I am great at starting blogs and MOOCs and very bad at staying with any habit of continuing with them. One obvious reason is that I often already have too much going on, but that’s only part of the reason. The other part of the reason is that even though I was very comfortable with sharing my perspectives when I was younger, at this point in life I’m not as comfortable stumbling through my thoughts.
So my first goal in participating in #EDCMOOC will be engaging in some writing reaction to the thoughts presented in the course for at least the duration of the MOOC.
The second goal is to look at the issue of dystopia/utopia with a fresh perspective, at least in this first block. I co-authored a couple of papers in a similar vein – one published in Techne in 2011 and the other a book chapter in 2013. I would like to expand on my thinking since that time. Those pieces focused on educational technology and I think we’re going to reach a time where the concept of educational technology as a discrete concept won’t mean much to anyone. It will just be education or learning. I think the most powerful “technologies” of education are the business models– maybe business isn’t the right word– but the distribution models.
The need for education in the next, let’s say 1/2 a century, will be unprecedented. This recent post from Donald Clark had a comment that resonated: “Population is not increasing exponentially as birth rates have and are falling and the number of children in the world has stopped growing.”The largest group of hungry learners will be adult learners engaged in informal, nonformal, vocational, and professional development-related learning opportunities. While MOOCs, open education, and a variety of other innovations that are shifting the perception of what will be possible. But that’s just content. Maybe really good content, maybe ok content, but content is not education. That could be a whole other post, so I’ll stop there.
Ascribing to either a dystopian or utopian vision of technology is unhelpful. We need to understand our own agency vis-a-vis technology. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we have a choice, but not only do we have a choice, we should exercise our choice about how we engage with technology.