This post is taken from my K12 Online Conference presentation, “What If the Story Changed?” Access the presentation here.
What If: The Classroom
Is the notion of a classroom an absolute in education? What if the classroom wasn’t the classroom?
At least as we think of it today…
Are there new ways of addressing where students learn? Is that all we can offer students? (Picture of typical classroom).
With all the new technologies at our disposal, are there new what if ways of transitioning this space to something more expansive and more contemporary?
What if we rethought classrooms, and schools, as learning spaces, where technology was not integrated but just part of the fabric of what learning is?
What if learning extended beyond the physical brick and mortar experiences? (Enter: picture of kids using computers on wireless bus).
For example, what if buses were wireless, and gave kids access to classes?
What if classes were developed for buses?
What if schools looked toward locations other than school to understand how learning occurred?
What if schools recognized the value of third places as valid locations of learning?
And what if we rethought our learning spaces, what if they were colorful, resource rich, filled with adult mentors, and truly enabled students to explore their passions, like YouMedia in Chicago, Illinois.
What if digital spaces took their rightful place alongside our traditional physical spaces as learning locations?
What if digital spaces where not just for posting assignments, calendar events, and documents but were for connecting learners?
What if digital spaces were more than just places for kids who were absent from class to get make up work?
What if digital spaces helped tell a new learning story, what if these spaces helped students tell their story, what if these spaces took advantages of the affordances of social media to shift a classroom to a learning space?
And what would happen if learning opportunities afforded by digital spaces were open for enrollment across the globe, such as this MOOC course, which represents a Massive Open Online Course?
What if you had choice of what resources you wanted to learn with, with people who had the same interests as you, and you could learn anytime, and finish the course with new understandings but with also a new network of people to continue to learn with?
What if mainstream K-12 education fails to realize the potential of this type of learning?
They’ll be replaced.
Here is the online high school from George Washington University.
Here is the online high school from Stanford University.
What if thinking can help schools see the opportunities for developing new venues for learning, and make learning that is independent of time space and place a reality?
How would you begin developing that story?