The Future of Education Isn’t Free. It’s Open.

A Few Key Thoughts (To Me at Least)

Yes, ‘open’ in the sense of compatible is absolutely needed. BUT:

(1) The idea of using a “learning module” just makes me ill — EVEN if it’s one a caring teacher develops for her/his students… I never planned / developed modules, only planned approaches to the topics at hand. But even those considered plans, addressing assessments of previous efforts on the same topics sometimes had the no impact — akin to facilitating efforts in English to non-English speaking learners. Miss the signs and the time is totally wasted; on-site approach revision is needed. So, I believe, learning modules (lesson plans that are more than plans) are a waste.

And (2) Beyond being open, the far greater problem with “learning technology” is technology companies developing products THEY believe passionately will address a learning need. Two issues: First, the needs of the effective ‘teachers’ (effective because they understand their roles to be facilitators of learning) must be understood BEFORE efforts to supply learning technology are made. And second, in keeping with my comments found previously in this piece, almost certainly the needs of the effective teachers will be unique — even for the same topic in the same grade level in the same school system, from class to class. To therefore expect that focused learning technology will work in many, never all, classes is ludicrous I believe.

My suggestion: Give students control of their learning, facilitate their efforts to yield Effective Learning, and help them engage with technology that makes sense for those students. THERE ARE NO REAL ‘CANNED’ LEARNING MODULES OR TECHNOLOGY THAT WILL WORK FOR ALL STUDENTS!!!

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