New Silos for Learning

As our education system moves towards an Education 3.0 paradigm, where student-generated content takes a large step forward, I see collective intelligence and current educational silo structures moving strongly in the direction of free access to subject content. To do this, political stake holders will have to give up their hold and control of exactly what it is that our children learn.

From an educational design point of view, these changes have begun. Wikis will continue to be built. I think it is inevitable that these constructions will at some point be joined together and be used in a collaborative environment. For example, perhaps school districts will continue to implement things like Sharepoint, where schools will develop their own wikis. Another common occurrence is the use of on-line texts, such as, for accessing content. Obviously social networking will continue to grow, and perhaps schools will be able to harness this phenomena into something more productive than what is currently available. This isn’t to dismiss social networking as it is now, but to push the limits on the learning and collaboration that can take place.

Many things need to line up before these silos really take hold. First of all, computers need to be brought into the classroom. In some ways it seems strange that we are about to embark on the 2011/12 school year and it is still rare to see more than one or two computers in a classroom!  Secondly, the strong directive from ministries as to exactly what textbooks must be used will have to be loosened. The Ministry of Education in BC wants to personalize learning or expound 21st Century Learning ideals, while at the same time they dictate learning objectives, methodologies and specific textbooks.  This creates a tension between helping learners while trying to implement a consistent learning experience. I can appreciate the intention and need for consistency across the province, but consistency can be accomplished in many different ways.  I think that topic is for another post…