Saturday, March 1, 2014

Strategic Design in Online Education: Creating a Culture of Innovation

The education systems today produce students who are taught that the highest value to aspire to is to be a good consumer of goods and services. This value originates with an industrial model of education which also sees as the goal of education to produce workers to serve and labour in the global economy. But, is this the system the one that will lead to the greatest advancement of humanity on a global scale? The world in which this system thrived in is not the world today and is not the world that these students will end up spending their adult lives in. The revolution in education sees a change from this conveyor belt, standardized, one-size fits all perspective to one where the unique gifts of each student are to be focused on being producers of new knowledge, skills and wisdom. In order for this to happen there needs to be a change in the culture of education where innovation is not simply a by product of the system but instead is a focus of the system. This focus says to students that you are not all the same but that you have unique skills that are valued and if enabled or mentored by a system with a correct perspective, you will be architects of the future.

A culture of innovation will not come easily and will meet resistance because those who have a vested interest in the old system will mount substantial resistance if they see that interest threatened in any way.  Sir Ken Robinson gives a good description of what we are up against.

The revolution in education has already begun. Online education has the greatest potential  to enrich
the education of students by strategically designing what they offer to students so that a culture of innovation is encouraged, valued and most importantly, seen by the students that they can make valuable contributions to plotting the future.
In order for this to happen, online education needs to start fostering the habits of the mind which is an alien concept to many students but will be embraced by them when they see how much the world will open up to them.
Next posting will deal with the strategic design of course content that will put them on the path described.........

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