This is my submission of a “digital artifact” for the EDU MOOC.
This course has explored a variety of issues; the first of which was the concept of “utopia vs. dystopia” of computers in society. My personal reason for engaging in this course was to examine strategies or methodologies to E-Learning. As a secondary school science teacher we are constantly examining different methods of delivering courses to students. I will be taking a course to develop a “Blended Learning” style of curriculum delivery to grade 11 biology students.
As teacher we have long ago shifted our paradigms from being “the Sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side”. No longer is material spouted socratically from the instructor; however the teacher must still be there to direct the students as to what to examine, and be able to assist in interpreting the material. The internet and computers are/will be excellent tools to use in learning material. The information will be universally obtainable; current; and open to further or deeper understanding. It will also be strewn with inaccuracies; personal opinions versus actual fact; and political viewpoints. It may be more important than ever to have a “real” human to guide students through the maze of blind links, and YouTube wannabees.
Will e-learning be the panacea of education? I don’t think so! I attempted to complete two MOOCs as an experiment as to one form of e-learning. The first course I had high hopes for. It was advertised as “how to convert your face-to-face class into a robust online course based on theory and practice”. It folded and died within the first week of operation, presumably under its own sheer weight of students. The course could not handle the volume of students and was not organized in its set-up. The robust online course was comprised on a “talking head” on a video reading the subtitles. It has yet to be revived.
This course was at least interesting and entertaining to consider the concepts supplied by the various videos and reading. Yet, and this may be due to my rigid science background, I am still longing for more substance on e-learning. Yes it was advertised as “not a how to do” course, but “to view online educational practices”.
Blended e-learning is my hope for the evolution of education. There is a wealth of material out there that should make text books obsolete! Let us just hope that the pedagogical pendulum does not swing to the full extreme of removing the knowledgeable guides. When that day comes, just remember three words….
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