Wednesday, March 25, 2015

ED 722 Week 12

 What do you think about iNACOL’s New Learning Models Vision? Are there limitations or disadvantages to such an approach? Is it feasible? Do you find that there are advantages for you as you create your own environments?

The Matrix of Data

When I read advertisements about perfect learning environments like the ones portrayed in the iNACOL article, I feel the cynicism rising up into my brain, like acid poured on a beautiful painting. I step back and force myself to remember that great ideas start with dreams. iNACOL is doing important work.
Image by geralt on Pixabay

Positives: personalization, opportunity to learn at child's own pace, instant feedback, flexible teaching and learning, 24/7 learning opportunities, supports for educators
Worries: flexible staffing, 24/7 tutoring, funding follows the student, year-round learning, progression based on mastery

It will take a lot of work to steer our education system away from the industrial model and toward relevant, personalized learning. As a high school teacher, I observe students who are unable to function without explicit one-on-one instructions and feedback from a teacher about the minutest detail of every aspect of an assignment. Teachers are frustrated by the unmotivated students that our public school systems has created.  Common core and blended learning can be wonderful tools to unlock students' potential, but teachers need to buy into it. I am looking forward to a time when incoming students who have experienced aligned curriculums come through the doors.

Some of the benifits are also worries. It is convenient for students to have their teachers on call 24/7, but is it reasonable for staff? Will flexible staffing mean less teachers with more qualifications? With a focus on mastery, what happens when students do not progress with their peers? Are we expecting utopia?

If this is to come about, there will be serious growning pains. I believe the results will be worth the effort. I see myself as a resource to staff to try new ways of teaching using technology. If I had not enrolled in the IT&DML program, I would be paralyzed right now.

The New Media Consortium Horizon Project Preview was written in 2013. We are in 2015, and the Consortium was on target. Schools have embraced cloud computing and mobil learning is spreading rapidly. Although this has been brewing steadily, the advent of Google Classroom has really made things "pop." 

Big data in education (LOVE that explanation!), officially known as learning analytics, has also taken root. We have had "data teams" in place for a couple of years and teachers, at least in my school, attach data to their SLOs. Using learning platforms like Google Classroom and Schoology encourage open content, though I think most teachers are unaware of Creative Commons licensing.

The final two big shifts, 3D printing and Virtual and Remote Laboratories, are still cutting edge. Personally, I am not sure we need 3D printers. We have one in our school. I will make a point to introduce myself this spring. Virtual labs have been popular for frog dissection and other small things for quite some time. It will be interesting to see how remote labs come to fruition. I expect that in higher education.

There are huge changes taking place due to the vast, unmanageable amounts of data making its way onto the internet daily. I believe it is important that educators learn how to manage the data themselves, a nd teach their students how to filter and use the information responsibly. One side affect of this flood of information is the mistrust of experts. Not everyone, even someone who has discovered massive amounts of content on a subject, can be an expert in any field. I have a friend who is a doctor and researcher. He finds that his young-adult students, used to being considered experts, pay little attentiong to mentors in their field because they feel they know it all. To me, this reflects our general lack of respect for authority, be it age, experience or knowledge, that our society instills in their offspring.

Here is a link to this week's STORIFY.

iNACOL's New Learning Model Vision, InternationalAssociation for K-12 Online Learning, 2013
NMC New Horizons Project 2013: K-12 Edition, New Media Consortium, 2013

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