What does your learning environment look like?
6/20/2011 6:00:00 AM
Some thoughts from Dr. Richard Elmore, compiled by ed tech expert Scott McLeod on BigThink.com:
With rare exceptions, schools currently treat the
as if it never happened," says Elmore. "Computers, more often than not, still sit in
dedicated rooms, accessible only with adult supervision. Laptops, when
they are used at all in classrooms, are frequently employed as
electronic worksheets, digital typewriters, and presentation
producers, rather than as extensions of students’ access to knowledge.
When students do use technology to extend the reach of their learning,
they typically do so by visiting predigested information sources and
cutting and pasting information into predetermined,
teacher-driven formats. “Social networking” among students is treated
as a subversive activity engaged in by kids who are up to no good, and
certainly not as a promising point of entry to anything that might be
When students step out the door of the institution called school today,
they step into a learning environment that is organized in ways
radically different from how it once was. It’s a world in which access
to knowledge is relatively easy and seamless; in which one is free to
follow a line of inquiry wherever it takes one, without the direction
and control of someone called a teacher; and, in which, with a little
practice, most people can quickly build a network of learners around
just about any body of knowledge and interests, unconstrained by the
limits of geography, institutions, and time zones. If you were a
healthy, self-actualizing young person, in which of these environments
would you choose to spend most of your time?
PD tips courtesy of Atomic Learning
How has your
learning environment changed because of the digital revolution? Reflect
on how this has affected your staff and students’
Dr. Elmore is the Gregory R. Anrig
Professor of Educational Leadership at Harvard University. Dr. McLeod
is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration program at
Iowa State University.
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