Monday, October 27, 2008

So Much To Absorb, So Little Time to Reflect

It seems like the past five weeks have been filled with an avalanche of information on technology and what is going on in the world we live in. For me this has been an "E ticket" ride through a whole new vocabulary of technological wonders. I read the articles that we were assigned as a class, take a "bird walk" to some sites that are cited in the readings, and think that this is only the tip of information going on in the world. It is almost as opening one door leads to several more doors that need to be opened for discovery.

Being a relative novice, but certainly digitally literate in technology, I find that there are so many new areas for me to explore and "play" in on the Internet, in blogs and wikis that I do not know where to begin. If I were the largest sponge that ever existed I do not think that I could take everything in such a relatively short period of time. After all five weeks in the big scheme of things is not enough time to absorb and reflect on this new body of learning.

In reading about being tech savvy, what schools can do to improve policies on digital citizenship and look at a proposal for lifelong learning that gazed into the future, the readings have taken on new meaning. The framework for 21st century learning was very succinct and spoke to some very desirable outcomes for students. It appears that the core curriculum needs to be revamped for the 21st century. Creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication become the necessary skills for individuals to learn in order to be successful in this relatively "brave new world".

I look forward to spending some quality time to reflect on what I am experiencing and continuing to experience. Reflection requires some soak time, some quite time and a long walk to nowhere in particular. I know that quality time will be set aside so that this can happen. Our group has alreadt begun using our wiki to begin the reflection space that we need to begin to work on our class project. The time at the end of class this evening was a great opportunity to begin forming an innovative and creative plan for learning in the year 2035!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Technology and Society

I reviewed the Horizon Reports for call on Oct. 6, 2008 and was overwhelmed by the wealth of resources contained in those reports. The reports had a great chronology over the past four years as to how technology is rapidly developing and growing in use. In trying to relate this to the final project for this course, i can see that there is not limit on how to design a plan for schools in 2025. As a mater of fact, the resources talk about the evolutionary development of technology in all aspects of our lives.

Communication will become instantenous and will not rely on printed material but on electronic or digital material. While we will be saving trees - we will have to rely on an "electronic memory" for anything comminicated in this amnner. The class discussion about intentionality was very helpful to me because sometimes what you say and how you say it does not strike a positive note with the audience you are addressing. I believe that you have to check for understanding and be sensitive to the listen's feelings. You may want to ask, "How did you come across?"

That being said the opportunity to design a learning plan using technology in 2025 is wide open. The possibilities are limitless to be creative, but I had not had enoufg "soak time" to begin to formulate a plan. I am sure I will get the hang of being creative before too long.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Authentic Learning

I learn best by doing. As a seque to the article about digital learning, students/learners are able via the Ineternet and technology to learn how to solve real world problems. ANother common theme is that in an authentic learning environment, "learning becomes as much social as cognitive, as much concrete as abstract, and becomescintertwined with judgment and exploration". The interpersonal connection between mentor and apprentice (protege) is key to achieving the social aspect of authentic learning.

The discipline of being able to judge the reilability of information; to be patient to follow longer arguments; to synthesize patterns; and the flexibility to work across subject and cultural boundaries allows authentic learning. What I valued most in this article was how by using technology, a researcher can perform experiments with multiple resources, collaborate with others, sustain their investigation and integrate assessment in their constructivist approach to learning. Using simulations, student created media, inquiry based learning, peer-evaluation, working with remote instruments, working with research data, and reflecting and documenting achievements further shows the importance of authentic learning.

The list of universities using authentic learning is impressive but I know for a fact that the number of university professors comfortable using this technique is a miniscul minority. Universities need to inservice their repective professorial faculty on the benefits of authentic learning and break from the tradition of lecture ad nausiam. Professors also need to develop mentor - apprentice relationships with students to "seal the deal" in developing life-long learning colleagues.