In this week’s Emerging Technology lesson, we talked about how we viewed Open Learning as an emerging technology, pedagogy, or philosophy. I love Open Learning. It has opened the door for many opportunities for me and many other distance students. Without it, I would not have been able to finish my two degrees.
Gerald talked about the Khan Academy, for which I had no idea that there was so many online free resources available to grades K-12. I have found so many good lessons for my kids. I have also recommended the website to other families. We talked about how open concept learning inspires children to succeed versus the current traditional systems in place. I think that an hybrid approach would be a great way to implement the new framework.
Brian talked about the Gutenberg project, which is a digital ebook library with endless resources. We also discussed whether a structure needs to be implemented with Open Learning, which I think is a great topic. There has to be some kind of expectation of guideline on what children should learn, even in an Open Learning environment. Should all kids have to know how to read at the age of five, or should it be early / later for other kids. Having a baseline on when kids should be to perform certain mathematic problems or spell certain words does need to be in place. These baselines do allow for teacher to see if a child has a learning disability or needs extra help in certain areas.
Jessica’s blog complimented Brian’s debate about a structure for the Open Learning system and how engagement is key to a successful Open Learning system. The system won’t work if students are not engaged to use the system. Kids do learn differently; some might be geared toward computer classes while others excel at hands on activities.
One of the things that I learned through the book, Disconnected Child by Robert Melillo, is often times a child will excel at one thing such as math for example and lack in other subjects. So instead of helping him with English or art, he is labeled as a Mathlete. Their studies will be focused at math and everything else is secondary. However, education should be a well-rounded leaning experience. Maybe since the child has mastered math, we should focus on him learning the other topics that are lacking. Melillo’s plan book lists exercises to help develop the other lacking areas. It is a great read and a new way to look at how to help develop your kids minds.