Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Learning 2.0 Debate

There has been an interesting discussion going on over at Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach's 21st Century Collaborative Blog re Learning for the 21st Century.
The first round of the discussion was based on the thesis : 'Should we re-name 21st Century Learning - Learning 2.0.
In the article Sheryl outlined very cogently the reasoning behind her contention that Learning is now significantly different from the Learning pre-Web 2.0 technologies,

"Web 2.0 – and ultimately School 2.0 -- is all about this two-way or group communication. The Web is no longer just a place to search for resources. It’s a place to find people, to exchange ideas, to demonstrate our creativity before an audience. The Internet has become not only a great curriculum resource but a great learning resource. The second generation Web is in fact, laying the foundation for ideas such as Classroom 2.0, Teacher 2.0 and Learning 2.0.

Personally, I still struggle when trying to explain concepts that simply have out paced the educational jargon we have available to describe them.

"If you want to project a cool, web-savvy persona, just tack 2.0 on the end of something." - Anonymous"

Learning 2.0 Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

The post continues by gathering thought s of some educators using new Web 2.0 technology in their classroom environments, the results are inconclusive amongst this group. However there are compelling arguments both for and against the basic idea of Learning 2.0.

I think that most educators working in the field today can easily sign up for Teaching 2.0 and Classroom 2.0, are teachers being selfish and rationalizing their own change of emphasis and approach to education, why shouldn't we progress to Learning 2.0 and ultimately School 2.0. Or are we in danger of over labeling everything as Sheryl suggests?

Over at Durff's Blog a salient point was made about the terminology that we use as teachers which should make us wary of over labeling :

"As edubloggers who are somewhat (I speak for myself here) web2.0 savvy, which labels limit us? Those labels that others give us could prevent them from joining the conversation. Dembo has a point, are we being too congratulatory?
I need to remove labels that encase me within an edublogger web2.0 mentality. I need to reach out, to redefine my online presence, to be inclusive of learners.
The terms we so freely throw about include blogs, wikis, podcasts, webcasts, RSS, etc. These labels intimidate. They strike fear in those who don't know. Presenting the tools without these common labels may initially be helpful in getting learners to listen. One can speak loudly and still not be heard..." Durff's Blog

Sheryl has returned to the debate with her most recent post Progressive Education Round Two - in this scholarly discourse Sheryl looks at how the 'Progressive Education' views of John Dewey in the 1940's can so easily be fitted to the way in which Web 2.0 technology is used in the classroom, indeed back from Dewey to Piaget and beyond. This second discussion would seem to move the debate to the ground that - there have been progressive thinkers on Education throughout the historical record back to the Greeks. They all appear to be giving us similar models of experiential learning, could they have been advocating Learning 2.0 all along? Sadly it is the institutional nature of education that has drowned out these views over the years, even though teachers across the ages have seen it to be effective. Now we are at another one of those tipping points, where we have the possibility to change the face of education for now into the future - Now if that is the bold and reckless move that we need to make, perhaps I for one would be convinced by the argument in favour of Learning 2.0.

"We are developing, and seeking to use in education, digital literacy. That is wonderful. Now let us apply those skills to what really matters. What augments education is passionate conversation. Such conversations began with some guy named Aristotle. Those passionate conversations have continued throughout history and herstory. Now there is a way to digitally join that conversation. We can extend these conversations relatively cheaply. This opens the door for the common man and woman to enter into conversation with us." Durff''s Blog

We may eventually see that Schools of the Future are not actually bricks and mortar at all but schools truly 'Without Walls' in virtual space....

To contribute to the debate do go and read both articles on 21st Century Collaborative, I am absolutely sure that Sheryl, Durff and I would welcome your views.


Mavin said...

Store Wars was awesome!!! Loved it, it was amazingly produced. With a very good point too. :)

Take care, Mavin. :D

sheryl nussbaum-beach said...

Great post Paul. When I homeschooled I often posed this question--
What is homeschooling? If I take my kids to the office and educate them there- I'm I still a homeschooler? If my kids are chasing their own passion and doing an internship or apprenticeship with someone, am I a homeschooler? If I teach other people's kids with mine and their parents contributing in my house am I still a homeschooler? For me-- to try and define homeschooling was as hard as learning 2.0. I believe in trying to organize and categorize something very organic in nature we are missing the point.

I think we need to do as you suggest and break away from the idea that school is a place and begin to see learning as a journey that occurs over time and that place and seat time are irrelevant.

Blog Archive