Sunday, November 23, 2008

CCK08-Changing Space and Structure

Everything is connected. I find the day-to-day connectedness of life interesting. Think about it. You give your child a unique name. First time at a birthday party, two other kids have the same name. You buy a new car and run into identical models everywhere. You learn a new word and suddenly the whole world is using it, too. It's not that these things didn't exist before. You just weren't paying attention. This happens to me again and again in my personal network, tiny coincidences that really aren't coincidence at all. Such experiences are actually the unveiling of connections that reflect those moments where our paths intersect. I recently blogged about Scott McLeod's perception of Clayton Christensen's concept of disruptive innovation. (See the bread crumb trail here?) To my surprise, it appeared again in this week's CCK08 readings. Knowledge diffuses like a forest fire, moving in numerous directions, sometimes jumping roads to burn a whole new path.

Schools, by their structure, contain the fire. Closed classrooms contain knowledge by limiting access to available information, investing everything in the one teacher/one text model, and bureaucratizing the system in the name of accountability, thus making change nearly impossible. It is perfectly clear to me that changing the educational system will require a whole new paradigm of structure and space.

What will this new space look like? Will all learning take place online, or will we build blended connected environments that include small meetings of face-t0-face participants? Will the innovations made possible by new technologies be powerful enough to change an educational system that has managed to survive virtually all past technological advancements since the pencil? Will some of us have to start from scratch with a whole new paradigm of learning space? The chances of making that happen within the current physical structure appear bleak, at best.

1 comment:

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