From my perspective, criticizing the employment of online learning for failing to be perfect during a global pandemic, and using this as an opportunity to reinforce and reinvigorate the imperatives of existing institutions, is pernicious and unjustified. The criticisms of educational technology to be found in this article serve only to mask the glaring inadequacies of the traditional system.
We'll grant David Wiley his assumptions, if only because they lead to such a fun conclusion:
Lovely. Wiley asks - and it's a great question - "What is the role of instructional design / learning science / learning engineering / related forms of expertise in the creation – or revising and remixing – of learning materials? Insisting that this expertise is important feels like it pulls against the democratizing power of modern conceptions of openness in education. But denying that this expertise matters feels like it joins the broader anti-expertise chorus currently eroding public policy.
I work in a research lab. We recently (before the pandemic) had some workers in to renovate and paint the walls. I recall one of them saying to the other "I can't believe how quiet it is in here." He wasn't wrong. Quiet is the order of the day in pretty much every facility I've visited. The 'passive social check-in' is usually only within one's research team, and occasionally in hallways. That's why someone thinks of this as frequent: "Most graduate students and postdoctoral fellows would typically 'see' their supervisor on a daily or at least weekly basis." Imagine. Once a week. Right now I'm working at home. It's still quiet, and I'm still part of a research lab. But (thanks to Zoom) I've had more and better meetings with remote colleagues. And (thanks to Slack) I have more ad hoc interactions in a day than I had in the previous year on site. It's not that scientists have lost their social check-in. They still exist, and are even more available., But you have to learn how to use the (admittedly simple) technology.
I'm wondering whether the same story is playing out in education. Here's the story: "according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal... Facebook leadership ignored the findings and has largely tried to absolve itself of responsibility with regard to partisan divides and other forms of polarization it directly contributed to [because] changes might disproportionately affect conservatives and might hurt engagement." What is the appropriate response in an information society to efforts to divide and radicalize the population for partisan purposes?
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Copyright 2020 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.