School In The Clouds

In the classrooms, in the hallways, in the staff rooms, in a high school, in the Twitterverse, I’ve been spending a great deal of time talking about some of these related things:

  • education
  • engagement
  • motivation
  • critical competencies
  • learning outcomes

As an educator, I am fascinated and thrilled with some of what I see happening in classrooms; at the same time, I have an extremely strong belief that we need to hold firm to the high expectations we have always had. Sometimes, it seems that in the balance, there is a risk of something being lost.

I fear for example, that”Hybrid” or blended learning, which has such fantastic implications for engaged and in-depth learning, could also be a vehicle for mediocrity if not done well. We cannot just put something online and call it Hybrid; it must still be pedagogically sound, and must link to measurable learning outcomes. Done well, Hybrid offers greater scope for students, greater achievements, greater understanding. Done poorly, it does none of these things. As my favourite MOOC professor (and one of my favourite profs ever!), Al Filreis once said (and I paraphrase here), Online does not equal automation. In fact, as I am finding, planning and delivering the hybrid section of a course has proven to be more challenging and time-consuming than planning the classroom sections; however, with that comes the potential to make that classroom time infinitely more rewarding both for students and the professor.

This is disjointed today–too many thoughts swilling through my head after a couple of very busy weeks. But a colleague and I yesterday watched and discussed this video, and it led to some excited, passionate discourse about what education could and should be, and how to harness the power of self-directed motivation in our own classrooms. I’m still synthesizing the possibilities, but for now, here is the link to the video, and I am open to your thoughts, ideas, comments, and suggestions.

School In The Cloud