I thought I was finally getting it. After spending the last eighteen months working with Web 2.0 tools, I finally have a good understanding of how technology can change education. I’ve become part of several communities online. I regularly communicate with people all over the world. There are even a few people reading my blog.
We can’t make decisions based on these tools the same way we used to. When we started adopting WebCT and learning managment systems — which we should still all repent over — we were thinking 5-10 years. This will help us over the next 5-10 years to move our content online and to deliver our content. Guess what? The world changed overnight, and now we’re seeing personal learning environments as an alternative. We’re not seeing the future in years anymore. We’re seeing the future in months. We are in an environment that makes tenative decisions based on a lot of unknowns.
We still don’t have enough traction in our online learning efforts to say that we’re having an measurable success. Sure, we have a couple people doing some online teaching, and we’re starting to see some excitement about using blogs in collaborative ways, but now every time the goal is within sight, it changes.
I guess this is better than ignoring the changing world. I once worked with someone who was so focused on reaching the goals she had outlined a decade earlier that she couldn’t see that they didn’t matter anymore. At least we’re being a little more proactive than that in our approach. But we’re going to have to get a lot better about reacting to the changing world than we are now. We’re also going to need to start rethinking some of our policies to accommodate this stuff.