Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Ten years is a long time in learning technology?


This post is part of FDOL course, I read 2 of the suggested papers . . .

Online learning: it is all about dialogue, involvement, support and control- according to the research by Marion Coomey* and John Stephenson available here

Openness, Dynamic Specialization, and the Disaggregated Future of Higher Education, by David Wiley, John Hilton, available here

Cultures of Digital Research
Firstly the 2 documents are written in two very different styles, using almost opposite methodologies and styles. 'Online Learning' is seeking to support practice and identify benefits. It uses systematic methods to categories and collect benefits and 'tips' for practice from 100 other papers. It believes the gap between adoption can be filled with with these tips.

'Openness' by contrast feels bombastic, ideas are gathered from many places to give some kind of vision.
"People are more connected to people, content is more connected to content, and systems are more connected to other systems than ever before."
You could say exactly the same statement at any time in human history, surely.
The future in this paper is something that has to be addressed, and change is massive and wholesale. Adoption of practice is replaced by a need for urgency to remain 'relevant'.

Both papers suffer from the weaknesses of their approach, and perhaps point to a larger weakness in the limited ways we have to describe and demonstrate learning technology and learning research. 

Relevance is mentioned 7 times in 'Openness' but there seems little discussion of what it is to be relevant. This theme is still with Higher Education, and the active experimentation that this paper calls for is one way of seeking the answer, but there are others. There needs to be a far great, deeper and louder discussion on the importance of the values that underlie the relevance we seek.

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