My Practical Futurism / Tutoring at Scale Keynote

Michael Caulfield, Tran|Script, Jul 05, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The future of educational technology, says Mike Caulfield, is tutoring at scale. What does that mean? Not 'frosting the horse pill' - not taking what we're already doing and dressing it up. Nor is it some sort of adaptation to the '21st century learner' differences or learning styles. "You can't solve an Ikea problem with a discovery-based methodology." Traditional lecture-based is not conversational enough, it's not customized enough, and it doesn't provide immediate feedback. These are all things tutoring brings to the mix. The process of tutoring helps both tutor and learner by requiring them to explain their understanding. That's the conversational bit. Customization increases 'time on task'. Feedback has a similar effect; the expectation of feedback leads people to focus. We can accomplish all of these (conversation, customization and feedback) without tech - groupwork, for example, addresses each of these. It's the basis behind the 'flipped classroom'. Or clickers in the classroom. Good presentation, well worth the half hour it takes to listen.
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