Friday, October 24, 2008

More Wesch goodness and the changing face of education?

A Vision of Students Today (& What Teachers Must Do) | Britannica Blog: "Not surprisingly, our students struggle to find meaning and significance inside these walls. They tune out of class, and log on to Facebook."
Superb bit of writing from Michael Wesch and worth visiting the above and reading the whole thing - but the sentence I've quoted above is just so very true. Every day I go into work and walk past banks of students at their computers... and the majority of them aren't using our official sites. Aren't looking at the library's website or browsing for journals. They're looking at Facebook. Talking to their friends. Discussing. Sharing. Connecting. Oh to be able to tap into that engagement even for a short while instead of the 'this is the way I was taught and it didn't do me any harm' approach I so often hear expressed.

I was writing something about distance learning earlier today and, as with e-learning, I so wanted to dump the word in front and just talk instead about learning. Learning is learning is learning is learning. Yes, there are different things to consider with different modes of learning (but, I figure we cope with differentiating a pen from a pencil... one tool from another... so it's not that tricky to take on board!), but fundamentally what we want is for people to learn, isn't it? We want to translate learning into something rich, meaningful, powerful... unstoppable. Learning is fuzzy. It doesn't have boundaries. It shouldn't have boundaries. It shouldn't be boxed into 'explicitly stated learning outcomes' while the emergent outcomes go unacknowledged. Enough of the shoe-horning into traditional environments! How about some opening up... and really and truly open up instead of just half-heartedly nodding in its direction.

PS Read some of the comments too - some... ermmm... interesting viewpoints!

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