Really interesting piece from Tony Hirst at the OU here which explores potential futures of learning. Among four options illustrated above two stuck out for me:
The ‘Google university’ differs from the easyUniversity in terms of student autonomy. The Google university envisions a world of rich materials, which students search for themselves. Far from being pre-packaged, these materials lend themselves to a variety of uses, and students locate and sequence these materials by means of automatic facilities that parse and interpret text, images, usage histories, ratings given by others and correlations with successful learning outcomes. The Google university is based on information and gives the student much autonomy.
Finally, the ‘AI campus’ scenario focuses on student learning from thoroughgoing intellectual engagement. Like the Google university, there is high student autonomy; but unlike the Google university, learning comes directly from the feedback provided by open-ended projects, experiments, simulations and gameworlds, rather than from documents or media clips. The AI campus shares with the professional school a concern to facilitate experience, but since the focus is not so clearly vocational, the AI campus emphasises student autonomy over mastery of predefined knowledge and skills. The AI campus is based on experience and gives the student some autonomy.
I’m finding that my work is increasingly like a combination of these two. Indeed most of the most interesting work will be. If we are to take part in a open education revolution then what skills do people need to have to handle this? I’d say that good educators will help people nurture focus and discipline.
Update: I didn’t expect to update this within minutes of posting, but David Wilcox over at his new blog and as part of the sicamp (why did I miss this? I was invited – doh!) asks about supporting personal learning. This is the comment I’ve left there:
David can you please stop having thoughts like mine but in different places at the same time. I hope you don’t mind me linking to something I blogged 10 mins ago? If not then please read this:
I think the structures of personal learning are easy to understand and establish. As always success is a question of culture. How can we support each other to have the focus and discipline to excel at something?
Antonio Gould (a particular social media talent who hangs out in Birmingham and London) has been pursuing a
collaborative personal mba for a while: