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Future of Instructional Technologies

1. Read Spector chapter 56, “Foundations for the Future,” by Kim, Lee, Merrill, Spector, and van Merrienboer. 

In this chapter, the authors look back five years and forward five years (from the publication date--2008) in terms of developments in the field and research findings. They also examine foundation for research and development, the study of instructional design, and preparing practitioners and researchers. All this should be of great interest to doctoral students in the field. Describe how developments of the recent past and the projected future may influence your academic career and professional practice. Are you encouraged...or a little discouraged? Why? 

ANSWER:   Apparently (if we believe the speaker at AECT)  the era of ADDIE is over... and somehow the business community will learn this.  I think the five step process will be accepted more than Dick and Carey's ten step process...   I wonder if there will be room for Instructional TECHNOLOGISTS and a separate group of Instructional DESIGNERS.   I came away from the conference thinking that there is no place for people who just look at technology and know about it.   There has to be designers of instruction methods.  A model for collaboration with business people is also important, so someone who understands technology and how people learn will be needed.   I fear that if I turn into a pretzel and become a designer of programs, I'm going to miss the wider picture of "it's the system, not the specific program of instruction or course" that influences the kids.   Part of the ITDE mission is to work with Leadership and Principals to cause Systemic Change (a poorly attended segment of the AECT conference).   The focus on technology might be looking too closely at the horse and carriage and miss the fact that gasoline and motor cars are showing up.   

I've heard some classmates discuss the minutiae that the instructional design people are going through in the ID class and I worry that the overall picture is  being missed.  ID and IT needs to keep an eye on the system.   How kids are taught, either constructivsit or through behaiviorist models really doesn't mater if the course doesn't match the kid's needs and the 7 global skills... If the principal is looking for a math course that preps the kid for Albegra 2 and passing the SAT II math, it would be near-sighted for me to deliver precisely that kind of course.   I need to customize the needs of the kids...  Free range learning needs ot be proposed and introduced, not ignored.   Such a dynamic presentation and Mria Andersen doesn't have the 100,000 hits that her topic deserves... 

Discouraged?  no, annoyed that the establishment preaches lifelong learning and then fails to keep curious.  

Now, to the reading...

Developments in the near past and projections for the near future indicate to me that I'm going to continue to be a square peg in a round hole...  unless I look for deviant or outlier organizations like edgeoflearning.com...  (but i don't want to live through a Michigan winter -- Maria Andersen works in Muskegon)...  

Diffusion of innovation is the key -- and the second reading points out three reasons why we fail to get benefits from technology (or better pedagogy)...

1  we learn to use the technology but we don't learn the pedagogical procedures to effectively use it.  The Richard Clark problem -- focus on the delivery truck instead of the fruit and the best procedures for driving the truck to make sure the fruit gets into the client.

2.  Lack of adoption and resistance to change sends messages to students, parents and colleagues...

3.  The framework?  Isn't that code for "the system" that Deming pointed out is responsible for 94% of failure... ?

It's not just technology... I resisted project based learning for five years because "it's just not me."
The David Brooks quote is disheartening, since many tenured teachers will retain their jobs while wielding dry erase markers and erasers.

I'm still resisting the ipad and iphone... and I feel as though I'm stuck in an eddy in the river... Crap.  I better get with the times and subscribe to RSS. 
(But then I think of Aleph Molinari and the Digital Divide and I remember that most people haven't ever touched a computer).   

When the Italian "calculate the distance to the moon" example was mentioned, I realize that I do that sort of thing naturally because I try to find math and science in the news, not the textbook.  I suppose that can be taught to other teachers but the fun comes in stripping down the curriculum to an essence.  teacher what the kid will remember ten years from now and skip teaching the rest because he'll forget it anyway.

Content, technology and pedagogy... TPACK ... it goes back to being a tutor.  Listen to what the kid needs and wants.   Deliver it.  In the way that the kid wants it.  We don't have to know how to use the technology but we can be open to the kid introducing the technology into the classroom.

Simonson's mantram is relevant:  

When teachers try to make instruction equal for all students, they will 
fail.  Rather, the teacher of online education should provide 
a wide collection of activities that make possibleequivalent learning experiences for studentsusing approaches
 that recognize 
fundamental differences 
between learners
 distant and local.  Equivalence is more time-consuming and difficult, but promises to be more effective.
Michael Simonson, Trends and Issues in Distant Education:  International Perspectives, page 285


I've posted this in a poster that can be printed and put on your wall.
Obviously this reading fascinated me... the previous two weeks did not.  Is the course flexible enough to "give points" to an extended diatribe?  That's the concept of equivalence...

