Friday, July 20, 2007

Digital Learning-A reflection

This essay origninally began as a reflective statement of my time in the Distance Education Master's program at University Maryland University College. I have spent a very long time in that program by most standards, taking seven years to reach the Capstone course where I now am. In that time I have moved from thinking that distance education was a form of education that would increase the effectiveness of education in general by making it available to anyone who desired to learn to the realization that education as we know it was not about open learning but about selection.

I am back to blogging and this is the place where it all started. When I think of what happened to my thinking over the past few years I must consider this blog and how I became such an unrepentent advocate of one to one laptop schools. My thinking has reached the point where I have realized that school as is presently constituted has ceased to be a meaningful experience for students, particularly in the K-12, learning enviorment. School, as presently constructed, is an orgainized content based experience with a fixed curriculum. Students are viewed as a product to be manufactured. School is a selection process rather than a learning process. Position and access to wealth in society is based on that selection. School is a conservative freedom restricting activity preserving the status quo.

More to come.......

No comments:

A Blueprint for change...

"A good educational system should have three purposes: it should provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at any time in their lives; empower all who want to share what they know to find those who want to learn it from them; and finally, furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known. Such a system would require the application of constitutional guarantees to education. Learners should not be forced to submit to an obligatory curriculum, or to discrimination based on whether they possess a certificate or a diploma. Nor should the public be forced to support, through regressive taxation, a huge professional apparatus of educators and buildings which in fact restricts the public's chances for learning to the services the profession is willing to put on the market. It should use modern technology to make free speech, free assembly, and a free press truly universal and, therefore, fully educational"

-Ivan Illich