Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our colleges aren’t broken, our faculty not failures. With new tech we can provide (not merely deliver) better education for all who deserve it.

"If it Ain't Broke, Improve it: Thoughts on Engaging Education for Us All"  Steven W. Gilbert, 
Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN) Volume, Issue - Date: 
 Volume 8, Issue 1 - February 2004, Sloan-C, the Sloan Consortium, 15 pages. 

Excerpt from one-page summary of full 15-page text as PDF"Our colleges are not broken. Our faculty members and other academic professionals are not failures. tools and media are making it possible... to provide education that is much more than a delivery system for all those who deserve more."  [re:  course "delivery", see also "A course is not a pizza."]

One-Page Summary of "If It Ain't Broke, Improve It: thoughts on engaging education for us all" by Steven W. Gilbert, President, The TLT Group:

Higher education is richer with options for improving teaching and learning than ever before, and these options change more rapidly than ever before. The variety and power of new kinds of information resources increase just as quickly. New telecommunications and information technologies contribute both to the necessity and the means for keeping up with these changes. Enabling millions of citizens, including professional educators, to think, decide, and act differently is a task for which educators are still the best prepared and most needed.Our colleges are not broken. Our faculty members and other academic professionals are not failures. The most important challenge facing higher education today is not technological, not political, not managerial, and not financial, although those are all important factors. The biggest, most important challenge is educational. Lifelong learning isn't only for "them." It is for all of us; and lifelong professional development is an important part of it, for now and for the foreseeable future. All of us involved in higher education need to use the wisdom, knowledge, and skills that we have as educators to design and implement educational responses to these new educational challenges. 
Gilbert explores the issues of technology and professional development from the frame of reference of his work with hundreds of colleges that have benefited from the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Group (TLT Group), an organization whose mission is to motivate and enable institutions and individuals to improve teaching and learning with technology, while helping them cope with change. During the first years of launching hundreds of TLT Roundtables, we frequently asked a pair of Fundamental Questions. We were able to ask these questions of diverse groups within hundreds of different kinds of colleges and universities:What do you most want to gain? For yourself? For your colleagues? For your institution?What do you most cherish and want not to lose? For yourself? For your colleagues? For your institution? 
The one dominant theme in all the answers, among all the discussions, was, "We don't want to lose our opportunities to connect meaningfully and deeply with students." So, be skeptical when you hear someone describe education as a "delivery system." Fortunately, new tools and media are making it possible to provide more opportunities for communication, coordination, collaboration, and engagement within college courses and among those who support teaching and learning - to be sure that we provide education that is much more than a delivery system for all those who deserve more.We hope you will join in examining - and perhaps breaking - new and old taboos as we answer the growing call for engaging education for us all - the kinds of education that foster more opportunities for faculty members to connect meaningfully and deeply with students and with others in the community, broadly defined – especially those kinds of education that offer the connectedness that Edward Hallowell [1] and others have so eloquently described:
  • · Familial connectedness
  • · Historical connectedness
  • · Social connectedness
  • · Institutional-Organizational connectedness
  • · Connectedness to information and ideas
  • · Religious-Transcendent connectedness

IMAGES created and uploaded by Steven W. Gilbert 20120425

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:49 AM

    Excellent Summary: The topic is catching and relevant to the issues in Higher Education.


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