Saturday, March 28, 2009

despondent; change is so challenging

Deja vue.

I look at it and think, there's got to be reasons for it...maybe they dont know or that they forget?
But adding in wisdom externally doesn't effect the change.
And the medium doesn't create wonders of its own accord. Innovation does not diffuse itself.
There's an opportunity for change in an online teaching and learning environment, to use the medium fully, for the attributes the medium is best for... to construct, connect and engage...useful attributes for a higher ed sector, but instead what's being asked for might as well be an essay, the marking grid reflects attributes valued in the essay. That there's logical flow, spelling that's attended why blog it???

Really profound change can’t be directed; it has to be nurtured.
No top-down impositions, uniform and simultaneous.
There seems a need for discovery, that conditions for innovation and the passion of individuals in a context of trust and creativity, be nurtured. Top-down solutions don't tend to reflect this.

Leverage for change requires engagement (and even of those who may not be recognised as such, human and otherwise) in creating something new.
In examples of innovation in teaching and learning, if you come back later, oftentimes things are right back where they used to be. So I wonder about the enormous forces that maintain the status quo and actor-network theory seems a really useful one in attending to the details of what shapes things.

A major leverage point on the education status quo is beautifully spotted by Senge, "We all went to school together... we all share strong common assumptions about how school is supposed to work. It is not only that we want our children to learn, we want them to learn in the way we think they should learn, or more correctly, in the way we learned."

And so we might have students learn in groups, wikis, write on blogs ... yet what's 'always been' remains influential. "The disciplines want essay writing"...and the marking grid develops in kind.
So I find myself with a marking grid that values spell checking instead of hyperlinking of ideas, or of involvement.

And shaking my head cant but wonder at how artefacts of assessment shape the learning that will occur.
And we are back to same old same old...

Off to read more Senge on nurturing change coz i dont think i can take much more of this.
Plus, have a look at 12 work-relevant characteristics of online life posted by Gary Hamel, its got a few reminders of attributes needed in the 21st century that far outweigh essay writing and spell checking :)

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