ERIC Number: EJ1063988
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jul-16
Reference Count: N/A
Learning in the Clouds?
Butin, Dan W.
New England Journal of Higher Education, Jul 2013
Engaged learning--the type that happens outside textbooks and beyond the four walls of the classroom--moves beyond right and wrong answers to grappling with the uncertainties and contradictions of a complex world. iPhones back up to the "cloud." GoogleDocs is all about "cloud computing." Facebook is as ubiquitous as the sky. But "learning?" Is learning really going to be in the clouds as well? In some respects, this is to be expected. Technology has driven just about everything to the web, from the way we shop to how we watch movies and plan our parties, there appears to be an app for it all. Education, it appears, will be next. The author is referring to the dramatic rise in online learning. Whether it is the millions upon millions signed up for MOOCs (massive open online courses), the popularity of Khan Academy, or the fact that one in three college students has taken an online course as part of their education, online learning is everywhere. So the question of online learning looms large over education programs. Education, ultimately, is "transformational" in that it helps us grapple with the uncertainties and contradictions of a complex world, pushing us beyond our comfort zones and into moments of genuine reflection. Engaged learning--the type that happens outside of textbook covers and beyond the four walls of the classroom--offers a chance to make learning come alive and bridge theory and practice. In the end, the ubiquity of the technological cloud that is blanketing higher education may indeed have a silver lining: It will help us to be clear that what we do in our classrooms and communities matters to our students, local stakeholders, and the future of higher education.
Descriptors: Educational Technology, Internet, Information Technology, Information Management, Delivery Systems, Technology Uses in Education, Online Courses, Technology Integration, Educational Methods, Distance Education, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A