Rather than wait for the political rhetoric to become reality, at some point in the future; (whilst another cohort of students are bypassed)...We could have it so much better if learners and educators are encouraged to use, (even a fraction of), the online collaborative and social networking tools that are already freely available. These include wikis,blogs, online editing and media sharing tools. The Flat Classroom Project shows what is possible and includes also some excellent ideas for assessment using these technologies.
We could have it
so much better if learners and educators started to access and use the vast quantity of digital assets including
images, video and audio that are available to support learning. Similarly, if the work they produce was made available under a Creative
Commons licence then the following paragraph would easily fall into place.
Learners could have it so much better if knowledge was shared and distributed viraly, between students, schools and educators. The concept of viral distribution is already making a significant impact on the marketing industry. The fact that education could learn from business models is touched on here by Ewan.
We could have it so much better if we, as educators, stopped trying to be the expert. Will Richardson makes this his first point in a post titled the Steep Unlearning Curve
"the need to unlearn the idea that we are the sole content experts in the classroom, because we can now connect our kids to people who know far more than we do about the material we’re teaching."
We can already access expertise, at very little cost. Wikis, screencasts, video tutorials and virtual conferencing are relatively easy to access or set up, and it is likely they will become even more so. Real problems usually requires lots of experts.
All this could be in place right now and schools would be so much better focusing on people and learning first, and when the new buildings finally come along, there is a much greater chance that they raelly will be schools of the future, allowing all to benefit from the architects' visions.