So today I am attending the CANeLearn 2014: Ontario Summer Summit here in Toronto, which is thematically entitled “Blended and Online Learning in Canada: State of the Nation.” As this is a K-12 online learning event, I want to blog the session (as is my pattern). So the first session was described as:
Dr. Bill Muirhead, Associate Provost UOIT
What’s The Future Look Like Now That We Are All Online Learners? How Did We Get Here And Where Are We Going?
The talk will examine the questions that arise both from the history of online learning to the current practices within the k-12 sector. Bill will draw parallels between online learning within the higher education sector with that of K-12, while providing a vision of the many possible futures for learning in the 21st century.
Bill began his talk by talking about his own background in educational technology, and specifically K-12 online learning. For those that are interested in his scholarship, check him out on Google Scholar.
He then said that he was going to ask, contextualize, and discuss a series of questions that folks in our positions need to figure out. The questions that he asked of us was:
- What is the role of information and communication technology in supporting and/or informing a vision for learning?
- Has the K-12 schooling system changed profoundly or superficially?
- The power of language to define our reality – do we talk about students, children, learners, young learner, adolescent learner, delayed adulthood learner, adult learner, dependent learner, independent learner, school socialization, family socialization? How does this change in online learning?
- Online schooling vs. face-to-face schooling – Why do we speak of these as opposites vs. a continuum?
- What is “content” for learning and how has it changed?
- Is online learning for the rich? BYOD vs. school provided devices; Internet at home – at school – everyone; mobility for all, some of for the few?
- What is interaction? What has changed in schools or shall I say learning settings?
- Returning to a vision for online learning… what has changed and what has remained the same?
- What do we do now that everyone is learning online?
I didn’t take comprehensive notes on what Bill said about each of these questions, but it was a fascinating listen…