Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

David Wiley writes, "The failure of the internet to broadly transform teaching has led me to wonder – what was the impact of the prior transformative communications technology – the printing press – on teaching?" It's a good question. The answer, unsurpriusingly, is 'textbooks', and Wiley notes that "the key components of the modern textbook story have been in place for literally hundreds of years." Before textbooks, there was dictation, where a faculty member would read the textbook aloud while students copied it. How different is this from WordPress plugins for online book publishing and online annotation? What could we be doing instead? Wiley suggests (and I wholeheartedly agree) is practice. Practice with feedback, with reflection. "Providing students with lots of online interactive practice is absolutely one of the ways we should be leveraging the affordances of the internet in support of student learning. But – particularly when it comes to OER – we aren't.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Feb 26, 2024 07:09 a.m.

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