In reading 56, 
a)  content is available ... sort of.  
The point of "content is readily available" is relative.  I would much rather spend my time reading then hunting for articles. The time spent hunting for a piece that Wilson or some other publisher hides is annoying.  I have heard that systems used by other universites, such as Kaplan, are much swifter.   ugh.

b)  "maturing" of the field
The shift form technologies to instructional design does not thrill me, but there are some of my colleagues who are thrilled.  I hope that a simple model can be found like ADDIE.. short and easy to recite.  The danger with both stages, focus on technologies or designn misses the big picture of the systemic change that is needed.  Read Deming, Francis Duffy and Charles Reigeluth for more ideas... oh, and Fischler.

systemicchange.wordpress.com is a good place to start....

c)  Mobile learning
Look at the mobile learning program described at Abilene Christian university ACU.

d)  Open resources
look at the Flat World publishing model

e)  The war with Kirschner
Richard Clark at the AECT conference asked graduate students to start with a question:  "What is your evidene?"  He poined out that we might not agree that the evidence that you give is what I'll accept as sufficient for implementing your procedures, but at least we can take the time to lay out some specific reasons for moving in a particular direction.
Kirschner made his ame by defining constructivist in extreme terms.  Take a moment to see how Dennis Yuzenas uses a range of theories in his classroom and that's where we can start.  search  "Dennis yuzenas" and click on the 9 minute video of his walkthrough.

or click here:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnR_nCakIKk   "dennis Yuzenas Visual and active"

I like the authors' point about the direction of future research:  look at how the system is interplaying and influencing the learning.  The best learning tools and methods can be in place, but a cantankerous principal or a "stick to the rules" superintendent can screw up teh best program.   I also recommend James Zull and his work with Brain Research in the classroom (good techniques).  

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Changing-Brain-Enriching-Exploring/dp/1579220541  The art of changing the brain...

f)  Design by assignment
Lovely wording.  Again, without systemic change, preparing the practitioner will probably not happen effectively or widely.
I love the paragraph about "developing a tool to implement the theory in an appropriate setting."  Please... Deming, Deming, Deming.  
Without systemic change, constant improvement and a workplace without fear, without fundamental redesign of schools, without the transformation that Dr. Fischler calls for in his vision statement in July 2006, the first post of his blog, the words of this article will serve to boost the careers of the authors and lead to a lot of more words by doctoral students... without fundamental change in the system.   Tautology?  Sure:  There won't be fundamental change unless there is fundamental change.

I'm siding with the constructivists
If we look at the world that will allow students to select their materials... I just don't see how the behaviorists will win.

There is the fellow who does attendance with email to the student's phone:  "You were not in class at 8:01 am" and the result is higher attendance and more engagement.
Is that a response to a stimulus?  Or is there "guide on the side" coaching that leads to studnets taking more responsibility to gradually becoming independent learners?   Maria Andersen's concept of reducing the importance of TEACHER and increasing the COACH aspects...  that's constructing a different way of learning and individualizing the program.   This fits with Simonson's model showing the difference between EQUAL and EQUIVALENT in course design.

by the way, it would thrill me no end if you would take a moment and visit my blog


Some of the youtube videos I've listened to lately have me thinking about the future.

What is social learning?
what gutenberg did for written word, social media did for the spoken word... 
fusion-universal for social learning

fusion virtual school   in KENYA

attendance ... email to student "you are absent"
i care that you are here

creating nearly free textbooks
Flat World world class content
While the disruptive power of the Internet promises wider access to knowledge and new legal licensing structures open the door for enhanced sharing, old business models often stand in the way. How have we arrived at the era of the $200 textbook, with stakeholders so enmeshed in the status quo that they don't seem to question it - even though none of them are being particularly well served? And how can new business models bring disruptive innovation to educational publishing, building a sustainable, new, 21st-century publishing model, based on free and open textbooks, in the process? This paper will explore these questions, offering new perspectives on the future of academic publishing.

Jeff Shelstad is co-founder and CEO of Flat World Knowledge, a venture-backed higher education content company offering world-class, free, and openly-licensed college textbooks. Flat World Knowledge has raised over $25 million in private investment capital since February of 2009, setting out to disrupt the $9+ billion textbook market with its innovative business model


flatworld knowledge youtube channel

the quote by Dr. Simonson from his 2005 book
When teachers try to make instruction equal for all students, they will 
fail.  Rather, the teacher of online education should provide 
a wide collection of activities that make possibleequivalent learning experiences for studentsusing approaches
 that recognize 
fundamental differences 
between learners
 distant and local.  Equivalence is more time-consuming and difficult, but promises to be more effective.
Michael Simonson, Trends and Issues in Distant Education:  International Perspectives, page 285


Maria Andersen's youtube posts about "Learn this" individualization of learning

Maria Andersen's Free range Learning from TedX

general interview with Maria Andersen

levers of change for education

Lift Institute
Vision of education   where we could go

Molinari's digital divide solution  (not one laptop per child, but rather a myriad of computer centers with supportive training) 

he uses a word... soporific... 
the formulation of the problem or question is more important than the solution
7 global skills

Linda Darling-Hammond
Stanford School Design Network

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