Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Can you ever set learning free?

What are the barriers to delivering learning in the 21st century? We hear this all the time but in this first post of the Reach EHSAS cluster in Henderson Auckland, it’s the most recent issue we’ve discussed.

In a meeting today we explored the real barriers, behind the real barriers that get in the way. It seemed complex. Much more so than it seemed at the onset. It was more a game of 'whack a mole'..
If you were to eliminate a barrier... would you online learning be suddenly set free? The answers were never simple, for any of us. It seems it’s a balance of freedoms any way you shoot it. If a classroom has unfettered access to computers and the web, what do teachers need to do to make that safe? If the online environment is managed and safe, and teachers are free from managing usage all the time, what cost is it in possible limitations to good resources that may be blocked by filters? How do these different environments begin to impact on practice and school culture?

Some key considerations that were raised as a result of our discussion:

-Trustworthiness of students. If we set them free, what would they do? What would drive that behavior and how do we participate in that attitude?
-Capacity and will to change. What are the implications for teachers and whole school systems when changing policy?
-Community. To what extent do we seek permission, or lead change? What would we need to know to confidently inform our communities of safe practice and well managed risks?
-Who are making the decisions? In the network of collaborators who are working to make the school environment safe, who has the knowledge of the real risks and who has the power or making key policy decisions? The 21st century pedagogical experts and the terminal tapping tech whizzes, are they the same people? If they’re not, what are the implications for educational decisions?

So, what are some of the barriers you face / have faced, and what are some of the ways schools can balance those decisions so that kids of any community can thrive with the best of our resources?

Be great to hear your thoughts.


Podgorani said...

Laziness is a true barrier, motivation is a barrier, so is fear of failure.
So as leaders we can influence motivation and climates of fear from failure but i cant do much about laziness. Did you ehsas meeting cover those three simple basics or did you go deeper.

Manaiakalani said...

And I feel fairly confident in saying, having your funding pulled mid- project is quite likely to be a barrier :)

Vicki said...

It is interesting that until a particular situation presents itself, one has not had to think about issues/situations/problems.The old adage -'You don't know what you don't know' One major challenge for me is trying to keep up with everything-particularly in the area of IT. Suggestions...