Talkin’ About School & Society

My colleagues, Dr. Patrick Lewis and Dr. Marc Spooner, are initiating a series of informal discussions that will hopefully help bridge the spaces between university scholars and the general public, and hopefully result in some very important conversations with people in our community. I am excited that I have been asked to lead off the first conversation which will be themed around “The New Interactive Classroom: Education, teaching & globalization.” See the official poster below:

Talkin' About School & Society - Poster

Come join us for snacks, drinks, and most importantly, conversation. Invite anyone who would be interested, and it doesn’t have to be people connected directly to education. We’re hoping for a great turnout!

This first event is scheduled for November 24/2008, 7-9 p.m. at the upper level of La Bodega in Regina, Saskatchewan. I hope to see you there!

4 thoughts on “Talkin’ About School & Society

  1. I got this link from Twitter, and knew I couldn’t fit my response there, so here we go:
    I think there are two MAJOR issues (and many more minor) with the globalization of education:
    1. The balance between openness/sharing and security. It’s debatable as to the severity of online predators, hackers, etc., but it’s a reality that it happens. Schools have to make sure they are open enough that the great things that are going on are seen by the world and that they can communicate with people around the globe, but students still can operate within a safe environment. Students also need to be taught how to operate online in a safe manner. It’s a fine line, I know.
    2. Curriculum vs. Events: So often technology is an event and has been presented as such in the past. Technology is an interactive, engaging tool to learn curriculum. Just like pencil and paper, it’s a waste if it’s not used to push forward the curriculum. You shouldn’t use technology to say you use technology, just like you shouldn’t use paper and pencil to draw random lines and say “Look how well we use pencils!” It should be used transparently with your curriculum. I realize it’s hard to do when students want to touch and manipulate a SMART Board for the first time, but the sooner we can get past that, the sooner technology will become a necessity in all schools.
    Maybe these are more K-12 issues, but I think they do/could translate to the university environment as well.

  2. Alec- here’s my take on the issues:
    1. shift of learning control to the student, new role for instructors/facilitators – need to rethink, reposition, remake our desifn, delivery and accessability to learning opportunities
    2. recognition of informal learning, connections made, various modes of learning data – informational/referential/instructional/connections – again, student again having to wrest control from existing institutions
    3. corollary to number 2 – students need to be taught how to learn, how to judge content/experts, how to control own learning process – become learning apprentice at same time they are learning novice
    4. tracking and managing learning assets/experiences/connections – lifelong, lifewide personal/public portfolio
    5. universal instructional design – inclusive design and delivery of learning
    6. cultural differences, especially institutional differences (eg. student teacher relationship) is going to be under continuing scrutiny by students as they relaize that they can control and question their learning experience

  3. forgot one – most important

    access to learning content – who can control access? access blocked by cost – copyright issues – network neutrality – a big, big global issue

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