by Stephen Downes
Jul 12, 2016
Certainly I am in support of the idea that work and learning ought to be more closely linked. So I am in general supportive of the idea that "post-secondary students should have access to some form of work-integrated learning." But I believe the push should come in the opposite direction from that proposed by these authors from the Business/Higher Education Roundtable, particularly with respect to the role of business. They should be trying to find more ways provide access to education to people who are already employed or who are seeking employment, rather than access to work for people who are enrolled in higher education. Why? because this is where the most need is, and this is where business especially has been sorely lacking in willingness to invest. As for the higher education students, I would emphasize workplace less and practical experience more - student-initiated social development projects, for example, are equally viable. And as one commenter notes, this should not become some sort of intern program exploiting students.
in this short article Sharon Friesen and Michele Jacobsen quote Carl Bereiter in support of design-based research and learning. "'Best practice, evidence-based practice, and reflective practice all refer to ways of making optimum use of know-how' however, while necessary, these are insufficient for creating new insights into practice, or 'know-why' directed towards advancing practice." They recommend learning that "employs research processes and methods to create and study innovation in authentic learning contexts." Image: Sharon Friesen, I hold in my hand a bird.
"Many hard problems require you to step back and consider whether you’re solving the right problem," writes Ethan Zuckermaan in this excellent article. "If your solution only mitigates the symptoms of a deeper problem, you may be calcifying that problem and making it harder to change." This is the characteristic result when technologists see a social problem as an engineering problem. "The problem with the solutionist critique, though, is that it tends to remove technological innovation from the problem-solver’s toolkit." As I've long said, the best use for a technology is one people select for themselves, and designing a solution to a problem is exactly the wrong way to design technology (none of my colleagues at NRC agree with this). Recommended via Gerald Ardito. Related: UNICEF principles for digital development.
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