Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Future of Teacher Education

In the last few weeks the videos describing the demise of higher education institutions has been making the rounds on my discussion boards. If you haven't seen it take a peek at EPIC 2020. Obviously I do not take this projection literally. It is one of many possible turns we can take. It does point to a problem that has been well identified. It seems that many perhaps most of the colleges and universities have adopted a wait and see attitude. Let's see how it turns out attitude that watches the few pioneers or the leading institutions and then turns to act.

This attitude served institutions well over the last 100+ years. Higher education seems to be averse to risk and very slow to react and move in new directions. The question that EPIC 2020 asks is relevant though. It is relevant because the pace of change has accelerated so much that the wait and see attitude may very well have some devastating outcomes.

If you have read my blog in the past you probably know that I believe that in teacher education we must move to mobile, social, and flipped learning. I have yet to have serious institutional backing. I would argue that universities should use multiple pilot projects to find out what works and constantly explore the boundaries of what's possible.

When I think of teacher education I am referring to both pre-service and in-service. I believe that we can create large scale classes that can serve many practicing teachers in schools around the country (the world?). Thinking about this brought me back to the work the exceptional Dave Brooks have been doing at UNL more than a decade ago. In many ways the learning paths in massive courses have been outlined in the work he did then and is still doing.

This topic with some ideas about mobile learning may very well be the topics that guide my work this fall. Welcoming thoughts and partnerships. 
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