As a Star Trek and science fiction fan, I am somewhat disappointed that we lag behind in the predicted timeline for education. That is, we may have “communicators” and voice-activated computers, but we just don’t seem to have the social maturity that Gene Roddenberry envisioned for us so many years ago in his Star Trek world. In his world, the techno-gadgets were merely a byproduct of what we had become as a species and our ability to look beyond ourselves. Thus, overall, I don’t expect to see much change in the next fifteen years in the field of distance education. We’re just not ready. We have more growing up to do.
Question: How do you envision the distance education field evolving in the next 15 years?
Question: What technologies do you envision being used in the future?
Question: What paradigm shifts do you predict for the future of instructional design and for teaching in distance education?
I predict that connectivism becomes more and more prevalent in post-secondary. Siemens (2005) notes that this model entails the kind of learning that is not individualistic (Conclusion section). Rather, it requires a depth of collaboration between learner to interface and learner to learner. Soon, the ability to see connections between seemingly disparate ideas will be a necessary skill (Connectivism section). However, the secondary learners moving into post- secondary work of this nature will be woefully ill-prepared for this shift if the current trend of test-taking continues. They will be creative-immigrants, much like so many older individuals (now) are digital-immigrants. It takes me a little longer to “get” something, but I do, eventually.
Question: Will all learning be online learning?
Questions: What strategies can you consider for influencing processes for high-quality distance education opportunities?
The best means by which students can be afforded high-quality distance education opportunities is for citizens to engage lawmakers, lobbyists, policy-makers, and government officials in a discussion about distance education. We should make it a platform that is just as important as other platforms in an election. Where a candidate stands on distance education will be very telling. For example, Moore and Kearsley (2012) note that “most states are investing in statewide virtual delivery systems” (p. 196), but little else is known about these efforts or their impact on students, faculty, or funding. Who we vote into the offices of the states makes a huge difference, and voting in individuals who are “traditionalists” will stall any progress forward in distance education.
All speculations, of course. However, we may want to heed some Vulcan wisdom as we take our next steps forward in distance learning:
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