Mimi Ito’s specialty is “researching how young people are learning differently because of the abundance of knowledge and social connections in today’s networked world”.
She has heard the calls, from the president and others, for colleges to put more of their courses online and says that’s far from all we should be doing.
While I would be the last one to argue against getting more good educational material online and accessible, I do question whether our focus should be exclusively on classroom instruction.
Young people are desperate for learning that is relevant and part of the fabric of their social lives, where they are making choices about how, when, and what to learn, without it all being mapped for them in advance. Learning on the Internet is about posting a burning question on a forum like Quora or Stack Exchange, searching for a how to video on YouTube or Vimeo, or browsing a site like Instructables, Skillshare, and Mentormob for a new project to pick up. It’s not just professors who have something to share, but everyone who has knowledge and skills.
So, what are the implications for what we do in K12, especially high school? Should our focus continue to be exclusively on classroom instruction? Or the online clones of a traditional classroom found in most “virtual” schools?