Daylong Learning - Tech Learning

Daylong Learning

from Educators' eZine We’re used to the relatively new concept of lifelong learning; I want to suggest an additional way of thinking about education: Daylong Learning. For good and ill, the way we organize a student’s education comes from the business world that the child will most likely end up working
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

from Educators' eZine

We’re used to the relatively new concept of lifelong learning; I want to suggest an additional way of thinking about education: Daylong Learning.

For good and ill, the way we organize a student’s education comes from the business world that the child will most likely end up working in — hence, the “factory model”, a system that gradually fell into place as another instance of Fredrick Taylor’s “scientific management” theories.

We all know that time has passed the factory model by, but although frayed around the edges, the system of rigidly defined grades, classes, tracks and so on is still very much with us. So let’s take another look at how the working world has evolved and see if there’s anything we want to steal to help restructure our students’ experience.

There are many kinds of jobs on the market, and perhaps there’s not a lot in common between the kid who flips burgers and the middle-aged CEO. But if we look at the lifestyle most students aspire to achieve (those that do aspire to achieve), the white-collar job has morphed into the technocracy: the millions of people who create, manipulate and distribute information.

Although the technocracy encompasses a wide variety of jobs — everyone from insurance salespersons to computer programmers to CEOs — their jobs still have much in common. Uniformly, these people are connected to their work. Whether in their office or on a desert island, they are connected to work by a cell phone, perhaps a PDA, and of course a laptop. The upside of all this connectivity is greater flexibility and efficiency; the downside is that there’s no clear separation between the office and home life (and for the millions of people who telecommute, there’s no distinction at all.)

The office is used for meetings and other forms of relationship building, or simply as a quiet space to get some work done. What ties all their disparate activities together isn’t time (9 to 5) or space (the office) but the computer — all their files, many of the ways they communicate, and many of the ways they process, produce and store information are on their machines.

So let’s go back to what’s been fraying around the edges. Students have always had homework and access to libraries, ways of extending class time outside of school. Increasingly, students are accessing other resources outside of class, from face-to-face tutors, to online tutors to other online resources. So the traditional domination of time and space (the school day and the classroom) has been increasingly breeched. However, schools have only slowly reacted to this change brought on by outside actors — mostly private industry and with SES, the federal government — rather than seizing the opportunity to reinvent an antiquated structure.

What if the organizing principle of schools wasn’t the classroom but the class Web site so our students can become Daylong Learners? The classroom would be used the way an office is now — to exchange ideas with the group, to build relationships, and to find a little quiet time to work. The structure of the learning experience would be on the group Web site — the assignments, the due dates, the assessments, and so forth.

Of course, this could all be done with a readily available Learning Management System (LMS), but I’m suggesting an implementation just a little bit different from what’s commonly done — instead of the classroom being the focus of attention, the organizing point around which all other activity pivots, give that role to the LMS, with the class time devoted to supporting the more social features of the entire learning experience.

Such a structure would inevitably redefine the role and power of the teacher and the administrator, give students more control of their own learning, and make assessment and data analysis much easier.

I suggest this is the direction education is going to go regardless; we might as well make the changes intentionally rather than let them be haphazardly imposed by outside forces.

Email:Craig Ullman

Featured

Related

Betting on the Right Google Jockey

from Educators' eZine There's a new buzz phrase in classroom practice these days — "Google Jockey." Self-confessed coiner, Michael Naimark, who teaches at the Interactive Media Division of the USC School of Cinema/Television, asked for a student volunteer to search the Web during his presentation. The search

Wikis Make Learning Wicked Fun

from Educators' eZine --> In the business and education world alike, the concept of collaborative technology continues to shape our thinking. The notion of techies huddled in isolation in front of monitors has given way to the

Learning From Mistakes With School-Based Technology

from Educators' eZine It's good to learn from one's mistakes...but a lot less painful to learn from someone else's. So here's a painless way of learning from my mistakes! Serving as a computer teacher and, eventually, the Technology Director of a K-8 school, I made many, many mistakes. After teaching 4th grade,

A Half-Hidden Asset

I’ve just come up with a big, brilliant idea to change the nature of education in America – but I’m going to need a lot of help. Students have moved from learning in school to daylong learning; they consume media anywhere, anytime, and now that is going to happen with education. But unlike

GPS and Learning

from Educators' eZine History Since 1993, there has been a network of satellites in space that work together to indicate specifically where on earth a person or object is located. This network is known as the Global Positioning System (GPS). A GPS handheld device interprets these signals from space and indicates a

When learning is done well, the technology becomes transparent

 Today was our last day in Australia, and we are exhausted. Our feet and legs are tired from walking, and our brains are tired from taking in and processing so much information.   We're tired but we're satisfied with how we've spent this time -- giving lots of people in lots of schools lots ideas for how to utilize the features of our site and bring 21st century concepts into the classroom.

Ubiquitous Computing, Ubiquitous Inattention

When computer engineers draw schematics, they always represent the Internet as a cloud. The origins of this iconography are pretty simple: the Internet is a distributed network, so if you want to send a some data from point A to point B, the data gets broken into bits (so to speak), and the individual packets are

E-Learning Gets Real

from Technology & Learning Call it virtual, distance, or online education. For today's curricula, it's no longer a question of whether or not to try but when to start Our survey of educators who already use these technologies can help the uninitiated. When does an idea evolve from faddish to

Technology Funding: A How-To Guide

from Educators' eZine Believe it or not, better teaching and greater student achievement does not end with merely acquiring hardware and software. It must be supported by an assessment of needs, not merely wants, and that must relate to the plans for school improvement. Adequate funding causes concern at the