What are the Web’s effect on education institutions?
I think the web is helping to reshape the way think about education: how to educate, who we can potentially educate and, ultimately, what we want our educational objectives to be.
For example, the internet has been described as a “disruptive innovation.”
This is a term coined by Clayton Christensen to describe:
“technological innovations, products, services, processes, or concepts that disrupt the status quo.”
Basically the argument is that technology like the web is challenging our previously held notions or our traditional paradigm for education.
I agree, in fact, I think it is a necessary step.
Ken Robinson offers a provocative argument as to why the paradigm for education needs shift.
But I think its a logical step. Consider the root idea of public education from the Enlightenment
“public education that is paid for by taxation, compulsory to everyone and free at the point of delivery.”
Now examine the last two points: for everyone and free at the point of delivery. Doesn’t this in essence sound like the nature of a MOOC or (Massive open online course)?
The point of these courses is to reach a larger audience, particularly to give access to audiences that previously had limited access to education, and to offer the courses at reduced rates or even free. Now, what has enabled this development? Well, the internet. And many people suggest that this is the end of universities as we know it.
Take a look at the article “The End of the University As We Know It,” if you don’t believe me!
While there are still others that hold a more moderate view of the changing circumstances in higher education. Anya Kamentz in the article, “Disruptive innovation: Open online courses are changing education forever,” suggests Ivy Leagues and Community Colleges will be fine but its the middle-tiered schools that have a reason to worry.
Of course these new online environments are not without their challenges. For example the “meltdown” of a recent MOOC made headlines when it was suspended mid-course “so that improvements could be made.”
But as Debbie Morrison suggests in the article, “MOOC meltdown: Online Class on How To Teach Online Classes Goes Laughably Awry”
“It was not technical issues that derailed this course [which was a symptom], it is the underlying philosophy that many institutions still hold onto—that a MOOC is similar to, or the same as, a course in a traditional face-to-face classroom, and it can be successful using the same structure, same content and similar instructional methods. MOOC courses offered through Cousera and other such platforms, often appear modified to ‘fit’ into a course experience on the Web, albeit with thousands of students.”
What does this mean? Well, if the environment is changing for education then so too must the principles for governing an educational experience change.
How much do you use the WWW? What do you mostly use it for?
Here’s my relationship with the web…
I use the web all the time and for everything. I work online, I go to school online, I do assignments and study online, I pay bills online, I bank online, I shop online, I chat with my friends and call my family online, I plan vacations online, I watch movies and TV shows online, I read online, I listen to music online, I game online, I am ONLINE!
Have you used it to learn something? What? Describe the experience and your reactions to it.
I have used the web many times to learn something. The experiences in general have been both positive and always different.
When I first went abroad, I was working in Japan and I earned an online TEFL certification. It was self-paced but not very interactive. We would read the module and answer a multiple choice quiz at then end. Then we had to submit an essay to our tutor who would then grade it and give us feed back.
It is interesting to note that the company I received my TEFL certification from originally is now cooperating with the language teaching company, I currently work for, using Second Life to develop a more interactive certification for future ESL teachers. My how the times have changed~!
I have also used video tutorials for learning. I have learned software from Lynda.com and for my knitting and crocheting hobbies from sites like Craftsy.com, YouTube and blogs. Recently I joined a site called Writers Village University which offers writing courses and MFA courses in a forum atmosphere. Its interesting. They post assignments and then we submit our writing to the forums for discussion and critiquing. Of course my M.A. in the OLIT/OILS program is all online! I very rarely set foot on campus!
Also, I use the web to do a lot of problem solving. If I have computer issues or need to do something in particular with a software I will “google it” then go to the specific forum or FAQ that comes up. I find a lot of answers that way!