Monday, March 17, 2008

Radical thoughts!!

While reading in greater depth on this subject it becomes obvious just how much the education system needs to change in order to equip our future leaders with the nessessary skills to succeed in such a variable and unpredictable future.
However it is not only the education system that needs to embrace change.
Schools serve an important part in the day-to-day functionality of our society. For example - what would happen if all the students were no longer required to go to school for the traditionally prescribed time from 9am to 3pm? Who would look after them? Who would supervise them? Who would be left to fill the empty places in our workforce for all the parents that need to look after their children? How would after school care and related industries survive?
If we are to integrate digital technology fully into our education system - we would see something like the 'distance' education or more appropriately phrased 'customised' education taking place. This would in turn re-shape all other conventional, traditional and out- moded processes.
At the very least the senior secondary timetable would need to be flexible and cater more for the individuals use - allowing students to participate more effectively in part time work.
Where does this leave the teacher? Certainly not standing in front of an empty classroom attempting to teach the 'olden way'!
In fact, the teaching discipline would also become more flexible allowing teachers to plan their online classes around their own schedules, perhaps incorporating intensive f2f tutoring classes at set times. This would allow for more teachers to work - say, while on holiday, on sick leave, maternity leave, teachers with young children, etc..all would still have the ability to teach in some form or another. Thus creating and accessing a greater workforce!
While of course I understand these radical ideas have far reaching implications for all sectors of our society - if we are to embrace digital technology in its entirity - these changes will surely follow in some shape or form.
But, rather than see these changes as scary and intimidating - they can just as easily be seen as incredibly freeing!
What do you think?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Concept Maps

I never really appreciated the value of concept maps until I started trying to cater for different learners within my lesson plans.
I found that concept maps are a valuable resource for students who are struggling to manage and organise information.
While using these within my lesson plans I also found myself incorporating them into my own studies at Uni.
I have just completed the tutorial section of the Inspiration program and found it to be a really accessible, workable program.
I will definitely spend some more time learning how to use and create spectacular concept maps!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Defining Instructional Design

Well, I am going to be quite brave here. I really have no idea what Instructional design entails. I have often heard the term thrown about, but have merely taken it in the context of the rest of the coversation. So it will be very interesting to see how my level of understanding deepens over the course of this subject. But, hey, that is what learning is all about!
So, to define Instructional Design...

Braking it down into its main parts we come up with Instruction and Design. Relating this to education, I would assume that Instructional design pertains to the processes we use to instruct and the way we design these processes in the first place.
I have always linked instructional design to the use of technology, therefore I would say that it also deals with how the design process we use to instruct must constantly be updated, scrutinised and modified to incorporate new advances in technology, the changing environment which learners inhabit and indeed the variable nature of the learner.

Now, I am going to read up on Instructional Design and find out how far off I am!

USQ Masters in Education - Curriculum and Pedagogy

This is my first foray into the realm of Masters and so far I am finding the content interesting and exciting!
My passion is learning - whether it is learning myself or teaching others how to learn - I believe learning is akin to breathing.
This blog will contain any thoughts relating to my studies and I welcome any constructive debate, suggestions or new ideas which will further deepen the learning process.
Thoughts to ponder:
What is Instructional design?
How do we keep learning relevant?
Will technology make the teacher obsolete?
Will technology make schooling obsolete?
Will technology make the student obsolete?