Week Ten Reflection

Educational change is a phrase that has been batted around for the last fifty years.  Has anything changed?  Are we doing business any differently that we did in say, the 1970’s?  I have come to realize that change is happening, but not due to the focus of our educational system but due to the fact that online learning has become a reality and the market has driven the change.  Education has always been a closed system, apparently impenetrable and impervious to real change.  We have the same type of school schedule.  We are teaching, generally using the same methods.  We are picking kids up with the bus and dropping them off with the bus and it is the bus schedule that drives our system.  That is incredible.  Online learning has taken the keys away from the educational kingdom and has opened up the market.  Once a market is free, the quality of the product tends to get better since the free-market concept demands change and improvement, whether the system wants it or not.

Public education has been stale for a long time, and no amount of money was going to breach the walls of tradition and conformity.  Online learning has and is doing it.  Competition breeds quality.  My brick and mortar system is no longer the only show in town.

Week Ten – Essential Question: How can we manage the change that is inherent in our distance learning efforts?

It is difficult to overcome a century of traditional educational behavior.  Teachers, students, parents, school boards, and administrators will talk about, “stepping out of the box” but the minute someone does just that, all of the traditionalists demand conformity and requires that we get right back in.  The establishment is like that.  It likes clichés, names and customs, and talks the talk of visionaries, but the true visionary lives and works outside the structure that has entrenched itself for over a century.

The beauty of online and blended education along with the rapid advancement of the technological age is that real change is happening by and with real visionaries outside the structure.  Education as it has been known, is no longer in charge of, well, the future of education.

Part of this change and transformation is the expectation of those involved. Teachers need to acquire a wider viewpoint. Administrators must release control. Parents and boards will need to understand that the learner of today is not the learner that they may recognize and they will have to move forward with faith.  The student of today must recognize that he has “a greater deal of autonomy” (Brown, 2016),  and he must realize that “the greater autonomy puts more responsibility for learning on the student” (Brown, 2016).

Online as well as “blended learning environments offer students the ability to interact with other students and experts, as well as for students to pursue personalized trajectories for projects”(Brown, 2016).   It is in this offering, the environment and the attitudes must match the goals and the changing structure.  Moore (2012) says that cell phone for example are more often than not banned in the classroom, even though, the personal hand-held device is the computer of the future.  The old adage that with greater freedom comes great responsibility.  Students will need to learn the art of time discipline and management, and these lessons are not going to come to fruition right away, but with time and with the transformation of the learning system from teacher-centered to student-centered, and the when all parties realize that the child is in charge of his learning, then the flexibility to engage in more interactive learning (Brown, 2016)will become a reality.

Brown, S. W., Lawless, K. A., & Riel, J. (2016, August 1). LISTENING TO THE TEACHERS: USING WEEKLY ONLINE TEACHER LOGS FOR ROPD TO IDENTIFY TEACHERS’ PERSISTENT CHALLENGES WHEN IMPLEMENTING A BLENDED LEARNING CURRICULUM. Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(2), 169-200. Retrieved November 8, 2016, from http://www.learntechlib.org/c/JOLR

Moore, M. G. (2012). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning, 3rd Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved fromhttps://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781133715450/

Wagner, E., PHD. (2016, June 27). A Little Online Learning Is A Good Thing [Web log post]. Retrieved November 8, 2016, from http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/read/blog/

 

Week Nine Reflection

This week’s study caused was enlightening in that maybe for the first time it really struck me that education is transforming globally, even as traditionalists have dragged their feet (myself periodically included) as the evolution of teaching and learning has lagged far behind the private sector.  I guess that this week I realized that transformation is taking place right beneath our feet and often within the ranks for educators and organizations and I will say this: The transformation is quiet.  Individuals in schools are part of it, but they are often overlooked because they often are set apart from the regular school day.

They are on the forefront of education and no one know about it.  Now, isnt’ that amazing?  I have often wondered when that change would take place and what would be the impetus for the change since change within any public organization is long, drawn-out, systemically underwhelming and so difficult that the change agents often give up.

