While some of my colleagues are at the Australian Computers in Education conference in Cairns, I am catching up on another batch of marking for Charles Sturt University before flying out to HongKong for a very well earned rest. When I get back it will almost be time for the Global Summit, where I hope to see a few of my fellow bloggers.
John Connell will join us at Catholic Education, before the Global Summit, ‘in conversation’ and to inspire us with his work in Scotland. Might have a podcast to share afterwards if John is happy with the idea. If you haven’t dipped into John’s blog, I highly recommend it. I have no idea how one person can think and write so much, but be assured that you will be challenged by the diversity of his posts.
I’ve been doing some writing for the office in the last couple of weeks, teasing out ideas around future directions and our learning agenda. One concept that has tested thinking for a few people has been around the whole issue of learning management systems (LMS) and virtual learning environments (VLE). Funnily enough some of my colleagues get stuck on debating semantics and how to describe systems that we are rolling out for our schools. As if describing the system will somehow make it more worthwhile or more relevant?
In fact, what we should be focussing on is the Web 2.0 world of our students and their personal learning environments (PLE). Remember, its a combo-world. In Macca’s sales speak – we are constantly ‘upsizing’ and offering ‘fries with that’ because we have to!
Today we can deliver TO student expectations beyond the LMS and VLE that have emerged in recent times as the answer to learning for a 21st century technology world.
The emergence of Web 2.0 and social software moves us beyond the use of integrated LMS or VLE to social networking and education immersed in the future world of our students. No use debating which LMS to buy, or what a VLE is! Understand MySpace and you will understand the shape, meaning, value, future directions of student learning.
In fact, any discussion of the educational value of LME or VLE, and the integration or separation of social software must must be grounded in new ‘MySpace pedagogy’ and must include a genuine understanding by educators of the Web 2.0 world of our net-savvy students.
I suggest that we need a combination of a number of tools: a management system, personal tools and social networks. Our integrated solution requires this personal learning environment, because the very nature of what our students do and how they use online spaces extends their learning beyond the classroom and the present …. right into the future …. for life and for lifelong learning.
In fact, ‘Web 2.0 as platform’ is the natural implementation and platform for 21st century learning.
It’s time to dream the impossible dream and leap beyond the context of our current understandings.
Flexibility and personalisation are at the core of our re-purposing of education. If students think about the internet as a virtual locker, backpack and notebook, then we must create flexible learning environments which support the use of multipe resource tools, including Web 2.0.
If we do this, then we will have a learning framework that is Web 2.0, 24/7, global, contextual, personalised, real, physical, virtual, and visceral.
We’ll help our students be passionate about their personalised learning!
Now, off to HongKong :-)