a blog about technology management

Chris Dede article in latest Educause quarterly

I just got an email with the latest articles in Educause quarterly. I was excited to see 3 of great interest. The top one being Chris Dede’s “Planning for Neomillennial Learning Styles .” I’ve raved about Dede here before (search on the right for Dede). This article touches on….

The learning styles of current youth are
influenced by media like the web. Instead of having a single “validated”
authority (book,teacher) for knowledge, they now have to assimilate and filter
information from multiple sources. He also describes a “napsterism” of design
where they recombine other’s designs into a personal, customized configuration.
This is different than a modularization (learning objects) of learning. It is
more of a personal or custom
education.

I still love his “augmented reality” models. This is where wireless personal devices give us more information based on our context (time and space). See environmental detectives . His points out several implications for strategic investment. Notably how distributed technology will be — no longer tied to a computer lab. Learning technologies can happen anywhere and everywhere and the spaces need to be configured to support that. He also notes the impact on assessment — no longer “one size fits all” for a passive student. Students will produce more dynamic an rich artifacts of their learning (beyond papers or tests) that require a more individualized approach to assessment. Also, in addition to faculty grading peer-grading will have a greater importance (the collaborative nature of the projects and their learning styles points towards peer-assessment).

He raises an interesting question towards the end, “if civilization were to invent higher education today, rather than centuries ago, would we create campuses as they now exist …?” He speculates, “no,” and points towards a constructivist view of learning. I’m not sure campuses would look the same either. I don’t think they’d be completely different, just more flexible. I often run into the roadblocks with faculty that they face with their teaching that are a result of how spaces are configured — they wind up molding their teaching to match the space (both physical and virtual [CMS]) instead of the other way around.

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