Open learning has promise and will contribute to education in the future. To me, that is not the essential question. The question should be how profound an effect will it have on education? Educators and Hypesters (a pun on hipsters) are always looking for the next new tool that will take over education to make it easy and flawless. The actual reality is tools do come out that have a profound effect on changing education, but nothing has risen to the level of revolutionizing education. It is still and messy and difficult business. Once you realize that truth you can take all the hype and put in perspective. When a new technology comes out, I look to see how it might help me with my job and how it might help students learn.
The second educational truth is that one size does not fit all! I am a Principal in a small school with declining enrollment, but I am eternally grateful that our students have access to online, alternative schools, charter schools, blended learning, flipped learning, GED, home schools and open source learning. I would like to be able to meet the needs of all students, but the structure of a traditional school doesn’t allow me to do that. I end up referring many student each year to these other options and I enjoy seeing these students be successful in a different location.
The point of that paragraph above is that Open Source Learning has its place like all the other options listed above. With how education is structure now, it won’t be taking over the world any time soon, but it will still have an impact. Unfortunately, you still need a diploma or some credential to do a job and that will be a large limiting factor to Open Source Learning. I do see this as a very powerful tool for people who need more training in a job they are already doing. They can get the education they need to move up or out.
For those people who don’t know what Open Learning is, it is a (mostly) free online learning environment for both college and professional development. (2015, https://www.openlearning.com/About) Some courses are provided or you can create your own course. The most famous version of Open Source Learning is provided by MIT. They offer all of their courses for free online. If you need to learn or are just interested this is a great opportunity. If you need a degree you will still have to pay to get the credential. You can find out more information on this at http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm.
Here is short video on Open Learning if you are interested. This video was found at https://youtu.be/cmixkhEkQp4.
MIT Open Courseware. (2016). Retrieved on 5-25-16 at 8:50 am. Found at http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm.
Open Learning Welcome Video. Retrieved on 5-25-16 at 8:40 am. Found at https://youtu.be/cmixkhEkQp4.
I admit that I got a slow start getting going with this class since this is one of the busiest times of the year for me, but I found the discussion stimulating. I completed my first assignment from a dark hotel room in Palmer at about 11:00 pm on the 19th because I was helping with the region track championships. I am usually very efficient completing work, but the couple of times I tried to start the class I found it very difficult to find the assignment and figure out what to do. Going from program to programs feels very disjointed and isn’t very intuitive for me. I admit, I like the ease and simplicity of using blackboard. I am familiar with it and know how it works. I will withhold my judgment to this new learning system as an exercise of growth mindset and see how the class goes.
Most of what I learned was getting back up to speed with taking a college class. It has been a couple of years since my last class and it is summer. Both conspired to help make my first assignment weak. Luckily Sara L. reminded me to post references from her example. I have also had to relearn the habit of doing a little every day or it can be too much. Waiting till the last day is not a sustainable strategy to complete the entire class.
I did found the discuss about past emerging technologies to be stimulating. I remember when cell phones first came out and it is interesting to see what happened to some of those old ET technologies. I found other students views on emerging technologies to help widen my perspective. I really wasn’t interested in social media ET’s until a couple of student mentioned them. I made me rethink about social media and its influence on education. These new emerging technologies take up a large amount of my time as an administrator.
Overall it was a productive week and my next assignments will be of a higher quality.
The answer the question, “What is emerging Technology?” seems like it should be easy to answer. The fact that it is our week one topic lends me to believe it is not so simple. The fact that George Veletsianos wrote and article about and discusses this in his book also lets me know that hat people can’t agree on a definition. I do appreciate the fact the in his article George asked his readers for help the improve his definition for ET.
George explained that emerging technologies can be new or old technology, older technology can still be growing or evolving, technology go through cycles of hype and ET are mostly technology that hasn’t met its potential.
My personal definition of ET as it relates to education is technology that may some day improve education, but may not be useful yet. This technology can be piloted or tested, but you have to be wary of the Hype cycle the George warned about. It is easy to spend hard earned money and get nothing from it. ET is more about potential, watching how other use it and then carefully applying it once it is proven.
NMC Horizon Report K-12 edition. Retrieved May 19, 2016 from http://www.nmc.org/publiccation/nms-horizon-report-2015-k-12-edition/
Veletsianos, G. (2016). A definition of emerging technologies for education. Retrieved on May 19, 2016 from http://www.veletsianos.com/2008/11/18/a-definition-of-emerging-technologies-for-education/
Hi. This is a test post. Don’t worry, there will be more to come.