I have struggled a bit this year with the blog – as just flipping you all interesting tech tidbits is nice, and easy, and fun – but I am not sure it really moves us forward very much.
So I am going to narrow my subject matter a bit – and really try to dive deeper into the blended learning swamp (kinda like the “Turtle Man,” but with a more intellectual twist).
This is still a Lightspeed Systems official blog – so I reserve the right to step off the path occasionally as warranted – but my one true quest, at least for now, will be to try to expand our understanding of blended learning in general, and best practices for effective learning in particular.
Audrey Watters started me down this path with this post: (I Hope This Isn’t a) 2012 Predictions Post. She wonders about the future of LMSs, itextbooks, and digital content in the era of the Khan Academy. She lightly touches on much bigger themes – summed up by a comment from Vincent:
“I think all education leaders need to do more reflection and re-examine the sudden surge of education startups in this vertical. I have followed the education space for three decades and certainly laud new entrepreneurship, innovations and ideas that may ‘disrupt’ teaching and learning, since we sure need it. There are many new ventures that have a very positive impact, however the majority have been “more of the same”.
In other words: What really matters? What works? How can blended learning models (and associated digital content/delivery platforms) be used for good?
As many very astute folks pointed out in 2011, tech matters. It has tremendous potential to improve education in numerous, fundamental ways. But it is not magic fairy dust. A video lecture – in and of itself – is still a lecture. But video (and other digital content) used in creative, collaborative, authentic, 24 x 7 learning ways – CAN be transformative. A tablet is just another technology device. But combined with the right content and collaborative instruction, it puts the world of learning in the hands of the student – and in a form that adds the incentives of cool and fun that can be just the thing to get a student started.
So, my 2012 predictions? I predict that I will try to make my blog more useful. (That may be more of a resolution.) And I predict we’ll all work together to understand the potential and impact of blended learning and share ways to make it work. (That may be more of a hope.) And I predict that 2012 will see a lot of you doing awesome things with mobile and online learning. (That is a true prediction, and one I posit without hesitation.)
We hope you will join the conversation this year – as we are all in this together and can get farther, faster, by collaborating and sharing.