The transformation taking place world-wide is taking place with or with out the input of the gate keepers, and I love that!  It is time and the nature of education needs a resurrection.  There is always a painful process with significant change, and public schools, and universities are feeling that right now with budget crunches, but those traditional institutions need to realize that the way things have looked for the last 100 years is not what they are going to look like in the next ten.  visionaries have not been welcome within this traditional system.  Everyone talks of great visions but now on puts foundations under those visions.  It has simply been too hard.  The visionaries are working outside the system and the people are responding.  It is time.

Week Nine:What lessons can we take from Global Distance Learning Efforts?

 

The educational establishment has been notorious in its traditions, and in its structure.  Often the gatekeepers are not just reluctant to change or transform, they are often the holding the reins against any new progressive idea or adjustment.  Online learning has established itself, generally in spite of the barriers of conformity due to the users and the visionaries which tend to be those involved in the private sector and/ or those driving commerce and connectivity.  “The use of technology removes time constraints imposed by traditional education—a key benefit for professionals who cannot afford to take time off work to pursue education” (Senechal, 2016). This in and of itself reminds the educational professional that no longer is the building the absolute structure of the educational establishment.  The options are wider now,  with the Internet, and advances in speed and access, the world is truly at the disposal of the eLearner, and the local school and the state college is no longer the only show in town.

Not only has the options transformed worldwide, but the methods and the outcomes are transforming as well. “Delivering education online now extends beyond coursework and is connecting students to individuals and experiences that can play a first-hand role in professional development” (Senechal, 2016).   We can only imagine what our educational system will look like twenty years from now.  Will public education give up its traditions and conventions and embrace the speed with which learning is transforming.  “Indeed, it is imperative that professional education is able to adapt and evolve to match industry changes. This is particularly true for business education: As global business swiftly changes, the best education must be delivered to effectively meet the challenges that lie ahead” (Senechal, 2016).

Education is no longer just the realm of the government and it  has become one of the fastest growing online businesses worldwide.  ” One of the exciting things about this market is how it allows individuals to create a business out of their expertise. If you look at how Lynda operates – Instructors are paid for their courses on an ongoing basis. I met an individual last week who is earning a healthy living from his Lynda.com earnings” (McCue, 2014).  This is also allowing professionals globally to “access education that previously was restricted to more developed regions” (Senechal, 2016).

“Breaking down these barriers has not only improved convenience for students, it also grants the same high-quality education to anyone, anywhere in the world—creating a new era of truly global education. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Academy, for instance, develops its courses in one central location and distributes them globally—allowing high-quality education to be available all over the world”(Senechal, 2016).

Peter Drucker said in 1997, “universities won’t survive. The future is outside the traditional campus, outside the traditional classroom. Distance learning is coming on fast.”  Apparently, we are there, and universities nationwide are struggling under an imposing budget and students are tapping eLearning opportunities to fill the gap between what the university offers and what they can afford.  It is also true that online learning offers much more flexibility.  We are no longer restricted by space and time.   Money is to be made not only in world-wide sales, but in delivery of educational services online as well. “Sure, you can hunt around on YouTube for free tutorials and there are some good ones, but I think the niche sites and well-organized, curated platforms are going to change how we learn “(McCue, 2014).

What will it look like in twenty years?  “Personally, when I think about the distant future of eLearning, a scene from The Matrix comes to mind. It’s when Neo attaches an array of electrodes on his head and downloads an entire martial arts training program into his brain” (Pappas, 2013).

McCue, T. (2014, August 27). Online Learning Industry Poised for $107 Billion In 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2014/08/27/online-learning-industry-poised-for-107-billion-in-2015/#56c8962366bc

Moore, M. G. (2012). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning, 3rd Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved fromhttps://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781133715450/

Pappas, C. (2013, December 6). Future eLearning Trends and Technologies in the Global eLearning Industry. Retrieved October 31, 2016, from https://elearningindustry.com/future-elearning-trends-and-technologies-in-the-global-elearning-industry

Senechal, T. (2016, June 29). DIGITAL LEARNING PLATFORMS: THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL EDUCATION? Retrieved October 31, 2016, from https://trainingmag.com/digital-learning-platforms-future-global-education