this from Jim Shimabukuro– “Online Learning 2012: Six Issues That Refuse to Die,” Educational Technology and Change — December 29, 2011 [via teaser in "Stephen's Web"]
As we teeter on the brink of the new year, we’re left with more questions than answers. In a way, that’s a good thing, considering the makeshift nature of technology in higher education. As we sidle into 2012, the same old questions will greet us. They’re about a world that’s rapidly changing and about our ability or inability to change with it. Let’s face it. The cat’s out of the bag, but some of us are still trying to lure it back in.
Issue #1: Can current leaders take higher education into the 21st century?
Most indications are no. They’re good at preserving the 20th century model and eager to add some technology glitz to make their brick and mortar campuses look modern. But it will be business as usual, with technology applied to brighten up the old way of doing things. Cost effectiveness will be the public mantra, but savings will be offset by the huge piles of money thrown at the makeover. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of today’s leaders have been formed and rewarded by the brick and mortar learning environment. They define themselves and what they do in terms of campuses, buildings, and offices. For them, technology is something to be brought into and added to their domain even if it means severely restricting and crippling its full potential.
Make no mistake. Change will come, but it will come from new leaders who realize that the paradigm for learning environments has shifted from the ground to the virtual. They realize that educational technology is no longer a single innovation or a group of innovations but a sea change based on the awareness that face-to-face (F2F) pedagogy is a subset of the virtual learning environment — and not the other way around. For these leaders, online is the world’s largest learning environment, and brick and mortar facilities are a shrinking part that’s becoming increasingly irrelevant.
The traditional campus-based college won’t disappear, and it will remain the environment of choice for those who can afford the nostalgia, the privilege of dormitories and ivy-covered lecture halls. But in the wake of the first wave of the digital tsunami, their foundations are eroding. The second wave is building just beyond the horizon, and when it strikes it will further undermine land-locked institutions. The select few on high ground will survive, but the vast majority on lower ground will be forced to migrate to the virtual world.
[ remaining five issues as summarized by Stephen Downes are:
- Issue #2: "Are we past Web 2.0 yet? I think we are."
- Issue #3. "Is the F2F vs. online debate over? ...the debate will continue."
- Issue #4. "Is multimedia better than text? ... the choice isn’t always either-or."
- Issue #5. "Is synchronous better than asynchronous? This issue goes hand in hand with #4 above."
- Issue #6. "Is 'net generation' a misnomer for today’s students? ... it’s not a matter of how well they use the technology we’ve selected but what they expect in terms of content and pedagogy." ]