The Knowledge Economy Iceberg Meets the Good Ship Education
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In: A.J. Kallenberg and M.J.J.M. van de Ven (Eds), 2002, The New Educational Benefits of ICT in Higher Education: Proceedings. Rotterdam: Erasmus Plus BV, OECR<br> ISBN 90-9016127-9
This paper reports on an institutional response to the findings of two international Delphi investigations. Although a local response, the principles and the software can be applicable to a variety of institutions at all levels of the educative process. ICT offers enormous potential for education. However, many of its applications focus on the more straightforward area of resource provision. By 2002, there is no shortage of content, either educationally or commercially generated. One of the more valuable applications of ICT though, and one that is largely overlooked, is that of managing the learning which is to take place or taking place. Content can be linked to a management system but is often more economically provide by a third party. For educational institutions at all levels perhaps the more crucial operation is to flexibly manage the learning that takes place. Moving digital emphasis from content to management is not yet a common consideration. Eltham College has developed a prototype for a truly integrated learning management approach. It is presently based on formal schooling years (in our instance, from age 3 to 18) but offers solutions to a far wider set of conditions. The Eltham model offers parents in their homes an online "Knowledge Community" that provides them with complete course/learning programs, selected assessment processes, rationale for that assessment and reporting on their students progress on a daily basis or on the basis of their students progress. The student has similar access, though more detailed in terms of the actual learning process. At all stages, both students and parents have direct access to the teachers involved. The system that results is one in which all parties to the learning process are clear on the intentions and activities as well as actively and interactively involved. Eltham has firmly based their learning model on the community concept in which all participants of the learning process are involved and all processes are readily transparent. In the post compulsory model, beyond state compulsory schooling requirements, the involvement of parents as a key layer group is not necessarily relevant. There is a growing school of thought, in Australia at least, that parent involvement at tertiary level has distinct advantage, though much less easy to involve both in legal and practical terms. The net result of the digital community established is a greater flexibility of educational opportunities combined with a more transparently managed learning process. Students are aware of their learning progress, able to choose more widely how they wish to learn, when and where. Learning has become for them more supportive because they are a part of a learning community, with clear links and clear support mechanisms.
- knowledge community