View Full Document

The Transformation of Learning with Technology



View the full content.
View Full Document
View Full Document

12 views

Unformatted text preview:

Copyrighted 2009 by Educational Technology Magazine scheduled for publication in the March April 2009 edition and not for general public distribution until March 1 2009 The Transformation of Learning with Technology Learner Centricity Content and Tool Malleability and Network Effects Michael D Bush Jonathan D Mott Educational visionaries and reformers have long predicted a significant transformation of teaching and learning that would be facilitated by technology essentially providing every learner with the equivalent of a personal tutor Technology implementations in education however have consistently fallen short of achieving these lofty aims The authors argue that this failure stems from a penchant to implement technology in ways that automate that past Instead we must champion learning technologies that are learnercentric and malleable such that they address the needs of individual learners and can take advantage of the power of network effects Only then will we realize the long awaited transformation Introduction The 1960s was a decade decade of dreams full world At the beginning Bob Cummings helped of upheavals but it was also a of grand visions of a better of that momentous era actor fuel the national fascination Michael D Bush is Associate Professor of French and Instructional Psychology and Technology and Associate Director of the Center for Language Studies at Brigham Young University Provo Utah e mail Michael Bush byu edu He has organized four iterations of the ID SCORM Symposium at BYU and is participating as a member of LETSI in the formulation of requirements for SCORM 2 0 Jonathan D Mott is Assistant to the Academic Vice President Academic Technology and Adjunct Professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University e mail jonmott byu edu He is responsible for the implementation and evaluation of educational technology at BYU with flying cars when he purchased and piloted an Aerocar on his TV show Chuck 2008 With similarly futuristic vision Stanford philosopher Patrick Suppes predicted in a 1966 Scientific American article that in a few more years millions of schoolchildren will have access to what Philip of Macedon s son Alexander enjoyed as a royal prerogative the personal services of a tutor as well informed and responsive as Aristotle Suppes 1966 p 201 Unfortunately both visions of the future have proven too optimistic The sky is not filled with flying cars and every child is not blessed with the services of their own private Aristotle Why haven t our most visionary dreams been realized Why hasn t technology dramatically improved learning The promised technology driven transformation of education seems tantalizingly just out of reach We re left to ask metaphorically speaking Dude where s my flying car We argue here that educational reformers and academic technology strategists are waiting in vain for the promised revolution in teaching and learning because we have consistently almost single mindedly used technology to automate the past instead of employing our best thinking and efforts to create a new future Specifically otherwise well intentioned reformers have missed opportunities to create learning content and tools that are open modular and interoperable Because openness has taken on various and sometimes ideological meanings it is appropriate for us to clarify what we mean by the term open Our intent is to describe tools processes and frameworks that interoperate in an open fashion to create and deliver content that is itself accessible flexible and repurposable We do not hold that tools or content need to be free as in no cost to be open For example a closed source commercially provided tool might have an open architecture that is extensible via APIs or Web services In contrast an open source tool might be very proprietary in terms of the kinds of applications and databases with which it will interface thereby creating content that is quite closed We contend that the prior is legitimately more open than the latter The nature of openness that matters most to learners teachers and the institutions that support them is the ability to quickly and easily find customize and implement the right tool or content for specific learning contexts By this view open source software or open content i e freely distributed under a Creative Commons license is not inherently better than or normatively superior to commercially provided and licensed tools or content Supporting effective dynamic learning is the primary aim the nature of the tools used and their source are both of secondary importance This being said we believe that openness including the kind of radical new openness championed by the open source and open content communities is a critical enabling factor in the transformation and improvement of learning Imagine a world in which anyone anywhere could use exactly the right tools and content at the right time seamlessly with the other tools and content they already use to solve their teaching and learning challenges Can there be any doubt that the prospects for online teaching and learning would improve Accordingly we believe that it is crucial to promote openness combined with the principles of modularity and interoperability to facilitate the development of new tools and methodologies for reusing remixing and mashingup content to achieve learning goals in ways never thought possible By leveraging such ideas teachers and learners can more fully take advantage of the network effect in technology by enabling learning communities Significantly increasing the output in learning content has the potential to fundamentally alter the learning landscape just as the Web in general has changed the information landscape Finally we argue that perpetuating teachercentric didactic models of education prevents fundamental paradigm altering changes in learning and accompanying role changes We conclude that teachers and academic leaders must embrace these principles namely openness modularity interoperability the network effect and learner centricity for the full potential of learning technology to become widely available usable and affordable The magnitude of this potential is illustrated by research from the 1980s that ascertained the value of one to one tutoring Bloom 1984 Benjamin Bloom perhaps best remembered for his Taxonomy of Educational Objectives quantified what Aristotle and his predecessors Socrates and Plato no doubt believed that one to one


Access the best Study Guides, Lecture Notes and Practice Exams

Loading Unlocking...
Login

Join to view The Transformation of Learning with Technology and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or
We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view The Transformation of Learning with Technology and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or

By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?