Check out this disruptive article on higher education: NPR Interview with Kevin Carey, author of The End of College, Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere.
This is not specifically related to our new section on identity, but it resonated with some of my musings over the past couple of weeks on how CDT450 is causing me to experience “educational culture shock.”
Since we started with this class, CDT450, our forward thinking approach has required me to consider my learning process in the university classroom setting from a new perspective. One of the main challenges and opportunities that I am facing in this class is using social media as a tool for learning new material, communicating my thoughts and ideas, and engaging in this class to a degree that I have never experienced before.
I have always thought about and experienced education as a passionate learner; since this class started I have become more conscious and aware of one aspect of my traditional perspective on learning in a university setting: I go to a classroom to be both active and passive in a collective learning experience, in a shared space with a teacher/facilitator and other students.
I read material, listen to music, watch videos, and consume information outside of class to prepare for the interaction inside the classroom. Sometimes I have been required to meet with other students in groups online, or face-to-face, but these interactions with other learners outside of the classroom has been sporadic.
I recognize that I have had a compartmentalized perspective of my personal learning process, and of the educational institutions that I have been part: it’s as if learning is a constant part of my life, but the active interaction with other scholars, students, professors, researchers, people, etc. is mostly reserved for class time.
ALL OF THIS IS CHANGING.
Now in CDT450, my concept of learning and participating has expanded and my engagement with the subject matter and students, and professors has become more commonplace and I find myself making more connections.
A big part of this change has to do with this course being specifically designed to integrate technology into the learning process by using hardware like the iPad, and software which includes social media and other tools for finding and engaging in material related to topics covered in the class.
Now I’m using social media apps as part of my learning process inculding WordPress, Yammer, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc.
I have used Google Docs many times to collaborate with students and professors on projects inside and outside of class, but now I’m using Google Docs in a way that’s completely new – as a space to dialog online with other students who are part of a study group that I’m in. We log in to a document and have a conversation about the topic at hand in the Google doc, where we share links, socialize, discuss, and preserve an evolving record of how our conversation develops, and how it specifically relates to the task at hand and the material presented in the classroom.
All that to say: I can’t get away from this class – which is good, because I’m passionate about teaching and learning and participating in the present revolution that is taking place in education. In one sense I feel the burden of constant connectivity that can cause stress for people who are always plugged in through mobile devices and social media networks, but at the same time I’m inspired because the sharing and developing of ideas is no longer compartmentalized for me – now I am more conscious that my learning process is multi-modal discourse that’s going on continuously on a local and global scale.