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Who is the Learner?
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Concluding Thoughts on Education 2020
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Denver School of Science and Technology
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Michael Wesch-Digital Ethnography
Model Future - Telepathic and Telekinetic
is an international consulting group made up of Carla Cross, Karen Hamilton, Debbie Plested and Mary Rezk.
Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) are changing traditional physical communities and creating more global and social networks. Now and in the future, understanding how to traverse, contribute to, and benefit from these global networks will be a fundamental requirement. A key objective of educational systems should be to foster global citizenship. With these ideals in mind, our group created the portmanteau
to highlight the importance of the fusion of education, citizenship and community. The group provides advice and practical knowledge on meaningful integration of technology in P-16 learning spaces.
proposal, we will prepare an innovative design and rationale for the school/learning environment of 2020 for the U.S. Department of Education. Specifically, we will articulate to the key stakeholders--administrators, teachers, parents, students, funding agencies -- the critical issues that will define the future of teaching and learning.
While the world has moved to a more open economy and new technologies have facilitated the death of distance, businesses and individuals are awakening to the opportunities presented by collaboration and connectivity. Yet the world of education has remained largely unchanged. Although some schools have adopted new technologies and attempted to be innovative, more often than not, technologies have been adopted without considering pedagogy or teacher training. Serious underfunding of many schools has created systemic barriers that result in a system that does not provide equal opportunity and access for everyone. While many teachers have endeavored to be innovative within their own classrooms, enforcement of standardized tests has handcuffed teachers and hijacked the curriculum. Even though some schools and teachers have tried to create more collaborative classrooms and attempted to include families in the learning process, the role of the school and the teacher has remained largely unchanged. Many argue that the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) inhibits creativity and diminishes the role of the teacher. The NCLB's incentives and penalties tend to place blame on teachers rather than narrowly focused curriculum and underfunded systems. It also creates an environment which may encourage school boards and districts to manipulate test results. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 test results show that American students are falling behind. Out of the 30 richest countries in the world, U.S.15 year-olds rank 16th in science and 23rd in math, and the other disciplines are not faring better. Given the current state of education and the rapid growth of technology, evolutionary change is not sufficient.
asserts that the educational environment is overdue for a revolution.
A Vision for 2020
believes that the path to the future of learning does not include a one size-fits all solution or an either/or plan. Education will break outside the traditional walls of the classroom and technological advancements will create an increasingly complex world where educators, learners and communities will use a variety of methods to learn together. While learning will certainly need to be collaborative, learner centred and authentic, it will also have to be more personalized to be effective for an increasingly diverse population. Curriculum will need to consider the whole learner with project based learning that includes cross disciplines. Both collaborative and authentic learning will be used to promote global and digital citizenship.
Our group believes that the future is less about hierarchy in education and more about partnerships in the areas of curriculum, learning spaces and sustainability. Those partnerships should include administration, teacher, learner, community, business and government. Our name
reflects our vision. To create the revolutionary change that is needed in education, work will need to be done to create disruptive innovations. Already online education is opening up new markets and disrupting traditional models of learning. Students born into an "open" world are demanding the use of open and available materials. As active participants in their education, their lives have already been disrupted by an open world. Just as traditional media is under threat from free and open content, so too is education. In order to compete and survive in an open world,
suggests that education needs to promote openness and sharing. Rather than just accepting change, education needs to be the change and lead the change. With strong community partnerships and by positioning educational institutions as the leading facilitators in a network of learning, a more synergistic ecosystem can be created.
To meet the needs of learners in this complex future,
believes that educators will need to foster students' critical thing skills and their desire to become life long learners. Teachers and learners will become partners in learning. No longer at centre stage, teachers will be the facilitators and catalysts for learning. Teaching, learning and classroom interaction will not be limited by the physical boundaries of the four classroom walls. Although physical learning spaces will still exist, alternative delivery models and virtual spaces will continue to evolve. Learning will not only include formal education during a specific point in time-- It will take place over a lifetime, in our workplaces, the communities we live in, and the social networks we participate in. Through partnerships within communities, learning will be both inside and outside the classroom in the real and virtual worlds. With the movement towards more authentic project-based learning, the classroom will be increasingly mobile with digital devices and mobility within classrooms. As more and more learning takes place in the digital world, there will be a strong focus on the importance of digital citizenship. Schools will need to become mulit-use facilities that foster learning, relationships, community health, and citizenship.
With a future that promises decreased budgets and rapidly evolving technology, educational institutions will need to adapt to change through collaboration, differentiation and restructuring. Smart partnerships will need to be developed between educational institutions, business, and community to share resources and infrastructure. Funding will still come from government, but increasingly money will need to come from the community and industry. Those seeking funding will need to consider the emerging technological trends and sound pedagogical principles that encourage authentic learning for the whole learner. All those involved in education will need to model continuous learning through professional development and personal learning networks.
To begin our journey, let
Sir Ken Robinson
tell us about
Changing Educational Paradigms:
Next up, read
About EduCitizenship 2020 and Education 2020
or go directly to
Who is the Learner?
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