Posts tagged ‘education’
December 22, 2013
I was asked recently to be a member of the PAC (professional advisory committee) for the Undergraduate Graphic Design program at Conestoga College in Guelph, Ontario. I accepted gladly, as I’m always interested in what other schools with roughly the same demographic as my own are doing in their design programs and really, who wouldn’t accept an invitation that comes with the introduction, “Because you are an expert in your field and we value you as a trendsetter and someone with a finely-tuned acumen regarding the future of graphic design education…” (okay, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated, but it was a very nicely phrased email and my ego was glowing after reading it!)
In early December, we had our first meeting and the program directors presented to the committee, their five year vision and then asked us our thoughts and ideas. It was interesting to hear just how they plan to keep on expanding their program, recruiting students and, totally foreign to me, build a physical infrastructure to support their new endeavors. (As I’ve been teaching in the DE world almost 3 years and a DE student for 4 years previous to that, I tend to forget that people actually have building programs and all the bricks and mortar conventions to make spaces for people to come and learn within. I think it’s great that their view is so grand and if a mega campus is your vision, I’m all about you running after it as hard as possible.) Conestoga is indeed all about a physical presence and it seems if their reality can match even a third of their projected vision for the next several years, it will bring much good to the region. Read more
March 14, 2013
“But, of course, the university itself won’t be anything like what it is now…The individual is going to study mainly at home. And the great teachers won’t have to spend their time delivering the same lectures over and over, because they’ll put them on film. The teachers and scholars will be free to spend their time developing more and more knowledge about man’s whole experience–past, present, and future…Today’s students know instinctively that his world is dynamic, not static, and that the normal state of affairs is constant change and evolution.”
November 28, 2012
So, I know a flipped classroom is not a new idea and I know that the New York Times Learning Network is nothing new, but yeah…I’m a little slow to the party and I’ve just discovered both in a serious way today.
A flipped classroom basically is “An “inverted” teaching structure in which instructional content is delivered outside class, and engagement with the content – skill development and practice, projects and the like – is done in class, under teacher guidance and in collaboration with peers.” (Quoted from Five Ways to Flip Your Classroom With The New York Times)
I think it’s kind of genius and I know the Dean I work under is kind of in love with the idea too. In a ground classroom lectures can get a bit dry and students can be a bit prone to zoning out. In a distance ed classroom, the temptation is to get way way more distracted by all the other digital noise going on thus the temptation to zone out factor is incrementally higher. But…if you flip the classroom and you give students the power and initiative to learn it and then come to you for personalized application and trial and error….indeed, that sounds like a great deal for everyone.
November 1, 2012
I got this book, Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Distance and e-Learning: Models, policies, and research, last week and have just browsed it a bit but am totally looking forward to sitting down and marking it all up as I learn more about how distance ed can be the best possible experience for all its students.
The main thrust of this book seems to be about just what quality assurance is in a distance learning environment and how it can best be achieved. There are case studies from educators working all around the world and the book itself is edited by Insung Jung, an educator working at the International Christian University in Tokyo and Colin Latchem, a distance education consultant with over 30 years of experience, currently living in Australia. I love that distance education really does embrace the world as its student body and this book is the perfect reflection of that.
There’s also a fair amount on accreditation and distance learning, addressing the always present debate as to if distance education merits its own accreditation methods or can be judged in the same scheme as a ground school. The accreditation issue is something that definitely interests me because I know schools (at least here in the States) seem to live and die by their accreditation status.
I, oddly enough, never thought I’d say I can’t wait to brew up an Americano, light a candle, and spend some significant time reading about quality assurance, but I hope in the very near future I can do just that!
October 25, 2012
This morning I read a very very interesting article posted through a twitter link by Dr. John Maeda, current President of RISD and all-around amazing thinker + leader (who also happens to be a computer scientist, an AIGA medal recipient, and an author on a best selling book called Laws of Simplicity …oh, and he’s under 50 and has been named, by Esquire magazine, one of the 21 most important people in the 21st century).
The article, by the Impatient Futurist in Discover magazine, was a great exploration into how teachers, particularly in higher ed, can be more effective at engaging and promoting retention amongst their students. The general consensus is that students just aren’t staying engaged with the traditional lecture format and there needs to be another way.
The new way to success (not to spoil the article…everyone who is in the business of passing on knowledge to students in a classroom setting should definitely read it) involves teaching new ideas and skills and then immediately putting those skills to use through small quizzes, practical process tasks, etc. By engaging students to process what they’ve just heard students more effectively retain the information because they become active participants in the learning process. Often technology plays a heavy role in the process and students can interact with one another and the instructor via digital means.
Hmmm….constant small quizzes, practical process tasks, interacting with an instructor and other students via digital means…that sounds oddly familiar. : )
Perhaps if distance ed can do these things well, this is something it could teach ground schools?