Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Confession


From Secret of Flight

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One of the themes I've been hearing is frustration / ennui around the eLearning space.

I guess this is the natural evolution of things.
Kinda like when a small indie band gets popular - then we claim they've sold out once other people discover them.

I did this to myself with my rapid development tools and teaching subject matter experts to fish.
I am guilty of propagating this.
I did it out of necessity.
Too much demand (finally!), too many projects, too little time, too little me.

I did this to myself by falling back to old design practices and habits - despite the power of a number of these tools to facilitate real learning beyond our familiar generations-old model.

Instructional televison?  Classroom over the air.
Synchronous online training? Classroom on the computer.
Asynchronous online training? Classroom (time-independent) on the computer.
Mobile learning? Classroom on the go.

We know this model. Our subject-matter experts know this model. Our audience expects this model.
It's easy.
Same way teaching the same course over an entire career, like many research professors do, is easy.
There is less resistance.
Less discomfort.
Less having to "explain ourselves"
Less having to sell an idea that no one can "see" yet.
Again - I am guilty.

The ennui and frustration I feel is my own fault.

And I get the feeling it is the result of thinking too small.
Focusing too closely on "getting it done". On the immediate crisis at hand.

But what if I expand my perspective a bit?
Look more at the entire forest - flora, fauna, trees, undergrowth?
Even just a BIT of the forest?
I wonder how that might change my approach?

Worth finding out.

1 comment:

Gregory Russell said...

I've had similar feelings for the past month in the design of a blended learning computer science course (though mixed with qualms about life as a Phd student). In 'making things work' for teachers in their contexts, pedagogical compromises have been made and principles sacrificed. That said, change isn't easy and it isn't fast. At times like these, I reflect upon why I'm in education and re-commit myself to the task I've challenged myself with. Good luck. There are others out there like you.