Mod 1.3 Discussion forum contribution

The text below was a contribution to the INF532 discussion forum

A new paradigm

The greatest takeaway from Module 1 is really the greatest takeaway from my Masters studies so far: Understanding the Information Society better – its possibilities and challenges, and gaining some insight into the implications for educational institutions such as schools.

Much of our formal education is still based on an information-scarce model, where learning was restricted to institutions which were teacher-, classroom-, and textbook-based. We are now able to learn anything, anywhere, from any “teacher” and from many, many information sources. (But what does this mean for my grade 6 students, I wonder?)

Educational institutions must prepare students for a society in which change is inevitable – which is why creativity and innovation, lifelong learning and learning-to-learn is so important. Students must take an active role in their learning, which is no longer only formal, static and discrete, but can also be informal, and should be continuous and fluid. (But what does this mean for my grade 6 students, I wonder?)

The networked and connected nature of the Information Society not only allows self-directed learning that is not bound to a classroom, but the social and participatory new media, that developed through the internet and the WWW, allow learning to be social and collaborative. Students will need communication, collaboration and leadership skills along with digital, information and media literacy skills. (And again: What does this mean for my grade 6 students, I wonder?)

What challenged my thinking?

“Knowledge-building” and “collective intelligence”, “knowledge work” and “intellectual capital” – these concepts and what they mean for school-based education is still a challenge to me.

On a more personal Level: My view of my learning is still too static and linear. I want to be able to read all the readings and feel that I have mastered it. I am still too much of a solitary learner and not enough of a collaborative, social learner – bring on Module 2 🙂

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