Emma T. Candy wrote:
> Thank you Alan Cummings for your vision.
> It is important to think on a macro level rather than every one
> working away on developing without really thinking why and how it can
> be optimised. I can see why you think that web technology could and
> should be harnessed in this way.
> As you can see from the last two responses people just don't like it.
> Students probably like it more than teachers but they don't like to
> be monitored even if it is for helpful purposes. Learning can be
> serendiptious and you should know that sometimes you end going to web
> sites that you didn't mean to on your way to something else, you
> don't want all your mistakes recorded too.
> A lot of people have tried to make all encompasing integrated systems
> and sometimes they work, but it is always difficult to find content
> for every area of your curriculm. On a practical level, getting
> people interested in computer assited learning is a hard and
> incremental process, teachers are very resisitant to being dictated
> too from on high.
That's reasonable. I think apart from the overwhelming
paranoia, loss-of-freedom, confidentiality issues there
are also important issues in terms of learning.
So beyond knee-jerk (slightly) :
For one thing, you get what you measure.
For another, although the last government's, and so far the
present government's commitment to national standards and
testing is "popular" in terms of its spin anyway, and
superficially valid, it isn't necessarily the answer.
Perhaps more usefully : it isn't necessarily the answer
beyond key skills and obvious competences.
Prof Stephen Heppell's recent presentations on Learning in
the Information Society have included an anecdotal aside
and projected quote in six inch high letters from a recent/current
Japanese Minister of Education who worries that it could
take his nation 10 to 20 years to recover from 50 years
of regimentation and groupthink.
He says Japanese learning driven by standards and forms and
records is creating a nation of deeply, sadly uncreative souls.
In contrast, and written from the same city, the Tokyo/Japanese
partners in PriceWaterhouseCoopers have Britain taped as the
epitome of creativity, fuelled by liberal learning.
In thinking about this I have been reminded of the Learning
Webs/Schooling Funnels of Illych's Deschooling Society, and
of the ideas in Instead Of Education (author escapes me) both
from the 1960s.
Of course the Learning Webs can be readily facilitated with
new technology and many of us are interested in and/or
actively involved in this. But to me the idea of the permanent
CV trailing behind everyone is not progressive.
Much of my work has been in the arts. This is an area in which
real employers and professionals rely on audition, resume,
and to a minor extent on formal education (mainly because it
reflects previous auditions/selection).
Everything, EVERYTHING, is getting to be like that. If you
can learn quickly and do what's needed at your "audition"
(which might be 3 months trial, or a two-hour office test,
or changing a big end, and so on and so forth) the employer
will be happy. And in my view happier than consulting a
computer for those with legitimised fishing licences.
Can this person learn well or not? Good question.
Can they put what they learn into practice well or not? Good question.
Which certificates have they? Limited value.
Which courses did they follow in year two infants and what were
their age 7 scores? Interesting, not critical.
What were they doing behind the bikesheds aged 15? Don't ask.
Enough of this! Back to work.
@ - @ - @
chris paul | innovation in digital and
electronic arts limited | c/o fine arts
manchester metropolitan university | m15 3br
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tel 0161 247 1907 fax 247 6818