Baby Face… what will the baby face when’s he’s ready for college?

The student will be the teacher!What will college look like to my grandson? Will he be required to find his building, show up for an 8 am class, try not to yawn, pay $200+ for a dirty, used textbook? Or will he be able to set his alarm for the web conference that he organized and set up as part of a group project? Will his education include hosting classes, taking tours, talking about art found in world famous museums, inviting artists and lectures and reading text that others have written?

Will college degrees still be necessary in the year 2030? What significance will they hold?  What do they hold now? A degree doesn’t equal a job. A degree means (hopefully) that some learning took place and lots of jumping through the hoops. The jobs are going to those who can immediately apply what they learned .. and offer a service we need.  I’ve needed the service of an auto mechanic lately but rarely have I checked the yellow pages for someone with a literature or history degree. This is the beauty of community colleges. They have smaller sized classes where students can learn and apply their learning right away.

At the community college I attended Onondaga Community College (OCC) the first semester was classroom learning and the second semester, I was in the field! My classmate, Peggy, finished at OCC then went to Syracuse University to earn her BA in Human Services. As a junior, those students were just beginning their field work — 5 semesters into their degree. At OCC, we were active in our 2 semester. The beauty behind that was if it wasn’t a good fit, we were able to jump to a different field and continue towards our degree.

My generation will still need the same services that we need now — but will we need to have a degree after it? What if the Gwebbers refuse to buy into the degree ploy? What if they educate themselves on the web and forgo the degree? What if they look at their parents and realize the hole mom and dad dug by getting an education yet, they remained unemployed with a HUGE college loan to repay? In this article, A Virtual Revolution is Brewing for Colleges, the author asks how it will look, what will change?

I think it has already changed. High School students are entering college and EXPECTING their professors to be using technology. Many teachers are struggling to get their classes loaded using the same text and syllabi they use in the classroom — which we all know is a BIG mistake.  Online need to be interactive, concise and up to date. Students already access multiple forms of media simultaneously– cell phones, IM, email, I-pods, and twitter all while they are in a classroom. What magic act can get and hold their attention enough to teach them a new lesson?  Whatever act is used, each time it must be new, fresh and full of sparkle.

When I was a child I played with paper dolls, balls, hide and seek, Chutes and Ladders.  All of the toys my grandson has includes lights and sounds.   The plastic laptop says the alphabet, the cell phone says “Hello Friend”, Winnie the Pooh walks and talks, the farmer and his slow moving wagon sings and each of the 4 animals in the wagon say their sound… “Moo, Arrf, Baaa, Meeow”. To keep him still while I try to change his diaper, I hand him my cell phone. I only need 90 seconds to change him but in that time, his tiny fingers are glued to one number … and my speed dial is in action.

The educational system needs to change and keep pace with the technological revolution. Our kids and grandkids are fine-tuned to learn but in a different context from the classroom and a lecture hall. What are the colleges doing to prepare for the new wave of kids?

E-Learning: Finding bookmarks

I found a great site today – Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day. The site is full of excellent links to other sites and some great bookmarks. Thanks Jane!

And since posting are always more interesting with a photo, I found a great one of some elk I took in Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday.Elk in estes park

Global Cafe

Elearning Blogs list, Global Cafe, Global Learning, GWeb195,

The internet is full of answers… to questions not yet formulated.  When searching for ELearning Blogs, I found a page with a list of 19 of the Best eLearning Blogs —at Word of Mouth. Each blog offers some insight, information and commentary on eLearning. The authors are knowledgeable, approachable and helpful. More to come!

Global Web 195 aka GWEB195

 The perception of education is changing.  Web 2.0 is the current classroom and our children in middle and high schools are clearly the teachers. What will college have to offer them when they are old enough to attend? Soon, the Global Web will replace Web 2.0 and all 195 countries will be participants. 

Staying connected and learning from each other is already happening. Our kids communicate through texting, twitter, emails, myspace, facebook, cell phones, blogs, videos, IM, and much of this occurs on devices the size of their palms.  And as they get younger, those palms get smaller and smaller… soon they will be able to communicate without the devices.   What classroom will be able to engage them like they are currently engaged?  

