Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Transformed Teaching and Learning

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Mar 28, 2007

Responding to Brian Lamb, who asked for "your own perspective, however brief."

Very briefly, because I don't have a lot of time...

* What does transformed teaching and learning look like?

It is directed by the learner, rather than the teacher or administrator. It ceases to the the focus of activity, and becomes a support for whatever is the focus of activity. It creates empowerment, rather than dependence.

* What are the key components needed to effect this transformation?

Attitudes, mostly.

Things that allow people to direct their own learning and create their own resources. Things that allow these resources to be located wherever they are needed (ie., ubiquitous internet + resource syndication). Placing control (and hence power) in the learner's hands - eg., personal identity, not institutional identity; personal resources, not institutional resources; etc.

* How do we build these key components and connect them?

We don't.

If we absolutely must build something, we build tools that allow people to create and build and store and syndicate. Then we give these tools to the people, making them very portable, rather than trying to establish a (proprietary, branded) web presence.

When we are building other things (such as games or EPSS, etc) we create opportunities for student-directed learning to be placed within the activity environment.

We allow simple grass-roots standards (and tools and computer languages) rather than trying to engineer a perfect solution to foist on the masses.

We continue to lobby for free and open software and resources rather than trying to create something *called* 'open' which nonetheless requires payment (either directly, via fees or subscriptions, or indirectly, via membership fees or tuitions).

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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