It occurs to me that the people whose writing about learning and technology I enjoy reading are all like me: mature (ok, old!) men. My links list is dominated by them: Martin Weller, Tony Bates, Terry Anderson, Rob Waller … on it goes, with Grainne Conole the only exception, and even she is (says he hesitatingly) mature.
Time to find what the younger lot are writing about educational technology. One cropped up recently, and I can’t remember how I serendipitously found the link (again, age), but here it is: She’s So Heavy. Subtitled ‘Attempts at meaningful dialog in educational technology’, the author is Autumm Caines, an Associate Director of Academic Technology in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Capital University in Columbus Ohio.
I was simply going to add her name to my links list, but decided to make a post of it when perusing her musings. In particular, the contribution which caught my eye was ‘The Subjective ADDIE: an unmeasurable look at an ID standard‘. It’s a nice little discussion, reflecting the reservations and misgivings I’ve had over the years both with the ubiquitous ADDIE and with ID (in particular the title ‘instructional designer’). As Autumm writes, “I have never really identified with the term instructional designer”. Me too, though I do like the use of the word ‘design’ – it’s the ‘instructional’ bit that jars, it’s a tad too technical. My feelings about it are probably best reflected in my own definition of instructional design, as ‘the art and science of crafting effective learning environments’.
And I think it’s the ‘instructional’ bit that irks Autumm too, as revealed in one of her other posts, where she writes concerning the use of ‘instruction’ in the definition of online learning:
To me, learning is not a form of instruction and instruction is only one form of pedagogy. I’m worried about this because I think that online learning is a specific type of learning that requires different kinds of skills, attitudes, and approaches. Online education encompasses online teaching and I’m not entirely convinced that instruction is the best approach to online teaching.
You’ll need to read Autumm’s post yourself to get the full picture, but one of the messages that comes through is the need to be more creative and playful with our work. It’s not a technical process, though we may use technology. It’s a human endeavour, and we need to use all our human skills and powers to aid the learning process.
I shall read more, and try to find more people like Autumm.