Saturday, November 01, 2003

The State of Play - On the Soapbox!

Where will Australian training and education be in 5 years time? What will flexible learning be in 5 years from now?

What will happen with flexible learning communities and the role they play in fostering flexible learning developments?

I was fortunate enough to present to a small group of Thai delegates from the Open University recently and the issues of moving to an online teaching and learning environment were obvious. It was an interesting look backwards, at where we had moved from to be where we are now in terms of providing open, accessible and flexible learning opportunities. What seems always to be the largest bone of contention is the role of the teacher/academic in the uptake of educational technology for flexible learning. Teachers are our education system's bread and butter and without them we are drifting boats at sea!

I feel we need to take some time and space to seriously consider the role of our teachers and academics in the grand globalised educational sphere that revolves around us and our institutions. There is still a substantial lack of commitment by government and institutional management to providing meaningful and relevant staff development and support for the move to flexible learning modes. There is still a gap between the commitment to the provision of such modes and the means by which to resource them!

Okay, so I'm allowed a little bit of time up on my soapbox - try it at EDNA, it's therapeutic! (register if you haven't already).

Discussion as a Learning Preference ...
I think we do learn a lot through discussion, look at how parents talk and interact with their children. It's a negotiation, a clarification not only of what is meant by what is said, but of roles people take in a discussion. Power plays are most often recognised, especially with authority figures and in one's workplace. I'm just thinking of this following the thread on institutional management...! Here's a wonderful article told for teachers by teachers on power plays ...

... May the force be with you!