Einstein and the art of on-line learning

Although this sounds like a strange place to start I hope I can make some sense of it. The reason for starting with Einstein is the quote he once made defining insanity and if you haven’t seen this it goes something like;

‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’.

We are all looking  at the ways that we can provide support for students who need it in its variety of disguises both in and out of schools, extension for those who need challenge, create good and outstanding learning for all students, people are looking at the on line world as a way of delivering this. In many cases what we seeing though is the replication of the existing practice into this virtual world and the question has to be that if this doesn’t work in the off-line world why will it work on-line? How will simply recording a whole lesson on video and putting it on a website or putting the lesson plan and presentation/course notes really make student learning better? We need to rethink what learning should be like if we are to use the technology to support learners. Take a look at what students watch or engage with, it is sites like YouTube and Facebook where things tend to come in bite size lumps and are easily digested, would it not be better to present learning in the same approach. Take the lead ofKhanAcademy, iTunesU and O2 learn where material come in much reduced size and are focussed on the knowledge they require the students to learn. If we don’t take the lead from the learner we are simply likely to follow the Einstein’s prediction and not make the difference we are all looking for.


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