Thursday, June 2, 2011

Changing the paradigm of manufactured education

One of the stark differences between learning online and learning in the classroom is the freedom it gives the learner. Virtual students can pause, rewind, replay, fast forward, and perhaps most importantly wander down side roads and explore tangents that are almost never allowed in the brick-and-mortar education model.

Rather than holding a student hostage in a captive audience, an online instructor must relinquish much of his/her control. That makes many educators squeamish because it doesn't produce the standardized conformity that's so prevalent in "modern" education.

Without the rigidity of a structured class, online students quickly learn that they can ask lots of questions--questions that instructors often haven't encountered before and fall outside of the answer key provided at the back of the book.

Online learning is definitely forcing us to re-examine the "traditional" ways of teaching and learning. This video featuring the insights of Sir Ken Robinson, British author and the recipient of the 2008 RSA Benjamin Franklin Medal provides some great insight to continue the discussion.

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