I have reflected on this If We Didn’t Have the Schools We have Today, Would We Create the Schools We have Today? by Carrol T.G. (2000)
A networked learning community has three dimensions, and our schools have traditionally focused on only the first of these dimensions.
- Transmission and conservation
- Knowledge adaptation
- Invention and knowledge generation
Learning as a Community – A learning community is not a community of learners. A learning community learns as a community.
In our schools today for example, we have communities of learners who are individually and separately going about their own individual learning—occasionally calling on each other’s knowledge and experience—but otherwise focused on their own individual learning tasks in isolation from each other. Individual inquiry and learning, of course, will continue in the future, and we are finding new ways to support that learning with modern communication and information technologies. The new and more powerful opportunity available to educators today is to use these technologies to help individuals collaboratively construct networked learning communities that will accelerate and augment the community’s learning, as well as each individual’s learning.
Schools resist change, because they are designed to resist change…We have all had many encounters with school systems that resist changes.
It is important to recognize the power of communication technologies to bring about this transformation in education.
Communication technologies support an interactive construction of information.
Finally, using New Technology to Change Education
It has been 9 years since Carrol has written the paper. What has been changed so far? I think there has been some changes, especially in the use of ICT and Web 2.0 in High Schools and Higher Education. There has been early education adopters who have worked out their pathways to prepare for their learners.
But are these good enough?
Tony Bates in his Does technology really enhance the quality of teaching and learning? writes
Using technology to enhance learning merely increases costs without any measurable benefits. It does not address the need to change a teaching model that poorly serves mass higher education. It does not make the best use of technology. However, it may be a necessary first step to engage faculty. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that this will lead to more fundamental changes.
In this Disaggregation of Higher Education, David Wiley uses history and a number of stories to imagine the near and medium-term futures of higher education. A call to action for faculty and administrators to engage in policy reform around open access to research and teaching and learning materials
What sort of reforms are necessary in our schools and higher education institutions?
Tony Bates writes in his e-Learning and 21st century skills and competencies
Using technology for teaching is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for developing the knowledge and skills needed in the 21st century. It has to be accompanied by curriculum reform (the content), by changes in teaching methods that facilitate the development of skills in a particular subject domain, and by changes in assessment. Obviously many instructors are successfully working in this way, but there is still a great deal of resistance to such radical change.
What are the curriculum reforms and changes in teaching methods and assessment necessary to bring about real changes in schools?
What sort of schools do we want to create now and tomorrow?