Essential Question: How can we manage the change that is inherent in our distance learning efforts?
“We have arrived at a point in history where these technological developments as well as economic, demographic, and pedagogic trends converge and reinforce each other to provide momentum for an accelerated rate of change in the years ahead” (Moore, 2011). To keep up with the change we need to keep up with technology and demographic and pedagogic trends that will be driving distance learning in the coming years.
Moore (2011) said, “Seeking to keep up with changing knowledge, half the U.S. adult population has engaged in some formal learning activity, whether it is a training session at work, a community-based adult education program, or a formal degree or certificate program.” I think this is where most people are in today’s world. We are at a point of our history where people are seeking to gain more knowledge, and, increasingly, that is occurring through online learning.
It has been technology, primarily, that has led to so many changes in (1) how educational institutions are organized; (2) how they see their missions; (3) the types and numbers of students they serve; (4) the curricula they offer; (5) how they employ human resources; (6) how they support learners, provide instruction, evaluate learning; and even (7) how highly their programs are regarded (Moore, 2011).
“In education today, blended learning approaches have become popular among educators and policymakers alike as they prepare students to be effective citizens in our society where digital tools are becoming increasingly ubiquitous”
(Riel, Lawless, & Brown, 2016). I like the idea, mentioned in the article, that teachers should ask questions and share ideas. I don’t see how teachers in any institution are going to be able to keep up with today’s rapidly changing technology without sharing what they are learning about it with each other. “Many historians, sociologists and journalists have expressed concern in recent years about the rapid changes taking place in our society. They tell us that today’s world is changing at an accelerated rate, unlike anything past generations witnessed” (Sweat, 2010). Today, technological changes are taking place at such a breathtaking pace that many have difficulty keeping up with them. For example, every year there is a new updated phone on the market. Sweat (2010) points out: “As a society, we are busier than ever before. That’s because while technology allows us to do our work faster and more efficiently, it also puts more demands on us.” Most people are bringing work home with them. Work can call you wherever you are. As a result, people’s lives are busier than ever.
As Gibson (2016) advises, “Professionals in our field should continually seek ways to move outside their comfort zone in order to learn things for which they do not yet have a knowledge base. They can do so by adding skills, tools, and resources to their professional toolbox for success in an online world that is constantly changing and advancing.” This is one reason why I am taking classes online. I want to add skill and knowledge to keep up with our ever changing world. If I do not do this, I will fall behind and not know what is going on in the technology world. I will not be able to help my students or co-workers if I do not seek to understand. This is how I am going to continue to keep up with the constant changes taking place in education.
Gibson, A. (2016). Insights from the Field: Moving Outside Our Comfort Zone – OLC. Retrieved November 06, 2016, from http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/insights-field-moving-outside-comfort-zone/
Moore, M. (2011). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning, 3rd Edition. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
Riel, J., Lawless, K.A. & Brown, S.W. (2016). Listening to the Teachers: Using Weekly Online Teacher Logs for ROPD to Identify Teachers’ Persistent Challenges When Implementing a Blended Learning Curriculum. Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(2), 169-200. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Sweat, B. (2010). How Can We Cope in a World of Rapid Change? Retrieved November 06, 2016, from https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/how-can-we-cope-in-a-world-of-rapid-change.