality video and multimedia learning materials." Is that really the only role of the prof?? to transfer knowledge??

One final comment: I really like the idea of having Open Ed, and all kinds of resources online - and am so happy that opportunities are arising. But does anyone else just get absolutely SICK OF BEING ON THE COMPUTER??? My job requires me to spend most of the day writing and researching online. It worries me that the future will see even more of this. I enjoy my job. But sometimes I much prefer a good book, a good phone call, a good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction. I find that sometimes I "trib" much better in these environments. Does anyone else agree??

1 comment:

robmba said...

On being sick of being on the computer all the time, as I post around midnight, trying to finish off this class...I'm pretty much on the computer all the time, and if I'm not near a traditional computer, I have my smartphone on my belt that's just as good.

I definitely need to get out and play more volleyball next semester.