I don’t know when I came to begin to think this – but teaching is ultimately a coercive act. You need to convince students to care about a topic, you have to stress what information is important. Even student centred approaches are coercive – they just ask nicer. School is ultimately not a good system for education, or at it’s root learning.It is however a good place to be told what to do.
So when Khan Academy, Coursera, MITx or any of the other learning mills churn out chunks of content to advance education, it’s not learning – and it’s definitely not teaching. I guess I’ve got a case of the Mondays on Tuesday, because I get so irritated with how online teachers dictate, even at the highest levels. Sure structure is needed for these online learning events – a framework. Loose meanderings are not always what I want to see either – but why is it that I have to listen to some prat go on about programming logic, then take a conceptually vapid multiple choice question, get a grade (which has as much value as lint) and then do that again and again and again? Is that learning? No, that’s producing widgets. I’m truly disheartened with the state of the Internet as it is (closing down it’s freedom) and efforts to education online. I guess I’ll sit out online learning and wait to see if mobile learning ever provides the out and freedom with context I’m looking for.