Tuesday, October 25, 2005

ELearn 2005 - Think about the future

Jonathon Levy’s talk “The Future Isn't What It Used To Be: Why The Next Generation of Online Learning Resets Everything to Zero!” was very interesting indeed. Even though it was pointed to the corporate audience (and not very many of them raised their hand in the morning poll) the session was essentially standing room only. – an interesting thing happens at conferences – often standing room only means that about half the seats are empty as people take up seats in such manner as to leave space… note to hotels stagger your classroom seating! – What I got from his talk is that preparing knowledge workers, what many of the people who gradate from university will be and certainly what teachers are, needs to focus on context based learning. It is not possible to train for what we know, that would be training for the past, we need to get them ready to react to situations and seek out knowledge from sources that are available to them. I don’t know if this is really that new, but it certainly hasn’t been heard in the right circles. Teaching is nothing if not learning in context (for that matter so is computing, so this fits technology integration as well) so why are we emphasizing the past so much – some context is certainly required, but maybe that should be reconsidered as well. Ideally, a learner would be able to shape their own means of knowledge “harvesting” and there would be a system to support it. Much like many hundreds of years ago, one only needed a great library to have all the supporting knowledge for almost any context, today we need to know how to do the same. The problem is that the library is much bigger and we can’t always figure out what the context is all the time. Technorati Tags: , ,