The Global Web 195 or GWEB195 will break all the rules because they don’t fit anymore. Universities will be a thing of the past as our children and their children realize that learning is the end result, not the degree.

Goodwill Community Foundation – Free online classes

Free Education from GCF!

Making the most of existing technology is the name of the game. Many people who might want to go to college will never attend for a variety of reasons. Some have time issues, money issues, family challenges, etc. Some will feel overwhelmed or computer challenged. 

The Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF) offers free courses (you only have to sign up) about everyday tools. http://www.gcflearnfree.org/

The First Course they offer is called Everyday Life which has sections on

  1. Food
  2. Money
  3.  Work
  4.  Shopping
  5.  Maps
  6.  Bills and Budgeting

Other courses include Math & Money, Computer Training, Online Classes, Work & Career.

For an individual who would like to enter the online classroom in a slow and easy manner, a classroom like this would be perfect. The price is right (free) and the topics are useful in everyday life.  The Computer Training classes walk the students through everyday software applications like Microsoft Excel, Publisher, Word, PowerPoint and Access.  Being able to learn these applications and use them without pressure and time constraints makes learning a smooth process. 

GCF FreeLearning.org is the first step in getting an education. The end result is the student sets the pace and learns in a stress free environment at no cost.  How many students will decide that they do NOT need to have a $75,000 price tag associated with a BA?  Many will soon figure out aht a degree would be great to have but they really only need the  education.  Or the multitudes that will ‘buy’ into the idea of a college education, only to find out the teachers do not know how to use technology as a way to teach. Students who learn for free will still have an education minus the outrageous cost.  

Free Education, it’s a concept I really like!

Gimme more, gimme more

What would Google do? blog author Jeff Jarvis writes that blogs and online news will soon be the main source of information for communities as the popularity of paper medium decreases.  Blog writers, those people who have a passion about something near and dear to them will become the voice of the community.

…Keep in mind that few, if any, of these bloggers and journalists have experience in business, advertising or sales.

The average person becomes the voice of the community. That can be a wonderful thing — that can also be terrifying if that person sees the glass half empty, the trash half full, the community sinking and the government stinking.

Another person can express pride, share triumphs, paint vibrant rainbows — the world needs to see both sides of the community and hear both writers.  Let them speak.  Let others respond.  A new world is here.

Jarvis writes, “Bottom line: after three years, we project that a blogger could hire editorial staff and advertising help – citizen salespeople who help support the citizen journalists – and net $148,000 out of $332,000 revenue.”

Maybe it could happen, or maybe like the ostrich egg farms from the ’80’s or the pyramid schemes that benefit the first 50 or 500 will gain some glory and money – but the blogger will have to have a reason to post and something to lure the reader back each day.  What can be so compelling that one person will follow a certain blogger?

Discussions about books, directions to free educational websites, topics that help me grow and offer data I can share with others …would entice me to return.  I’d watch creative videos that offer new ideas and I’d link to them and share with others.

Here’s a video I watched the whole way through.  When it finished, I questioned the state of learning in our universities. It made me wonder why students enter a classroom when the professor is so far behind the technology times.  The student is the teacher … and the teacher has so much to learn.

Watch and Share this video – A Vision of Students Today –

The Virtual Playground: Free Admission

Learning Communities 101
Learning about Web 2.0 from the ground up – care to join me – or share with me?

Today was a wonderful day.

At 9:00 am I met a dear friend for coffee. During our conversation we discussed work, job hunting and web technology.  My background involves web technology, web design, desktop publishing, instructional designing, etc.

Her current position involves working with online learning communities and education. She gave me some delicious sites to review and we discussed Web 2.0.  Her observations about the future of educational learning management systems (Blackboard, eCollege, etc) and ‘pay’ walls forced me to get back into the learning ring and get up to speed on this technology. So, here I am.
In searching for this blog, I stumbled over several others that I bookmarked so that I would remember to share with you.

Classroom 2.0
The Edublogger
The Top Education Blogs
Seven Principles for Cultivating Communities of Practice

The resouces already exist … for faculty, students, teachers, job seekers, employers, employees and everyone. The resouces are here and there and on this link and on that link. Free. Come and find them.