I personally liked the method of connected learning to educate the people. I think that it can be a modern education system in the future. Because, I believe all students are involved in an appropriate way and could state their ideas. They use this opportunity to learn more about the applications of their knowledge by sharing them with others. Furthermore, they practically implement their knowledge as a tool to help human beings because they will be educated by the instructors those are experts in that filed. But, I think that some concerns should be addressed before global usage of this method of learning beyond hardware and software issues.
- This type of learning method may conflict between different nations and countries. The mother language of each country should be considered as the official language for education. The language of each country is its identity. The students should know other languages, particularly English language. But, they do not need to consider a foreign language as their own language instead of their mother language. The education in each country should respect to the culture and customs of that country as a pioneer. Therefore, I believe that the connected learning in each country should use the mother language of its region. This is obstacle for global usages of connected learning.
- Another issue regarding this type of learning method is grading method and degree. How do the instructors evaluate their students? You can imagine two students in the same major. They have passed the same courses via connected learning, but one of them took courses with some instructors who took easy. Therefore, their GPA are completely different. But, they have the same level of knowledge. They apply for a specific job and the investigator observes their GPA. Who will be hired? Absolutely, the person who has higher GPA. So, I believe that connected learning as an education system is not fair. All of the students follow their majors to get degree. But, this degree cannot be an appropriate indicator of their qualifications. We should find another method to certify the students about their knowledge. We may suggest certifications instead of degrees. Certifications may be awarded to certify that the students know some skills in that area. Therefore, the employers should evaluate their applicants with more effective ways to select most qualified individuals for their jobs.
- Is there any specific age for connected learning? I believe the age for learning is completely subjective. I agree that youths have more chance to learn the knowledge compared to the adults, but I do not think that this is a limitation for adults’ learning. However, I personally believe that one concern for adults is that their performance will be compared to youths, therefore they are afraid to participate in the course via connected learning.
Consequently, there are some problems that should be solved before using the connected learning globally.
Your point regarding to mother tongue may be true for K-12 and undergraduate level but I think for graduate level all countries need to focus on English rather than the native language of students. At the end of the day, a person who choose to enter to graduate school, should read and write in English fluently and properly and in graduate school I think your point does not make sense at all. This a problem that most developing countries have and as a result their students could not be connected to world of knowledge and share their ideas with other people around the globe.
We’re going to talk about assessment in a couple of weeks, but I wanted to comment on the issue of English as the lingua franca of global graduate study. Although I love my native language, I think that being competent in multiple languages is really important and should be essential for all of us. As the world (and academia) becomes more interconnected and globalized, recognition of cultural differences and appreciation of the limitations of any particular cultural perspective are also increasingly important. How better to appreciate another person’s worldview and perspective than by speaking their language, or at least speaking more than one language?
You raise some interesting points, but maybe connected learning can be used to bridge the language divide. With technologies like Google translate, maybe in the near future you will be able to upload your classroom content and have it translated into any language. Not only would this be a stellar example of connected learning, but it could provide new conduits of information to people all over the world.
I think the grading is the most important issue. I do not like the traditional way of grading but I know it has a lot of advantages. I look forward to hearing Dr. Nelson lecture about grading.