EDTECH 554 (FA10) Susan Ferdon Session Four: VoiceThread Commentary on “DisruptingClass”<img style="visibility:hidden;width:0px;height:0px;" border=0 width=0 height=0src="http://counters.gigya.com/wildfire/IMP/CXNID=2000002.0NXC/bT*xJmx*PTEyODQ5NDY2OTc3NjAmcHQ9MTI4NDk*NjcxODY1OSZwPTIwNjQyMSZkPWI2MDg5OTAmZz*yJm89ZmNlNDZmMmJmNzFl/NDgzNWI3ODZiZGE3Zjg2YzhlMWEmb2Y9MA==.gif" /><objectwidth="480" height="360"><param name="movie"value="http://voicethread.com/book.swf?b=608990"></param><param name="wmode"value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://voicethread.com/book.swf?b=608990"type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="480"height="360"></embed></object>link: http://voicethread.com/share/608990In this Edutopia article, Disrupting Class, the authorspresent a picture of education in which online learning isa disruptive innovation – one that fills a need when thealternative is nothing at all. They say that crammingcomputers into the existing model of education is not aneffective approach to education reform. This idea ofdisruptive innovation really peaked my interest so I gotahold of the book and found that the ideas thatinterested me were explained in greater detail and theideas that set off alarm bells – like the changing role ofthe teacher – were not as alarming when presented inthe context of change over time.
In the book, the authors credit education for doing anadmirable job of adjusting to the changing role of publicschooling and likened it to being able to rebuild anairplane in mid-flight. But in order to effect real educationreform, the authors contend that we need to transitionfrom a standardized, one-size-fits-none approach, tomodularization, in which learning is individualized tostudent needs and learning styles. Online learning is thekey to modularization and is predicted to reach a criticalpoint in two thousand fourteen when online courses havea 25% market share in high schools. Once that happens,this innovative disruption will quickly grow to the pointthat it becomes the norm, rather than the exception.Just as online learning disrupts the monolithic approach,the changing role of the teacher disrupts the tutoringmodel of teaching. Where only a small percentage of thepopulation nowadays is able to engage a personal tutor,more and more students will be able to benefit fromindividual attention. In this model of innovativedisruption, the role of the teacher becomes much likethat of teachers in the one-room schoolhouse. The bigchallenge, presented in the book, is to try to fit these
changes into the No Child Left Behind standardizationthat schools are forced to function in. I see disruptiveinnovation as a tremendous opportunity and, accordingto the model, it’s not something that will happenovernight. I think the key will be whether or not theeducational system will be allowed to move away fromstandardization and toward modularlization.