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/