Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stephen Downes on Online Learning

From Stephen Downes on the future of online learning:

Half an Hour: The Future of Online Learning: Ten Years On: "Today, and for the last century, education has been practiced in segregated buildings by carefully regimented and standardized classes of students led and instructed by teachers working essentially alone.

Over the last ten years, this model has been seen in many quarters to be obsolete. We have seen the emergence of a new model, where education is practiced in the community as a whole, by individuals studying personal curricula at their own pace, guided and assisted by community facilitators, online instructors and experts around the world.

Though today we stand at the cusp of this new vision, the future will see institutions and traditional forms of education receding gradually, reluctantly, to a tide of self-directing and self-motivated learners. This will be the last generation in which education is the practice of authority, and the first where it becomes, as has always been intended by educators, an act of liberty."

Perhaps a curiously Westernized perspective? Either way, the whole essay is worth a read and will get you thinking, agreeing, disagreeing, predicting, reflecting... and generally giving your brain a good scratching as you canter through the world of technology and its role in education and look towards an interesting, tangled future.


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