February 18th, 2021
On-line Learning webinar- continued
Your are invited to this week's public webinar - Friday February 19th 4:00PM MST
Covid has accelerated what many believe to be the future of education. What are we learning and what should be done? Share your views.
Meeting ID: 829 0964 4522
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcTw7XXJRD
Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18
It may be me, but I am becoming somewhat of a cynic about the Digital Economy - that everything is getting better. The promises are exciting, but...well. The internet of everything thrives on data, my data, data about me and how, when and where I behave. And it's hard not to embrace that "this will be good", that is, that the more SOMEONE knows about me the better they can SERVE ME.
This - the "personalization" of service, has a nice ring to it! And by and large it sounds spectacular. I mean in healthcare this means better diagnosis and fewer errors, improved access, and with a superior emotional IQ algorithm - even more caring. And as we are being led to expect in education, a genuine personalization of teaching means fitting student learning styles and even better understanding what the student and a better society need.
But the digital future isn't only about improved knowledge management for health and education, it applies to all knowledge workers in all professions: teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers - improved professional personalized services. WOW!.
Since Covid and through our last few webinars we've been getting a dose of the future of education - accelerated into the Digital Age by Covid. We've been assessing it's promises and challenges, unrealistic expectations and just how unprepared the stakeholders were to embrace change.
Last week we heard from three presenters followed by rich conversation as to what we are learning about On-line Learning. It was sobering. HERE you can view the entire webinar. In short, On-line Learning has it's place and is appreciated by people who are already independent learners - the mature student. But it is failing the student and the teacher in early grades and in through high school. What can be done?
We've elected to keep this discussion going at least one more session. So be ready to let us know of your experience and of those of others you know about. We are seeking solutions...even if the best that can be expected is that the shortfalls today are contributing to improvements tomorrow and more realistic expectations.
Here are some of the views shared with us about what we are learning about On-line Learning:
Joe - I wonder if anyone is considering that virtually every educator needs to be retrained. Also virtually every school and classroom will need to be reconfigured, and the union relationships will need to be amended. I can't see the model emerging will look much like current practices. You have to wonder what the teacher training universities are doing?
BK - Online maybe good for high school and higher. Still not the same as in person. For younger children, not so good, needs too much parents monitoring.
Jacquie - "Is On-line Learning working?" The generic answer is 'it depends.' There are some learners, and some types of learning that work well online. For others, such as small children, online is not appropriate. Overall, there need to be resources dedicated to technologies, teacher readiness, and learner engagement.
John - On-line learning can work when students get mentoring and motivational supports to engage them and counteract the competition from on-line distractions for their time and attention. Hybrid education models can be expected to emerge from the pandemic driven on-line learning where quality on-line learning opportunities will merge with traditional education to provide ever more authentic learning opportunities.
The educational systemic question that arises is to determine what is supposed to be learned, by whom and when, from those answers then determine the delivery method - online or otherwise
Thomy - The problem with “on-line learning” is the lack of “hands-on” learning. More studies than one can shake a stick at demonstrate the importance of sensory-motor interactions to make learning be more than acquisition of verbal or mathematical concepts. Effective use of leaning requires doing - not just talking. I have seen steady decline in the support provided for hands-on learning. University administrators must be thrilled to see the precedents of on-line learning excuse still further replacement of expensive laboratories with software for students to download videos to their own computers. It is still passive learning. When it comes to doing, we’ll remain “hewers of wood”.
Dennis - On-line learning is working with varied results depending upon age demographics, training, resources allocated.
Mel - Distanced Learning works but, like the introduction of a new or not previously used technology, it will take time to become efficient for students and instructors.
Kim - From the medical perspective it works well for most activities, since engagement, behavioral change, image quality, and numbers participating are greater on Zoom.
Glenn - The wealthier the household, money-wise or education-wise the more on-line learning perpetuates class differential. Students need each other for social connections and access to wider perspectives.
Perry S.- There is no clear census whether online learning is or isn’t working, rather that it needs to be improved to better address many different learning styles. There are those who do well with this method of instruction, but there are many that struggle because they require hands-on activity or miss the social factor associated with in-class learning. Online learning has its place, and can be useful if well developed, but it can’t be relied on to complete the entire cycle of learning because as sociable creatures. Collaboration and connections allow us opportunities to find inspiration and motivation, and group experiences facilitate the growth of leadership skills.
The economic cost of the pandemic may very well damage Canada’s economy and structurally alter our labour market in ways that may not easily be repaired.
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