The ONL162 course is now coming to its end, and like at the end of a holiday, time has come to put away the suitcase, wash the clothes and book the next holiday…
Topic 5, is called ‘Lessons learnt’. And though I was thinking about the things I was expecting from the course, what I have learnt as new by participating as a student in an online course (rather than the facilitor/teacher), presentations our group has made, nice literature that we have read and discussed and new insights that I have gathered – it struck me that I think the lessons I have NOT yet learnt are perhaps even more interesting to reflect on. They are, however, harder to define, as they may be purely based on stubbornness, resistance to change OR on hope that it is a lesson other’s may have to learn….or maybe a combination of the three.
But here they come:
- I think there is still much to learn about learning, I don’t think the current educational pedagogics models are complete, certainly not to account for the online possibilities. I hope one day ‘pedagogics’ will become like ‘sustainability’: something everyone has to take into account and feel in every aspect of his/her activities, rather than a separate topic some of us occupy themselves with. Maybe I don’t believe that the necessary changes in pedagogics will come from the pedagogics teachers/teachings, maybe they will always come from the ‘field’ and the pedagogics domain will theorize them and put them into context. But I haven’t yet learnt what is missing or how we could find it to utilize our possibilities of interacting in the ‘cloud’ to the fullest of its potential.
I think some people jump on the ‘online learning’ train for the wrong reasons. Are there wrong reasons when the end product is still positive and useful for others? Maybe not. But maybe for me education is partly about transferring content into other human beings, but mostly about learning others to use their creativity and braincapacity they already have but perhaps haven’t utilized yet -and in the process approve skills and content. So I haven’t yet learnt what the true impact of online learning could be or should be.
- I do not think I have learned how one can activate everybody in a group to work to their fullest abilities. Many people are merely ‘visitors’ and perhaps that is fine also. But perhaps it isn’t. Perhaps we should never go anywhere with the intention to visit only. Maybe we should always go places with the full intention to improve things, stay forever (even if we don’t), give it all we have and most often fail misserably (and sometimes succeed) and be okay with that because next time we are going to stay and have a lasting impact. But perhaps our imprint will not show today but years from now…. But I could be wrong. But it is certainly a lesson I have not yet learnt.
- Finally, I think an important lesson I haven’t learnt is what is the magical way to managing ‘the process’ of learning. Be it in an online context, or a class-room. I know I strongly believe that unless we educate our coming generations how to operate, create, collaborate, innovate in a multi-cultural and cross-disciplinary setting, we will not be able to cleverly meet the societal challenges to come. Does it matter on the long run? After all, after failure comes success, merely out of pure necessity…. Perhaps. But perhaps the costs are too high along the way. Education has a major role to play in this, which we should never forgot, while making our journey through new tools, methods and processes. Perhaps there is no magical way. Perhaps the only solution is to create sufficient momentum, have sufficient passionate individuals that can shake the system and some brilliant students that become our teachers later on. The rest of us should then make sure we facilitate, not block too much and jump on board once the train is moving…. Definately a lesson we still need to learn…