Food for thought
Education is changing and can be less of a financial burden on families or individuals that want to learn. I am the ultimate optimist and if someone wants to learn they will learn. If someone needs resources to further their education they will find them.
On the other hand I am also traditional in the sense that I like the idea of having classrooms and laboratories for educational purposes. In chapter 12 Dr. Bonk mentioned that “we are entering a new age of learning, one that has no starting or ending point…this is a time when there are no set limits on who might enter learning spaces with us or influence our learning when there.” pg. 357 The World is Open by Dr. Bonk
I find this to be interesting and not really so much different from how we typically learn. Seldom do we as students have a say as to who will teach us, who will be in our class, who we will be grouped with, what or who will be introduced into our lives at any age. What we do have control over is what we choose to learn from these experiences.
Free learning and having a prepared work force, what are we preparing for? Will we need as many doctors, lawyers, administrative assistants, professors, mechanics for passenger vehicles to airlines and other professions where technology is having a huge impact? One way I use free information is by downloading manuals for household and garden tools. I download manuals, watch videos and take advantage of many online resources when I have to fix, install, or ultimately replace materials in my house. It takes time yes, but it also takes time and money to have a technician come out. I identified a problem with my furnace which took a third technician to identify. I replaced a bulb in my DLP television. These are things I would not attempt without the online resources.
Computers can now track maintenance and troubleshoot a problem which is a huge game changer. But according to Dr. Bonk more teachers and experts will be at the ready to assist in the learning process or even trouble shooting problems. One example he used is that the primary teacher may input audio notes and have a variety of experts able to interpret and offer guidance in meeting the needs of individual learners. If only we could see the future, because today we have resources available on campus but they may not have experience with some of the challenges presented. If we had experts at the ready in the field then this would be a learning experience that could benefit the teams working on campus that evaluate data and make recommendations which will ultimately add value to the learning process. I had an experience with a child from the beginning of the school year until recently when her individual needs were identified. I kept asking myself the same question. “How much experience, if any, does this team have in dealing with a child with this type of need?”
In conclusion, I feel like learning is going to spiral into a virtual world where there will be less borders, less prejudice and judgments imposed on individuals for their social status or ethnicity. The information will be interpreted in different ways and translated in many languages. There will be the wireless and remote controls. There are many skeptics, like everything else but the important thing is there will be learning for all and if time is the price then it is time that will be well spent.