EdTech Europe: What Works Offline Doesn’t Work Online

This may be an obvious characterization of what many EdTech practitioners already know within their own communities.  But there seem to be some key areas that need to be addressed in order to remedy some of the online practices that are not “living up” to their expectations.  In today’s blog I would just like to enumerate some of them, and invite any comment or feedback that could enhance the conversation.  So in the true spirit of America’s Indepemdence Day, Fourth of July, please take a look.

*  Need for a pedagogical shift in the move towards online learning, rather than simply transferring existing teaching models online.

*  Take an active approach to facilitating peer-to-peer engagement, rather than relying on video lectures alone (human interaction is important; advice to MOOC providers).

*  In-classroom education technologies must suit the needs of not only students but teachers.

At the EdTech Europe conference, Jim Deters (CEO, Galvanize), added that  ” we are now in technology ubiquity.”  So what would you advise?  Any comments, perspectives, advice welcome.  I will follow up on this next week.  Thank you.

Ray Myers

Global Learning in the Heart of America

I know I posted earlier this week about MOOCs and online courses at Arizona State University, and I am going to comment on higher education again and one university’s initiative on global learning. There is clearly a difference in this school’s approach to enrich their curricula and expand students and faculty’s ability to collaborate and learn globally. In this case, Missouri S&T appears committed to developing a longer term strategic plan that combines distance and online course delivery rather than offering online courses as simply alternatives to on-campus attendance. They have also instituted an award system for faculty whom excel in teaching online.

For the past academic year, nearly two dozen faculty received Teaching Excellence awards for either outstanding or superior (commendations) performance. I think this is a clear and powerful message from the university’s leadership that they are committed to expanding their global reach through their online and distance learning capabilities.

This is a great paradigm for learning in the 21st Century. Using the power of technology in the service of greater global knowledge and partnership.

Ray Myers